STUDY FINDS CONSUMERS STILL VALUE THE IN-STORE EXPERIENCE AND STAFF INTERACTION
Despite the convenience of shopping online and high satisfaction with digital-only retailers, consumers
still value the in-store experience and human contact, according to a study from InMoment, a Salt Lake
City-based customer experience management company.
InMoment’s 2017 Retail Trends Report surveyed more than 30,000 consumers over three months.
The study illuminates shifting consumer expectations for the entire range of the customer experience
across sectors, spanning digital and physical interactions. The report reveals that a positive experience
with a staff member increases customer satisfaction, on average, by 33 percent across industries. And
when choosing to shop in-store, one in three consumers does so because of a previous positive customer
The report indicates that human touch still plays a major role in the era of e-tailers and automation,
and that different touchpoints impact how and when a customer wants a personalized experience. More
than half of consumers ( 54 percent) said they value staff who are knowledgeable about products and
services, recognize past purchasing patterns and needs, and are aware of loyalty membership status.
Millennials especially value this level of personalization, with 65 percent reporting they appreciate staff
armed with this information.
The report also found that 13 percent of consumers say they see value in personalized advertising—a number that falls to 10 percent for millennials. These findings indicate
that there’s a time and a place for personalization, and most consumers value tailored, meaningful interactions over retargeted ads, said InMoment officials.
Other key findings from the report include:
• Consumers are most satisfied ( 54 percent) with the customer experience at digital-only retailers, the highest of all verticals.
• Consumers rated location ( 63 percent), previously good customer experiences ( 33 percent), and overall quality of products and services ( 28 percent) as the top three reasons
they shop in-store. The qualitative data sheds more light on these ratings, with consumers describing their desire to see, touch and feel some products.
CHOICE PET EXPANDS
Choice Pet, a pet specialty retailer with locations in
Connecticut, New Jersey and
New York, has extended its
online capability to offer its
customers 24/7 access to
more than 10,000 pet-related products. Choice Pet will
also offer scheduled replenishment at a discount of 10
percent so that customers
can get their staple products
delivered automatically to
their door at their preferred
Choice Pet has been experimenting with e-commerce platforms for more
than two years.
“We are excited to become
a real contender in the digital
space and look forward to offering the same excellence in
range, service and reliability
online as we currently do in
our 17-store estate,” said Larry Bocchiere, director of operations for Choice Pet.
PET FOOD INSTITUTE
The Pet Food Institute
(PFI), whose members make 98 percent
of all U.S. pet food
and treat products,
recently launched a
series of interactive
infographics showing the ways the key nutrients found in a complete
and balanced dog food recipe help pets. The web resource, “
Nutrition from Nose to Tail” (available at petfoodinstitute.org) provides
fast facts about the essential nutrition that fuels dogs’ growth and
supports their body systems, as well as nonessential nutrients that
can also serve important functions.
A “complete and balanced” pet food recipe contains more than
40 nutrients that are identified by veterinary researchers and nutritionists as essential to supporting a healthy pet, specifically: vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and protein and amino acids.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets
nutritional standards for the definition of “complete and balanced”
based on these nutrients. “Nutrition from Nose to Tail” shows the
ways that the essential nutrients support pet health—for example,
by providing energy or promoting vision or healthy joints—and also
reviews other important nonessential but functional nutrients such
as carbohydrates. PFI will add additional information about cat nutrition in 2018.
Organized retail crime (ORC) is continuing to grow, with
67 percent of retailers surveyed reporting an increase in
the past year, according to the 13th annual ORC study re-
leased by the National Retail Federation.
The survey of retail loss prevention employees found
that 96 percent of responding companies had experienced
ORC in the past year. Losses averaged $726,351 per $1
billion in sales, an increase from $700,259 last year.
The survey found six in 10 retailers had recovered
merchandise from physical fencing locations including
pawn shops, flea market kiosks and temporary “pop-up”
stores, which is about the same as last year. Criminals
often turn to the internet for the anonymity it offers in
fencing, but only 56 percent of retailers had found stolen
goods online, down from 75 percent. And 28 percent had
found their stolen merchandise exported illegally outside
With the help of state retail associations, 34 states now
have ORC laws in place—but with criminal operations
often crossing state lines, 69 percent of retailers support
passage of a federal ORC law.
The survey found that 40 percent of retailers were victims of cargo theft—merchandise stolen on its way from
distribution centers to stores or elsewhere along the supply chain—down from 44 percent last year.
Los Angeles continued to be the hardest-hit area for
ORC in the nation, a position it has held since 2012. Following in order were New York, Houston, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Orlando, Fla., the San Francisco Bay Area,
Orange County, Calif., and Northern New Jersey.
The survey of 63 loss prevention retailers representing
department, big-box, discount, drug, grocery and specialty retailers was conducted Sept. 11-Oct. 18.
Organized Retail Crime On the Rise
Research Institute (
HAB-In addition to HABRI’s grant award, the principal investigators have
also received funding from the Winn Feline Foundation in the amount
of $25,000. The combined funding from Winn Feline and HABRI have
enabled the principal investigators to expand the sample size and add
the support of a statistician, which will greatly enhance the power of the
study and hopefully result in more definitive and robust findings.
“This study has great potential to advance our knowledge of the benefits of the human-animal bond for children and families with ASD,”
said Steven Feldman, HABRI’s executive director. “Caregivers and parents should select the pet that is best suited for their family and for the
well-being of the animal—maybe that’s a cat.”