Online shoppers will soon start to spend more money online and less in traditional stores, but they still want decent customer service.
According to a survey by market research company NFO Interactive, 24.1 per cent of online consumers believe that their spend on products at local or regional retail stores will drop in the next six months.
The survey also found that 23.8 per cent of online shoppers said their online purchasing has increased the total amount of money they have typically spent in a year on products and services.
NFO concluded that traditional retailers and manufacturers will have to consider strategic reallocation of resources if they are to survive in the competitive online world.
In another NFO survey, however, shoppers said they would buy more products online if they could speak to a customer service representative at the time of their purchasing decision.
According to this research, nearly 35 per cent of online shoppers said they would buy more if they could interact real time with a sales person on an ecommerce site.
"As Web site developers search for ways to attract people to their sites, they may well be missing a crucial element of effective retail strategy, personal interaction," commented Charles Hamlin, president of NFO Interactive. "Customer service is key to success; a helpful salesperson goes a long way to effecting a purchase."
"As manufacturers consider automating their channels, they should not lose sight of the effectiveness of personal contact," added Hamlin.
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