Consumers' in-store expectations have changed as online shopping has become more prevalent. Before entering a store, consumers can use the Web and mobile devices to determine the product they want, the price they are willing to pay, and the most convenient location to purchase it.

Today, buyers are looking for accessible and engaging in-store experiences. Shoppers expect the convenience of shopping online while taking advantage of the benefits in-person shopping offers, such as the ability to try a product firsthand.

Technology plays a significant role in consumers' certainty about a product: 60% of shoppers in a study said online reviews were more significant than traditional media, in-store employees, and social networking.1

Shoppers would rather research products on the Internet than talk to in-store staff1 according to the same study, and 51% of customers said online reviews written by consumers provide more influence toward purchasing a product, according to another survey.2

Bridging the Information Gap Between Sales Staff and Consumers

As more and more shoppers become empowered with knowledge gained via online resources before making a purchase, salespeople are becoming less and less effective, especially in wireless and electronic retail stores. Many tech-savvy consumers enter a store already aware of their options and the products available. Meanwhile, retailers try to hire the best salespeople available, but they face common challenges related to training and retention.

The following study findings provide insight into consumer behavior today.

Retailers acknowledge that the information gap between customers and salespeople further deteriorates the quality of the customer experience:

  • 55% of retailers say customers are more connected to data than to store associates.3
  • 87% of retailers agree that consumers who use online shopping tools and price-comparison applications can find better deals more easily.3

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Christopher Krywulak is CEO of iQmetrix, a leading provider of solutions to the wireless retail industry.