Monday, June 16, 2014 by Lee Mannering

Survey explores customer service, tech trends at retail

According to a recent survey by Boston Retail Partners, 95 percent of retailers indicated customer experience and engagement is one of their top three initiatives. The firm’s 2014 CRM/Unified Commerce Benchmark Survey found that only 3 percent said they have the ability to identify the customer when he/she walks in the store, but another 75 percent plan to implement this within five years. Other survey highlights included:

  • 95 percent of respondents indicated customer experience/ customer engagement is one of their top three current initiatives.
  • 16 percent currently have real-time retail from POS (which offers the “Amazon” experience in the store), and another 63 percent plan to implement this within five years.
  • 28 percent currently use mobile marketing, and another 62 percent plan to implement it within five years (56 percent plan to implement mobile marketing within two years.
  • 81 percent of retailers have implemented some type of customer database, typically as part of a CRM or loyalty platform.
  • 22 percent of retailers have implemented real-time analytics and 61 percent plan to implement it within two years.

This emphasis on customer service and technology lines up with a study I shared back in May from Deloitte Digital, which found digital technologies will continue to influence in-store sales; however, that study found when it comes to getting in-store assistance, consumers overwhelmingly prefer to use their own devices, followed by using an unmanned device such as a kiosk or digital display, then by asking a sales associate for help (came in last).

It will be interesting to see how retailers balance consumer use of tech to get around in the store with the personal touch of associate assistance.

We’ll be taking a look at retail and consumer trends (including understanding the implications of digital and data mining) during our Fresh Connections: Retail event in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this week on June 18-19. For more details, please visit the PMA website.

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One Response to “Survey explores customer service, tech trends at retail”

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