Motorola Survey: Shoppers better connected to information than store associates

New York City -- A majority of retail associates (55%) said that 2010 holiday shoppers, driven by increasing availability of online shopping tools and mobile phone applications, were better connected to consumer information than in-store associates, according to a survey by Motorola Solutions. 

The survey found that retailers that aren't investing in technology to stay ahead of increasingly tech-savvy shoppers are hurting their own bottom line. Nearly three in 10 (28%) store visits ended with an average of $132 unspent due to abandoned purchases driven by deal-habituated behavior, out-of-stocks, limited store associate assistance and long check-out processes.

The survey indicates that when surveyed shoppers received guidance from a retail associate armed with a handheld mobile computer, over four in 10 (43%) reported the device improved their shopping experience.

Cara Kinzey, senior VP IT Home Depot said: “Home Depot recently deployed 30,000 Motorola MC75s across our 1,970 stores. Our DIY and professional customers come to Home Depot not only for our products, but for the knowledge and high level of customer service that we've provided over the years. Equipping our associates with devices that allow them to check inventory, provide product information, print labels, communicate with other associates and even check-out customers with debit or credit cards from anywhere in the store, not only makes us more efficient, but also enables us to take our customer service to the next level.”

Among the key findings:

  • Shoppers with smart phones used their device to influence 39% of their walk-out incidents; 12% checked prices at other retailers online; and 8% checked availability at other stores.
  • Nearly 25% of surveyed shoppers said they would be very likely to take advantage of a sales associate using a handheld payment terminal to complete their purchase, compared with only 9% who would be very likely to use their own mobile phone to scan their items and process payment without assistance.
  • Eighty-five percent of surveyed retail associates agreed that improving in-store communication between staff and managers would have a significant effect on customer satisfaction.

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