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BizReport : Advertising archives : January 24, 2018

Reports: Customers prefer self-serve options, moral brands

Two new reports indicate a big shift is happening in the branded space. First, in retail more and more consumers are opting out of interacting with sales associates. That's the word from new SOTI data, in which researchers found 66% of shoppers prefer interacting with self-serve customer service tech rather than in-store associates.

by Kristina Knight

Researchers also found that two-thirds (67%) say mobile tech used by associates helps them save time in-store, and that 76% 'have a better experience' when sales associates have tech handy to find the products for which shoppers are looking.

"SOTI found that consumers have a better retail experience when technology is integrated, whether through the availability of self-service kiosks or sales associates armed with mobile technology on the sales floor. However, consumers don't want technology because it provides a 'cool' or 'wow' factor, they favor mobile technologies that help them save time. These factors make it more important than ever for retailers to deploy mobility management to ensure that the technology integrated in-store works properly and meets consumers' needs. There is nothing more disappointing to a shopper than a kiosk that doesn't work or a barcode that doesn't scan," said Carl Rodrigues, CEO and President, SOTI. "The in-store technology experience is no longer in its infancy and if retailers aren't utilizing these innovations, they are putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage."

The study also found most (77%) of shoppers 'would be comfortable' using stores that only offered self-checkout options.

Meanwhile, metrics out from Brand Keys indicates a shift in customer loyalty, thanks in part to social media. According to the Brank Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index, while many consumers continue to rate brands based on traditional measurements like how well a brand meets their needs, a growing number are also judging brands based on how brands react to social justice and political issues.

"Decision-making has become increasingly more emotionally-driven over the past decade. But the addition of tribal political and activist social values has transformed the brand space into something marketers have never faced. 'Business as usual' won't cut it in this brandscape. We expect to see value and expectation shifts," said Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys. "But we've never before measured anything on this scale! Fortunately, the integrated psychological nature of our research methodology allows us to identify newly resonant emotional values and to measure how they impact a given brand category. 2017 was the year that political tribalism and social activism rose to the top and will drastically change how successful branding will be done in the future."

Tags: Brand Keys, brand loyalty, brand marketing, ecommerce, ecommerce trends, loyalty marketing, SOTI

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