The twenty-first century has had a significant impact on the way people shop, especially when it comes to clothing and accessories. This leaves retailers asking more questions about how they can improve the shopping experience, often without concrete answers.
At Alert Tech, we recently hired a retail technologist to answer many of the pressing questions retailers have. We conducted an informal survey involving Millennial women between the ages of nineteen and thirty-three, and what was uncovered about their shopping habits and retail preferences was quite surprising.
Most Women Go Online Before They Buy
Over 75 percent of the women surveyed stated that they go online and choose what they want to purchase before they go out, suggesting that most purchases are pre-meditated and not a spur of the moment decision.
All participants agreed that they went shopping with a specific product in mind. However, they also admitted that each trip typically ended with multiple purchases being made – the majority being goods and accessories that would complement their primary purchase.
Shopping Can Be a Frustrating, Time-Consuming Experience
All participants agreed that upon entering a store they begin to browse through the store’s offerings, hoping to stumble upon their pre-meditated purchase while moving through the racks and shelves.
Because the presentation of goods differ from store to store—some arranging items by color (which each of the twenty-two ladies agreed they hated), some by season, and some by designer—the participants said that they find themselves aimlessly wandering through a store feeling confused. They felt lost and frustrated.
Other retail issues voiced by the participants were:
- They are unable to find the product they want. As a result they head to a competitor’s store to find an alternative product despite several other alternatives likely being available in the store they are in.
- They are unable to find the product in the correct size. They then visit different stores in hopes of finding a product that will fit.
- They find the right product and right size but they don’t like it. They give up on that store and head to another.
Approximately one-third of the participants said that they would consider continuing to browse through the products of the store, but their feelings of disappointment lessens their desire to buy. The remaining two-thirds stated they would go to another store and start the purchase process all over again.
Your Product Is Not Worth the Wait
Each woman agreed that after finding the right size she would head to the fitting room to try it on. Eighty percent of the time the participants said they would buy the product.
The issue the ladies had was having to wait to try it on. The participants all agreed that unless the product was for an important event (i.e. for a wedding or as a gift) they would not wait:
- For a fitting room
- In line to purchase the product
One solution may be to allow consumers to buy a product online and try it on at the store. Twenty of the twenty-two participants said that if they see a product they like online, they would head to the store, walk through the door, and try it on immediately—that is, if there wasn’t a wait for the fitting room. If it fit they would keep the item and if not, they would exchange it.
Here’s more good news for retailers: the participants said that if complementary products were also available to try on at the same time, there was a 90 percent chance that they would make more than one purchase and they would not head to a competitor’s shop. This can be even further enhanced if a retailer had the ability to check into the purchase history (i.e. style, color preference, size, etc.) of a shopper so that sales staff can make more intuitive product suggestions.
Personal Service Dramatically Increases Chance of Sale
Each survey participant had visited Victoria’s Secret at one point, though only eight had used the fitting room. These participants were particularly appreciative of the call buttons available in the fitting room to call an attendant when they needed a different size, color, or product (especially in this situation, where she would otherwise need to completely re-dress to find another garment). Each woman agreed that personal service significantly increased a retailer’s chance of making a sale.
Personal service can also eliminate the aimless wandering women find themselves doing when in a store. Customers are busy people. If you save them time by offering what they want when they want it, you are more likely to make a sale on either the original product or the complementary product(s) offered.
Understand Buyer Behavior with Alert Tech
Retailers can enhance their buyer’s experience from the beginning through to the end with Alert Tech’s innovative retail solutions. With over twenty-five years of experience in retail and actively present in over seven thousand stores, our platform has been proven to boost sales, improve the customer experience, and give retailers the insight they need to survive and thrive in today’s retail industry.