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Mindtree Study Shows Consumers Value Sales Associates

Sales associates are highly crucial to the shopper purchase process.

According to a recent Mindtree study, 62 percent of shoppers interact with sales associates during their fashion retail trips. Shoppers are also 43 percent more likely to purchase an item if they interact with sales associates as well, establishing higher transaction values than those who don’t communicate.

“Conventional thinking in the retail industry is that most shoppers want to be left alone, and that sales associates too often annoy shoppers by trying to offer assistance,” said the senior vice president and head of retail, consumer packaged goods and manufacturing at Sunil Oberoi. “Shoppers respond positively when they receive helpful guidance from an associate. A timely assistance in store can lead to an 80 percent increase in transaction value.”

While shopping, 80 percent of consumers found sales associates’ information highly helpful. Forty-three percent of consumers seek information on product features, 43 percent inquire about a product’s location and 42 percent want to find out about the latest brand discounts.

Despite praise for sales associates, some consumers said they are more likely to leave the store if they couldn’t receive assistance. The survey reported that 40 percent of shoppers were unable to locate a sales associate when they needed help at stores.

Ninety-one percent of sales associates also said positive communication with consumers do result in greater conversions, but more developments are required to reach this level. Ninety-four percent of sales associates expressed the need for more technology tools and training to keep up with customer demands and financial gains.

Companies should invest in automated technology platforms that alert sales associates about store traffic, Mindtree said, and share recommendations on consumers’ product preferences and provide efficient training on new store products.

Mindtree’s senior vice president and head of platforms and solutions group, Gaurav Johri, spoke about how better technology will allow sales associates and brands to provide seamless shopping experiences for consumers in the future.

“A key part of successful omnichannel retailing is all about delivering timely and helpful recommendations to shoppers that help them feel more confident in making a purchase. There is a huge untapped opportunity for retailers to increase conversions and enhance customer loyalty in the store.”