Magazines Archives - 2008 March

What do customers want from the shop floor?
Story 19

IT is an old story that continues to plague retailers whose sales staff forms the single biggest driver of lost sales, reported a study by The Verde Group, a Canadian research company, based in Toronto.

The research was conducted both in the US and Canada with the same results.

Of the top 10 problems identified, nine were linked to sales associates, with shoppers taking issue most with: The “it’s not my department” attitude; being made to feel they are intruding in floor staff’s private conversation; being shadowed and unable to browse freely; staff showing lack of interest to help find an item; impoliteness; staff not listening to a request; insensitivity to long checkout lines; staff not making eye contact or smiling; and the absence of sales assistants. Out-of-stock merchandise was the only non-staff-related issue in the top 10.

Verde president Paula Courtney suggested that many of these issues could be resolved with better training. Noting that dissatisfied customers would tell their friends over and over about what they considered to be bad experiences, Courtney cited survey data revealing that the shopper unable to find an item would tell it to 2.5 people while another who has to wait to be served and the one who has to wait at the checkout line would each tell 1.4 people.

The research, which also studied shopper attitudes by age and gender, found older female shoppers more likely than older men to have issues with salespersons, while men were observed to be most annoyed by out-of-stock situations.

In the study, younger shoppers, brought up on instant response from the Internet, tended to encounter problems with sales associates. Their impatience stems from the belief that they have more options shopping via the Internet, text-messaging and e-mail, Courtney explained, adding that “the younger they are, the more demanding” they get.

Retailers, she concluded, need to pay more attention to customer experience in their stores. “Collecting information about behaviour that dissatisfies shoppers is as important as understanding what merchandise they might want.”


2008 March Stories:

POP & Signage Solutions - Technology ushers in a new era for signages in Singapore

Armani’s first travel-retail boutique opens in HK

Beijing Olympics boosting ad spend in China

L’Oreal to focus on men in Malaysia

Esprit looks to enter luxury market

Cartier appoints new regional manager

Competition outweighs customer needs in product launches

LG, GE in agreement to share patents for home appliances

Coty’s Rimmel goes to China

US gum-maker banks on Asia

Levi’s to close 36-year-old Manila plant

Deal with causes to cap shrinkage: Expert advises

Bond girl endorses Montblanc watch

New boardwalk to help boost economic growth in Sabah

Coming soon: MBO cineplexes across Malaysia

NRF 2008 – US retailers tackle green issues, grapple with looming recession

‘Go green’ gets big boost at annual convention

The Wal-Mart story: Making ‘Sustainability Sustainable

Store of the future

What do customers want from the shop floor?

Evolving business model: Sell solutions, not products

NRF Design Studio exchange: What makes for iconic identity?

Retail executives set new benchmarks in priorities for the year ahead

Interactivity with shoppers: Big trend

Who’s hot, what’s not on Wall Street’s list

NRF honours industry excellence

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