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If customer service is king, then why do so many shoppers prefer typing away on their mobile devices over interacting face-to-face?
In a study by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), more than half of shoppers (58%) said they preferred to look up information on their mobile devices while shopping, rather than talk to an in-store employee. This was especially true among shoppers between the ages of 25 and 44 and among men.
When shoppers are ignoring in-store personnel, they’re far more content with the information they dig up on their own than product display or sales literature out on the floor: Nearly two-thirds of respondents felt that the information they gathered on their mobile devices was more helpful than in-store info gleaned from product displays or sales lit.
One thing is clear: Consumers still value customer service, but the way they want it delivered is changing with their consumption habits. As the retail path to purchase changes—mobile is now a significant part of the process, especially for researching on the go and even in-store—so do consumers’ preferences for how retailers connect with them.
Electronics retailers should heed this message most of all, as CEA reported that 60% of mobile shoppers used their devices for assistance when shopping for electronics in-store. They also whip out their phones to look up more detailed specs on a product, read customer ratings and reviews, or compare prices when they’re shopping for groceries (55%), apparel (47%), shoes (45%), and health and beauty products (39%).
However, retailers should not be fearful of mobile use in-store. While some may be showrooming, a Deloitte study found that mobile devices used before or during in-store shopping trips converted or helped to convert nearly $600 billion in US in-store retail sales in 2013, or 19% of total brick-and-mortar sales. The more informed the consumer, the more comfortable he or she is with pulling the trigger on a transaction.
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