Customer service and the right merchandise continue to be the recipe to retail success, according to Market Force Information’s annual retail sector study.
The benchmark survey asked over 10,000 consumers about their fashion shopping habits including brand preferences, brand engagement, problem experience and social media usage. Nike, Foot Locker and DSW lead the pack by providing consumers the most satisfying shopping experience. Here’s a break down of the report’s findings.
Nike came out on top as the brand with the most loyal following. The survey showed that 45 percent of consumers were likely to recommend the athletic brand, while Skechers came in a close second with 42 percent. Famous Footwear scored the lowest, with only 31 percent of shoppers surveyed likely to recommend the retailer. Nike also scored the highest on the overall satisfaction scale.
When shopping for shoes the survey suggested seven drivers that lead to overall customer satisfaction: speed of checkout, ability to find the right size, value provided for money spent, overall store atmosphere, ease of finding what you were looking for, merchandise selection and choices available to you and the ability to create a look that you liked. The report found that retailers can differ on these drivers. For example, Payless scored the highest for value with 37 percent, but faltered on other drivers like store atmosphere, ability to create a ‘look’ and merchandise selection.
Overall, Nike ranked the highest with 45 percent, while Foot Locker associates performed the best at 84 percent, and shoppers at DSW reported the lowest problem experience, with only 4 percent reporting an issue.
Sales Associates Help Drive Sales
Shoppers helped by sales associates were 73 percent more likely to make a purchase—in which Foot Locker excelled with 67 percent of consumers making a purchase after assistance from a sales associate. Oftentimes sales associates helped shoppers find a specific item or size.
Foot Locker saw a 24-point boost in sales when sales associates assisted shoppers—an understandable fact when the retailer’s sales associates helped 84 percent of shoppers, while on the other end of the spectrum, DSW sales associates only helped 27 percent of shoppers.
“Sales associates are the front-line representatives for retailers, and how they engage with customers can make or break the shopping experience and impact sales,” said Cheryl Flink, Market Force chief strategy officer.
While only 6 percent of shoppers experienced a problem during their most recent visit to a shoe retailer, of those 6 percent, just over one third did something about the experience. To address the problem, 47 percent of shoppers talked to a staff member at the location, while 36 percent of shoppers did nothing about the negative interaction.
Consumers shopping at DSW only experienced a problem 4 percent of the time, and when they did the issue was resolved to satisfaction 39 percent of the time. However, Aldo shoppers reported an issue 11.1% of the time, but the retailer redeemed itself with a 60 percent of shoppers reporting a resolution to their problem.