Shoppers Pick Service Over Price

Keeping customers happy

As the countdown to Christmas heats up, TimeTrade, an online business-solutions company, is reminding retailers that a price war with competitors is no way to win and, more important, keep customers.

Instead, bricks-and-mortar retailers should focus on treating their clients to a better buying experience – one that involves a lot more than just low prices.

Earlier this year, the U.S.-based firm conducted a nationwide shopping survey with more than 1,000 American consumers. The results of the study, released just this week, show that 9 out 10 consumers valued a more-personalized experience from knowledgeable, more helpful employees and faster customer service over low prices.

“Price matters, of course, but people go shopping for lots of reasons – very often, because they want help from someone who knows more about a product or service than they do,” explained TimeTrade President Gary Ambrosino.

“Of the 1,000 consumers surveyed, 74 percent said they’d be more likely to consider purchasing additional items or higher priced items when assisted by a retail associate,” he added. (In a sister survey, also conducted recently by TimeTrade, several top U.S. retailers said consumers may spend anywhere from 25 to 50 percent more after receiving help from product experts.)

However, given today’s fast-paced lifestyles, it’s not surprising consumers demand quality service in double-quick time when they make the trek to a bricks-and-mortar location.

More than 80 percent of shoppers surveyed said they’d leave a store in five minutes if they couldn’t find what they were looking for fast enough or encountered staff who couldn’t answer their questions. The report revealed that long lines will also send customers back out the door in a hurry. Unfortunately, many consumers return home to their computers where they shop the internet for a faster, more convenient experience and, oh yes, lower prices.

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