They say they want a revolution
It’s nothing short of a revolution, and the stakes have never been higher for retailers and consumer goods companies.
Our Total Retail Survey results, together with 2015 fourth quarter retail results around the world, point to 2016 as a watershed for many of the trends that have been percolating over the past few years.
From the unmistakable desire to be a member of a specialised retail community to buying more on their mobile phones, from becoming more reliant on social media to demanding a more service-focused and knowledgeable store employee, global consumers are pushing the boundaries of what shopping means.
Our data indicates that compared to other features of a retailer, service by sales associates is not, on its own, a big driver for favouring a retailer, ranking after such factors as price, product, in stock availability, and returns policy. That leads to the question: can retail talent become a differentiator? The answer is yes, and the time is now.
A closer look at our research data indicates that the changing role of the store, soaring customer expectations and the desire to support local businesses could put a real premium on retail employee talent. In particular, the more sophisticated dimensions of customer service (personalised advice, special after-sales services and demonstrated deep product knowledge) could be a point of differentiation for retailers, particularly for retailers with a significant physical store footprint.
Twenty three percent (23%) of Belgian consumers said that reading reviews, comments and feedback influences their online shopping behaviour.
It’s not just consumers who are being influenced by customer reviews, comments and feedback. For retailers, this tsunami of volunteered customer information is an additional form of customer research, as there is a huge volume of data readily available – and in real time.Interestingly, social media’s increasing impact does not sound the death knell for advertising, but overall only 15% of our Belgian sample said that “viewing advertisements” influenced their shopping behaviour.
Online Belgian shoppers are most influenced by promotional offers (29%) and fashion and trend (20%).