The latest American Customer Satisfaction Index report points out plenty of bright spots that retailers can build upon.A steady drip of bad news for the nation’s traditional retailers has led to a not-so-rosy outlook for brick-and-mortar retailers as a whole, but a new report from the ACSI reveals that things may not be as bleak as they seem. As NBC News reports, the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index report points out plenty of bright spots that retailers can build against.
For starters, the report reveals that retailers are knocking it out of the park on the customer satisfaction front. Retailers as a whole scored a 78 out of a possible 100, and that marks an all-time high for the sector. David VanAmburg, ACSI’s managing director, offered up one theory as to why. Interestingly, it’s the same thing that has been pointed to as the reason for all of the troubles in the brick-and-mortar retail industry: online shopping.
"Shopping online is so easy and convenient and as a result satisfaction is much higher than the brick-and-mortar experience and is playing a significant role in putting that pressure on the brick-and-mortar side of retail regarding sales performance and just getting people into the store," he said.
VanAmburg makes an excellent point. Lackadaisical staff and poor service will just not fly in today’s day and age. Consumers that are leaving their homes to shop - when they can just point and click instead - will not return after a bad experience. Retailers seem to be getting that message, and that’s a huge positive for the industry as a whole. Additionally, the customers that are taking the trek to the local store are buying more - and that somewhat makes up for declining foot traffic.
“Basket sizes continue to grow thanks to efficient customer service and low competitive prices on everyday items. As consumers continue to evolve the way they shop, retailers will pay attention and modify their strategies to align with the needs and wants of their customer base," says Ana Serafin Smith, NRF's senior director of media relations.
That’s another encouraging sign for retailers and another tidbit that should put a little more pep in the step of store employees. Consumers that are coming in may very well buy a bunch, and they should be catered to as needed to ensure their shopping experience goes off without a hitch.
Despite the positives, the report does note that consumers love the speed and convenience of online shopping.
"The ease of payment and steady improvements to product images, and a variety of merchandise keeps shoppers very happy with e-commerce websites. Merchandise is rarely out of stock, and there are numerous shipping options to suit each buyer," the report reads in part.
There’s some key takeaways in that little nugget as well, as well as plenty of items that retailers can improve on as they increase their presence in the area of site-to-store shopping.