Sales & Marketing

Human interaction still valued by holiday season shoppers

Praseeda Nair | 27 October 2016 | 7 years ago

Interaction
Black Friday spending is expected to hit 901m in 2016
In-store retailers have been given a boost ahead of this year’s shopping season, as a new study has revealed the power face-to-face customer interaction still holds in today’s retail marketplace.

A study published by US-based market research firm Verint discovered that over four out of five consumers in 12 countries believe human customer service interactions must remain an integral part of any service transaction.

The research also highlighted greater customer-confidence in purchasing goods and services in-store over an online transaction. Almost seven in ten consumers believed they could negotiate a better deal for a product in person than online.

Reflecting on the findings, Verint vice president Dave Capuano made it clear that being able to communicate with customers in person and provide interaction was a crucial aspect of remaining competitive.

the message from consumers is clear. They still want a human touch as an option, he said in a statement.

The research also suggested that retailers operating in shop units were more likely to receive a positive response followingcustomer interaction, possibly even compensating for a higher rate of pricing.

Almost a fifth of survey respondents said they would renew a product or service following an in-store transaction even if there were cheaper alternatives elsewhere compared to just 13 per cent following a service on a digital channel.

Consumer spending growth for Black Friday and Cyber Monday the US sale traditions imported by British retailers has outpaced annual average growth by 50 per cent, according to further research from Adobe.

The software giant predicted that revenue from the upcoming Black Friday sale on 25 November will hit 901m, making it the biggest shopping day of the UK holiday season. Online retailers are expected to take an increasing share of Black Friday profits.

Adobe research also pointed towards the popularity of shopping via smartphones predicted to count for a fifth of all revenue for the festive period in 2016.

The firm’s marketing director, John Watton, emphasised the high stakes of seasonal shopping for retailers in the UK in light of the power of online channels.

He said in a statement: Consumers are more spoilt for choice and well-informed than ever, and theyll quickly go elsewhere if they’re not getting the experience they want.

Retailers are encouraged to make the most of face-to-face customer interaction that is not provided online.

The growing power of ecommerce in the seasonal shopping period has been well-documented. Recent government figures showed that online sales accounted for 12.8 per cent of all retail spending in the run up to Christmas up from just 2.4 per cent in 2006.

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