Make convenience a cornerstone of your retail store strategy

Anna Arwidi

In the recent research we undertook with retail research specialists Ipsos and GfK, some of the most striking findings relates to the importance that convenience plays in the shopping experience.

The ability to find products on clean and tidy shelves, try clothes on without waiting too long and in pleasant surroundings, return items efficiently and check-out quickly may seem like the most obvious of needs, but they ranked highly for shoppers in New York, Shanghai and France.

The most important factors highlighted by respondents for creating a convenient in-store experience are:

  • Smooth navigation
    Most shoppers (90%) in New York and Shanghai think that finding the right section of the store easily is a must in the ideal shopping environment. An easy navigation avoids customers becoming frustrated and helps the flow of people in the store.
  • Simple returns
    Whether it is to change the size or the color of a piece of clothing, stores should make returning an item as easy as buying it in the first place. In New York, 88% of shoppers see this as an important feature for convenience.
  • Fast-flowing queues
    Queues are frustrating, so much that 53% of New York City shoppers leave the store without purchasing due to checkout lines being too long.
  • Efficient fitting rooms
    The fitting room area turns out to play a central role in how convenient the store is perceived, especially among Shanghai shoppers (93%). Fitting rooms need to be clean, secure, and with a reasonable waiting time.

People and technology come together for ultimate convenience

The smart use of technology can help deliver the most convenient shopping experience, and often by ensuring the allocation of staff in the right place, at the right time.  If, for example, queue monitoring sees the lines at checkouts growing too long, another cash register can be opened, or if the lines at fitting rooms are causing lengthy waiting times, more staff can be deployed in order to increase the service level.

Similarly, mobile checkout technology can be used to increase convenience in buying items or searching online for items not in stock in the physical store. Indeed, the seamless integration of the online shopping experience – which is the ultimate definition of a convenient shopping experience – with the physical store is regarded as essential by today’s shoppers.

More findings from the extensive research can be found in the report, which can be downloaded at the following link:

Download the report