This article originally appeared on Website Magazine. View it here.
When shopping online, the world is at a consumer’s fingertips – they can research pricing, product info, peer insights and more to make the most informed decision whether that’s at home on their couch or in-store. Where most of that deal-hunting and info-gathering takes place and how retail staff can assist, according to customer experience (CX) optimization company InMoment, depends on the generation.
For shoppers under age 34, nearly half (41 percent) prefer to shop online primarily for the research aspect and 18-24 year olds are twice as likely to visit a brand’s website before a store visit. Gen X shoppers, on the other hand, are most likely to conduct mobile research when they’re already in-store. Of those respondents who visit the brand’s website while in a store location, 72 percent were younger than 44 years old, but the highest percentage (26.1 percent) came from the 35–44-year-old demographic.
While these shoppers are certainly comparison shopping, the good news is that consumers who visited another brand’s website while in-store spent, on average, 1.2 times more than those who did not. Better yet, average spending increased nearly four times when the consumer was engaged by both staff and the brand’s website.
The takeaway for retailers is that their staff – whether it’s in-store, at a call center or within live chat – needs to know as much (and better yet, more) than the well-researched consumer regardless of the touchpoint. InMoment recommends that in order to keep customers engaged, employees must be both engaged and included in evolving the customer experience. This means, InMoment, writes keeping sales associates in sync with what’s online, providing exceptional ongoing training, and inviting them to lend their perspective on everything from customer pain points to new products and services.