The findings confirmed discussion in the marketplace about the resurgence of bricks and mortar, with almost two thirds of consumers preferring to buy an item in store instead of online.
The most valued customer experience factor while shopping was prompt service (54 percent) followed by a personalised experience (30 percent) and smart recommendations (16 percent).
It also found 85 percent of customers would abandon trying on clothes in a dressing room if there was no salesperson to help.
“Consumer behavior is changing, and leading disruptive companies are reshaping customer expectations. These companies are raising the bar very high for customer experience as they provide affordable help in real-time,” the report says, noting the rise of the ‘concierge economy’.
TimeTrade says the rise of disruptive companies like on-demand ride provider Uber, which is now valued at more than $US50 billion, are changing customer expectations.
When this same concierge-like service was applied to retail, respondents said big-name brands were only somewhat adapting to this new model.
Respondents also reacted well to companies like Amazon opening bricks and mortar stores, with 68 percent of them saying they liked having the option to go to a physical store.
Generation Z and Millennials, the youngest out of the bunch, were particularly happy with this development.
“Even pure-play ecommerce companies are realising the value of an in-person meeting. That enabling the consumers to touch and feel the product before purchasing it online, will greatly reduce returns and cut cost by not having to pay for shipping,” TimeTrade says.
The majority of respondents (59 percent) also liked having the option to schedule in-store appointments.
Their interest in any additional services on top of that is shown below.
In terms of the channels retailers are across, consumers felt call centres were providing the poorest customer experience (51 percent).
Yet there was a disconnect between retailers and customer respondents, with retailers saying call centres were their last priority for 2016.
Instead, they were choosing to focus on social media as the most important (29 percent).
As for marketing initiatives, retailers said promotions displayed on the retailer’s website were most likely to drive them into a store (55 percent) followed by print ads (49 percent) email campaigns (38 percent) and location-based promotions through apps (29 percent).
Download the full report here.