Two-thirds of shoppers prefer making ‘big life event’ purchases in-store

Shoppers are still turning to bricks and mortar stores over online shopping when it comes to purchasing high ticket items, a new study has revealed.

A new survey carried out by Retail Marketing Group suggests that shoppers are more focused on transparency rather than convenience and that they are more confident in their decision-making when able to interact with a product first-hand.

The survey, which looked into consumer purchases relating to milestone life events, demonstrates that there is still a strong desire to go in-store before committing to the final purchase of an expensive item. 57 per cent of those asked bought items such as sofas and TVs in store after moving into a new home. Likewise, a significant 68 per cent of the surveyed shoppers purchased high-ticket items such as baby-monitors and food preparation items in-store before having a baby.

People continue to shop in-stores because it offers something that an online experience cannot; greater transparency and a more emotional connection to the product. 28 per cent of respondents said that shopping in-store gives a better way of looking at the product, with an equal percentage saying that it gives them a chance to check quality. 21 per cent of  consumers prefer to see a product in real life to help visualise how it will look in the home.

With demand for a positive in-store experience, brand ambassadors have a vital role in securing a sale. 

Andy Tow, MD at Retail Marketing Group explained, “The modern customer is overwhelmed by endless information and confused by all of the options at their disposal. This is why there is such value in the work we do; providing expertise on the shop floor. A brand ambassador has the power to educate and guide customers towards the best purchase for them. In our survey, we know that consumers feel excited over certain purchases and a brand ambassador can really add to that experience, leaving lasting effects. Amongst other things, a brand ambassador can address concerns, offer advice, showcase products to enhance their value and make customers feel more appreciated.”

Stephen Sculley, CE In-Store Execution Manager at LG Electronics added, “It can often be hard to make consumer electronics products stand out in such a saturated market. We’ve been effectively using brand ambassadors within our retailers for many years now to bring products to life in the final stage of the customer journey. To deliver the desired results, a brand ambassador must have the ability to create an emotive, personal connection and be confident and passionate in their demeanour when addressing customers. This is a key opportunity to find out more about them and understand how a product can fit into their lifestyle. The overall aim should always be to provide an experience that the customer cannot get elsewhere. Brand ambassadors that understand the shopper and add to the enjoyment of a purchase will certainly evoke stronger feelings towards us as a brand.”

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