From Mobile Payments to Delivery, Shoppers Want More From In-Store

December 11, 2018         By: Steven Anderson

Some bad news to the early part of this week, and it’s all pointed at brick-and-mortar shoppers. No, Super Amazon didn’t open up to try and take the last bits of your market away, but rather, your customers are starting to get fed up. What retail stores are offering—based on a study sent our way from Zebra Technologies—is totally not matching up to what’s expected by the customers.

Perhaps the biggest point socking retailers in the teeth is an inherent lack of trust. Not even 15 percent of shoppers completely trust retailers to actually protect the data they leave behind as a necessary part of transactions. That alone is bad news; it encourages shoppers to shop elsewhere. Worse, 73 percent of shoppers wanted to have more control over how personal information was used.

Store associates won’t be much help here; 55 percent of associates surveyed in the study believe their current store is understaffed, and 49 percent actively feel overworked. Another 42 percent are actively frustrated that they can’t help customers because of other demands on their time from store management, and 28 percent consider it difficult to get information to actually provide help shoppers need.

Worse still, shoppers are actually better-connected than store employees are. That’s a sentiment shared by 51 percent of shoppers and 56 percent of employees. There are even lapses on the delivery front, as 62 percent of shoppers would like to order out-of-stock items for home delivery, but only 34 percent of retailers will actually do it.

It’s never a good move when you hear about customers wanting things and companies not providing. That just increases the chances that shoppers will go elsewhere, and that’s the worst outcome for businesses. Of course, there are some potential flaws in this study; it’s not surprising to hear that retail store employees consider themselves overworked, and probably most of them would say they’re underpaid also. That might be a bit of bias slipping through.

Still, it’s obvious that there’s disconnect, and the stores aren’t keeping up the way customers both want and need on several fronts. That’s a recipe for failure, and with Bezos’ boys gaining on every front, it’s a point that businesses must address.