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Study points up importance of the human touch in shopping journey

BY CSA STAFF

A traditional, low-tech customer service feature can help prompt shoppers to follow the path to purchase.

According to a new study from technology services company Mindtree, “Mindtree Shopper Survey 2016,” good old-fashioned human sales associates have a big impact on consumers moving from thinking about a purchase to actually making one.

Results show that more than 70% of shoppers are interested in interacting with sales associates. And that interaction occurs throughout the customer journey. While only 2% of respondents said a conversation with a sales associate initially triggered a purchase journey, 34% sourced information from sales associates before making a purchase.

Another 21% finalized the brand and variant to be purchased after interacting with an associate. Twenty-eight percent asked sales associates for information on offers/discounts, billing and locating the product.

The study also shows that 40% of shoppers make a purchase after positive interaction with a sales associate, a 43% increase from the 28% of shoppers who make a purchase without interaction. Positive sales associate interactions also boost repeat store visits 12% to 64% from 57%. And average transaction amount soars 81% to $591 from $326.

In addition, the average sales associate spends 46% of their time assisting shoppers. This includes 20% of time suggesting additional products to shoppers and 26% answering shopper questions.

Other notable findings include:

· Sales associates are the second-largest source of customer information after websites and online reviews.

· Forty percent of shoppers say they are never able to find a sales associate.

· Sales associates most commonly use visual cues to determine if a shopper needs help, including a shopper looking for help (64%) and a shopper seeming lost or confused (55%).

Click here for an infographic.

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