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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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Wegmans Brooklyn debut moving along

BY Michael Johnsen

Progress is being made on the debut of Wegmans in the New York City market,The Real Dealreported last week.

According to the report, Steiner NYC, the developer behind the Navy Yard’s Steiner Studios, filed plans for the building with an address of 21 Flushing Avenue, according to an application recorded with the Department of Buildings.

The plans call for a supermarket on the first floor and mezzanine level, with light manufacturing space on floors two through five of the 248,489-sq.-ft. building. A roughly 100,000-sq.-ft. parking lot with 246 spaces is also in the works.

Wegmans last year committed more than $2 million to recruit and train its workforce,Drug Store Newsreported, and will utilize the nearby BNYDC’s Employment Center at BLDG 92 to recruit area residents for the jobs it will create.

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Study: Millennial shoppers can be selfish, too

BY CSA STAFF

Despite their reputation as a generation dedicated to the greater good, millennial consumers are in some ways more narrowly focused than their Gen X elders.

According to a new study of more than 7,000 global consumers conducted online in April age 18-55 conducted by sales and marketing firm Daymon Worldwide, 35% of both millennial and Gen X consumers prefer buying sustainable products.

However, about 30% of millennial respondents said they preferred buying products that directly benefit them (such as saving money or impressing people), compared to about 25% of Gen X. In addition, close to 30% of Gen X respondents prefer buying products from companies with good labor practices, compared to closer to 25% of millennial respondents.

Gen X respondents are also more likely than millennial respondents to prefer to support companies that truly support the communities where they do business or give a percentage of profits to charities they like.

Millennial shoppers do exceed their Gen X peers in some altruistic tendencies, though. Millennial respondents had higher rates of preferring products with sustainable packaging, as well as products that are not tested on animals. Both generations preferred companies that help their local community at the same percentage (20%).

One area where U.S. millennial consumer definitely conformed to stereotype is the amount of time spent online. Millennial respondents averaged close to eight hours a day online, while Gen X respondents averaged less than six hours a day online.

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