Retail Trends

Customer Service Is Key to Winning Sales From Online Competition

Why do customers come to your stores? According to a survey by Publicis.Sapient, customer service is the stand-out reason for shopping in a physical store instead of online. Indeed, it is the only area where brick-and-mortar stores beat buying in an online marketplace or directly from the brand.

The research firm asked consumers, “You’re making a purchase through a brand, retailer, or marketplace. If the price is the same everywhere, why do you choose each channel?” Consumers prefer retailers for their strong customer service, but marketplaces and brands beat retailers in every other consumer preference category.

Shoppers prefer online marketplaces if they are more interested in getting the best price or want greater product variety or better availability or are looking for inspiration.

In the case of brands, product quality was the top reason for buying direct from a manufacturer, followed by product innovation and product uniqueness.

Mobile POS improves customer service

So brick-and-mortar retailers really need to go the extra mile to improve customer service as it is the only differentiator that sets them apart from the online competition.

With the Openbravo mobile POS, retailers gain an important weapon to improve customer service. It enables them to process in-store transactions efficiently, which clearly is fundamental to good customer service.

But it does much more to help customers feel they  have received good service. For example, it provides staff with information on inventories, sales reports and details from previous transactions that can be accessed instantly from any location, allowing associates to promptly answer any queries from customers.

One of the most interesting findings of the Publicis.Sapient survey concerns repeat purchases. If it is the first time a consumer has bought a particular product, 50 percent are like to make the first-time purchase from a retail store, with 31 percent opting for marketplaces and just 19 percent choosing to buy direct from the brand.

But when asked where they would go to make a repeat purchase of the same product, the story changes dramatically. Almost half – 47 percent – would choose to make the repeat purchase on a marketplace, while 34 percent would make the repeat purchase on a marketplace and 20 percent would buy the item from the manufacturer.

So, brick-and-mortar retailers need to work harder to win those repeat purchases. A unique advantage of browsing in a brick-and-mortar store is that a customer can touch, see and feel the product before buying it.

But once they have purchased the product and are satisfied enough to want to buy it again, the reasons to return to the store to make the repeat purchase are much less compelling.

To find out more about Openbravo Moible POS can help transform your store experience, watch our on-demand webinar, “Transforming the Store and Customer Experience for an Omnichannel World or take a Product Tour today.

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