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With countless online retailers, price comparison sites and a mountain of user reviews at their fingertips, today’s high street shoppers have never been more informed. And when they head out this Christmas shopping season in search of the perfect gifts, their expectations around personalised service from retailers will be sky-high.

In fact, a recent online survey among 1,025 UK adults age 18+, commissioned by Salesforce UK and conducted by Harris Poll, found more than one in four high street shoppers (28%) would like for the shops they visit to know exactly who they are when they walk in, based on location-based technologies such as iBeacons. In addition, about one-third (32%) of high street shoppers now expect the shops they visit to know what prior online research they’ve done on the retailers’ websites – including their wish lists, any abandoned carts, and their related social media activity – so they can receive better service. You can check out the survey results in the infographic at the end of this article. 

It’s no longer the affluent who expect VIP treatment when their pocketbooks are out. The everyday high street shopper wants to feel special too. It’s interesting to note that more than a third (39%) of high street shoppers would be willing to share data around their personal preferences with a retailer to receive faster and more convenient service once they are in the shop. Further, 43% indicated that they would be more likely to shop at a certain retailer based on the technology that the store associates use to assist customers.

In the high-tech world – customers still want a personal touch

And while many high street shoppers are highly knowledgeable, 81% say they have asked for a store associate’s opinion on a product before purchasing it. Yet, it would seem some retailers have catching up to do with rising expectations: 38% of high street shoppers believe that they’re typically better informed on the deals, offers and promotions available than the associate.

Retail outlets now need to prepare themselves to meet these expectations, which will surely continue rising in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Merging in-store and online interactions will help to build the foundations for a more seamless service experience and a stronger relationship. What’s more, having this panoramic view of the customer will open up new sales opportunities for retailers – particularly if sales associates are empowered with these insights.

After all, regardless of how reliant we are on technology, nothing replaces good old fashion customer service.

For insights into how retailers can utilise these new technologies to deliver exceptional customer service, read our e-book: Engage With Today’s Customers: 4 Ways Retail Can Reimagine Business