Customers Don’t Want to Be Bothered While Shopping—Unless They Need Service

Customers largely want to be left alone while shopping, a new HRC Retail Advisory Survey has revealed. According to the results, 95 percent of consumers don’t want to interact with store associates unless they specifically need their help. Though customers have relied on in-store support from associates on the floor in the past, today’s consumers are opting to use technology to help them throughout the purchase process. Many are using smartphones and social media, for example, to ask friends and family for advice instead of seeking customer service as they shop.

Other technology is playing a role in the shopping experience as well. Eighty-five percent of consumers surveyed want to be able to check prices at in-store price scanners instead of having to ask a sales associate for pricing information, and more than 60 percent of shoppers said that being able to order a product online and then pick it up in store is important. As in other areas of customer service, self-service is becoming increasingly crucial at brick-and-mortar locations.

Farla Efros, president of HRC Retail Advisory, said in a statement that the study shows the need for retailers to be adaptable:

“As consumers begin favoring in-store technology over sales associates while they shop, retailers must adapt to shopper expectations in the store environment. Identifying the right technologies and pairing it with the right in-store experience for shoppers of different generations will be critical to retailers’ long-term success. Those that curate and customize the store experience and services to suit shoppers’ needs will see the benefits.”

Personalization continues to be a key part of shopping as well, now playing a role not only in e-commerce but also in stores. It’s just one way that brands can provide customer service proactively and give customers recommendations for relevant products or services that they might enjoy. Seventy-six percent of overall respondents to HRC Retail Advisory’s survey rated an in-store app that would provide personal recommendations as important.


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