Insight: 67 per cent of shoppers prefer to make big life event purchases in-store rather than online – Retail Marketing Group

Shoppers are still turning to bricks and mortar stores over online shopping when it comes to purchasing high ticket items. Results of a survey indicate that on many occasions, transparency overcomes convenience and consumers are more confident in their decision-making when able to interact with a product first-hand.

The survey carried out by Retail Marketing Group looked into consumer purchases relating to milestone life events, and demonstrates that there is still a strong desire to go in-store before committing to the final purchase of an expensive item. 57 per cent of those asked bought items such as sofas and TVs in store after moving into a new home. Likewise, a significant 68 per cent of the surveyed shoppers purchased high-ticket items such as baby-monitors and food preparation items in-store before having a baby.

People continue to shop in-stores because it offers something that an online experience cannot; greater transparency and a more emotional connection to the product. When asked why they shop in-store, the main reasons included; it’s a better means to look at the actual product (28 per cent), it allows them to check the quality (28 per cent) and consumers prefer to see a product in real life to help visualise how it will look in the home (21 per cent).

With such a clear demand for the in-store experience, especially when it comes to purchasing high-ticket items linked to a milestone event, it is vital for brands and retailers to recognise how to tailor consumer experience (CX) strategies around this. The secret to captivating consumers through their purchase journey is in providing an outstanding customer experience, that is personalised to the needs and wants of each shopper. One of the most effective ways is through in-store brand ambassadors.

Stephen Sculley, CE In-Store Execution Manager at LG Electronics comments, “It can often be hard to make consumer electronics products stand out in such a saturated market. We’ve been effectively using brand ambassadors within our retailers for many years now to bring products to life in the final stage of the customer journey. To deliver the desired results, a brand ambassador must have the ability to create an emotive, personal connection and be confident and passionate in their demeanour when addressing customers. This is a key opportunity to find out more about them and understand how a product can fit into their lifestyle. The overall aim should always be to provide an experience that the customer cannot get elsewhere. Brand ambassadors that understand the shopper and add to the enjoyment of a purchase will certainly evoke stronger feelings towards us as a brand.”

Andy Tow, MD at Retail Marketing Group explains, “The modern customer is overwhelmed by endless information and confused by all of the options at their disposal. This is why there is such value in the work we do; providing expertise on the shop floor. A brand ambassador has the power to educate and guide customers towards the best purchase for them. In our survey, we know that consumers feel excited over certain purchases and a brand ambassador can really add to that experience, leaving lasting effects. Amongst other things, a brand ambassador can address concerns, offer advice, showcase products to enhance their value and make customers feel more appreciated.”

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