Nearly 50% Of Consumers Believe They Are More Informed Than Store Associates

  • January 2, 2013 at 10:34 PM EST
  • By Fatima D. Lora
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Shoppers found their personal mobile devices to be more efficient than store associates in helping them make buying decisions, according to a new survey from Motorola Solutions. But the buying experience improved when sales associates used new technologies as part of their customer service strategies.

The sixth annual installment of the Holiday Shopping Study from Motorola confirmed the increasing connectedness of today’s consumers: Overall, 46% of Gen Y shoppers (ages 18 to 34) and 38% of Gen X shoppers (ages 35 to 49) reported feeling more in tune with inventory data accessed via mobile devices than through conversations with in-store associates while shopping during the 2012 holiday season.

Many retail store managers shared these sentiments: 61% of respondents said they believe shoppers are better connected to product information than in-store associates.

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These perceptions are due in part to shoppers’ seamless access to product information via smartphones. Overall, 52% of Gen X shoppers and 64% of Gen Y shoppers used their personal mobile devices to research potential purchases and access ratings/reviews, among other shopping-related activities.

However, retailers have an opportunity to better connect with shoppers by leveraging mobile technology in stores: 47% of all shoppers said they have better experiences when sales associates use cutting-edge technologies to aid in product discovery and decision-making in stores.

Using two complementary surveys, Motorola fielded input from holiday shoppers during November and December 2012. One survey targeted 1,200 U.S. shoppers, while the other was tailored to in-store associates, staff and in-store managers. Results uncovered consumers’ past retail experiences and overall sentiments regarding the benefits of using interactive technologies, such as mobile devices, in stores.

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