Lack of information in-store is losing retailers conversions, Vodat International report shows

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Lack of information in-store is causing a third of consumers to abandon purchases, a new report from Vodat International, a leading communications and network provider, warns.

The ‘More Than Words’ report series suggests that unconnected in-store experiences are frustrating shoppers and leading to lost sales opportunities.

Retail staff not being able to answer questions proved the biggest bugbear amongst UK shoppers (43%), while receiving inconsistent answers from different sales associates (37%), staff making up the answers to customers’ questions (30%) and lack of information points in-store (20%) were among the top in-store communications peeves for consumers.

With nearly half of shoppers (43%) saying they have experienced frustrations with sales associates not being able to deal with their queries, this lack of information has caused 40% to leave the shop and seek an item from a competitor.

And, it seems, that bad customer service experiences from poor communication have a lasting impact; 32% would not revisit a store after a disappointing experience, while 20% wouldn’t buy from the same brand in another channel following a frustrating experience in-store.

60% of customers believe knowledgeable staff deliver better customer service – with a fifth suggesting this could be delivered through staff being armed with mobile devices in-store.  A further 20% would like to see more tablet information points in-store, empowering the customer to answer their own questions or find out more information online for themselves.

Commenting on the report, Paul Leybourne, Head of Sales at Vodat International, said: “In spite of retailers turning to in-store WiFi to drive staff empowerment and customer connectivity, this alone may not be enough to accommodate the sheer number of devices connecting to the store network.  A connected store is the key to conversion, but this relies on a secure and resilient store network, which has the bandwidth to allow all parties to be logged on at the same time, greatly improving the customer experiences.”

By underpinning communications through a connected network, the report suggests that customers can access the store’s WiFi, enabling them to answer their own questions, while store associates with mobile devices are able to look up inventory availability, access product catalogues, process orders and take payments on the spot.