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Mobile-Equipped Sales Associates Improve Shopping Experience: Survey


A significant majority of consumers
and retail store staffers believe that equipping sales
associates with mobile devices improves the shopping

According to an annual holiday shopping survey by Motorola
Solutions, three quarters of store managers and
sales associates believe they provide a better in-store
customer experience when provided with the latest mobile

Similarly, 67 percent of surveyed shoppers reported
heightened satisfaction with retailers where in-store associates
utilized the latest technologies to assist in the
shopping experience.

The Motorola spinoff, which provides communication
services for enterprise and government customers, said
the rising availability of shopping-assisted options across
all shopping channels, including mobile shopping and
price comparison apps, has raised customer service expectations
for consumers and retail associates. Indeed,
more than eight in ten (83.3 percent) of retail associates
and managers surveyed believe that shoppers can easily
find a better deal, making customer service more important
than ever, while 61 percent of shoppers believe
that they were better connected to consumer information,
including coupons, competitive pricing and product availability
than store associates.

“Retailers continue to deploy technology to improve the
shopping experience but need to pay closer attention to
the growing expectations of the omni-channel shopper,”
observed Michelle Crissey, customer solutions lead at
Motorola Solutions. “Rather than just give them technology
and call it a positive experience, customers prefer that
retailers use the technology in a meaningful way to actually
give them a better experience, both in-store and for
fulfillment of online and mobile orders.”

The results suggest that the need is pressing. According
to the poll, fully one-third of shopping trips ended with customers
leaving before satisfying their intent to purchase,
leaving an average of $125 per trip on the table. Of those
lost opportunities, more than 73 percent of shoppers did
not complete their purchases with the original retailer.

Motorola attributed the lost revenue to inefficient payment
approaches, out-of-stock occurrences, deal-habituated
behavior, lack of selection, and limited store associate

The survey showed that 68 percent of lost sales could
have been recaptured if a retail associate was able to order
the item and have it delivered to the shopper’s home,
while almost 55 percent of shoppers would have made
their purchases if an associate could find another location
that had the item in stock and told them how to get there.

While shopper activity and spend still remains significantly
higher in-store than online, Motorola said retailers
need to continue to address the needs of the multi-channel
shopper. Online purchases swelled by more than 18
percent last year compared with 2010, and 63 percent of surveyed shoppers with smartphones downloaded
some type of shopping application in

Increasing online spend has created variances
in satisfaction between offline and online
experiences. For example, almost 41 percent
of shoppers were not satisfied with the ability
to receive in-stock status in-store, compared
with 20 percent online, and approximately 27
percent of shoppers were not satisfied with the
ease of finding correct prices in-store vs. approximately
14 percent online.

Moreover, 42 percent of shoppers were not
satisfied with the check-out process in-store,
compared with 15 percent online.

Conversely, online shoppers cited a much
higher dissatisfaction rate (41 percent compared
with 25 percent) for the return/exchange
process, providing a significant advantage for
in-store retailers.

The vast majority of shoppers also reported
that self-help technologies improved their shopping
experience: 83 percent cited using a price
checker, while self-checkout payment lanes (65
percent) and information kiosks (59 percent)
also were mentioned frequently.

In addition, almost 38 percent of shoppers
would likely use a retailer’s wireless Internet access
to search for product information and post
to the web while shopping, the survey showed,
while more than 43 percent of shoppers would
likely use a smartphone store app that creates a
map from a shopping list to guide them through
the sales floor on the most efficient route to
complete their shopping.

The survey is comprised of two separate
polls conducted Nov. 26 through Dec.13, 2011,
one targeted to shoppers (1,231 respondents)
and the other to in-store associates, staff and
managers (393 respondents). Neither group
knew of Motorola Solutions’ sponsorship.