What drives technology shoppers to retail over online during the holiday season
Consumer electronics have long been a bright spot in holiday sales, but shifts in online spend and the blurring line between Black Friday and Cyber Monday paint a very different picture for technology retailers. Our consumer study shows that the tide is changing and 2014 is going to be a landmark year where in-store consumers migrate away from margin-losing deals and instead flock to stores for customer support and physical interaction with products. In fact, 52% of consumers who plan to shop at brick and mortar CE retailers this holiday season selected “physical interactions with the product” and “in-person help on features and functions” as their top reason for shopping in-store, compared to only 21% who cited “in-store holiday deals”. Across all income levels, in-store holiday consumers will have a very different set of expectations than they have in recent years.
In-store shoppers are a lucrative segment, with 47% of people with HHIs of $100k+ planning to purchase technology gifts from a retail store this holiday season
Consumers in Rural areas are especially looking for “in-person help on features/ functions” skewing higher than those in Urban or Suburban regions
Rural buyers were also significantly more wary of online shopping, claiming they “don’t trust online security” as a primary factor for shopping in store, significantly more than other populations
Retailers and manufacturers have increasingly come to rely on door buster deals at the expense of trained, skilled staff and customer support. An alarming majority of retailers and manufacturers planning to continue with this strategy for 2014 not only fail to recognize this significant change in consumer mindset, but also lack the infrastructure and responsive hiring capabilities necessary to meet the customer service demand they will undoubtedly face this year.
At the heart of the matter is a tremendous opportunity loss, as well as a loyalty cost. Our study delves into the actual dollar amount of abandoned in-store purchases due to understaffing, and the significant amount of unrealized incremental revenue that is possible with even a modest staffing agency partnership.