Last week, we posted information on factors that can increase in-store sales. Today we are going to look at new information on the dynamics that can cause consumers to avoid making purchases in-store.
● Long lines were the top answer, 40% of consumers cited line length as a reason not to shop in-store
● Roughly one in four consumers said that too much traffic on the roads, lack of preferred merchandise and slow checkout were other factors that cause to consumer not to shop in-store
● One in five shoppers said that distance to stores were causes to avoid in-store shopping
● 16% said that lack of parking and out of stock items were factors that inhibit making purchases in-store
● 13% cited gas prices as a motive not buy things in-store
● Other things that moved people to avoid going to the stores to shop for the holidays were inconvenient store hours limited store associates and the lack of knowledge among store associates
What This Means To You
The majority of reasons why consumers don’t want to make their holiday purchases in-store is inconvenience. Digital platforms give shoppers the ability to research, compare and purchase on their timetable, not the stores. There are things you can do to mitigate these roadblocks and overcome the three basic buckets of inconvenience
Checkout: No one enjoys standing in line, that’s why checkout objections ranked so high. It can be frustrating to go through the time to brave the crowds, find the items you need and then wait around to pay for items. Mobile technology can help you overcome this objection. Mobile payment and mobile checkout are two. Many companies are just beginning to enter the mobile payment pool. Early results show that mobile payment does create a quicker, easier checkout procedure when the store associate is properly trained on procedures and can assist customers newer to mobile payment use. Before rolling out mobile payment, it is important to make sure your entire store employees are up-to-speed and comfortable with mobile payments. Mobile checkout is something else companies are trying when customers are buying larger items that may not need to be bagged. Many point of sale systems are fully capable of integrating with a tablet and credit card reader to for another checkout station that can be deployed throughout your store. Another idea to investigate is online order and payment with in-store pickup and implementation of express lanes.
Logistics: Traffic can be very bad with holiday travel and parking lots can be a mess. Getting consumers to travel to your store might require additional offers if you are in a distant location.
Free shipping has emerged as the offer most likely to entice customer traffic. Besides offers, customer service can be your biggest weapon. Also, offering gas cards for purchases about a predetermined amount can overcome some objections about cost of getting to your store.
Some larger powercenters and malls are employing trolley services to alleviate parking lot headaches. As an official sponsor, you could get the opportunity to have one of the drop off points be adjacent to your location or have the ability to coupon the riders.
Inventory: One of the reasons consumers don’t want to shop in-store for the holidays is out of stock items and not carrying items that consumers want. Your mobile and digital presences can help with this. By having the ability to check stock on any platform can encourage shoppers to visit your location. Some organizations are using “holiday wish list” functions to help consumers not only make sure items are in–stock but help locate where the items are in-store.
Beacon technology can direct customers who have your app on their smart phone to particular areas of your store. Your loyalty program can assist in reinforcing your message and remind them your have the merchandise they tend to purchase.
If your want to become a shopper favorite destination, look for opportunities to save consumers the one thing they can’t buy – time. For more information on how to increase your visibility and gain shopper traffic, please contact: