What’s an excellent in-store experience for consumers anyway? Do different consumers expect different things? Should we approach consumers entering, or is a simple “welcome” and “hello” just fine? We asked consumers what they expected of their in-store experience in this consumer study.
We combined quantitative and qualitative questions in the study, and the platform neatly packaged the results in one dashboard.
On the quantitative side, we asked:
- When was the last time you visited a retail store?
- Within the last week
- In the last month
- Last six months
- Within the last year
- More than a year ago
All answers but the last two advanced in the survey.
- How many retail stores have you visited in the previous six months?
On the qualitative side, we asked:
- What are you expecting while shopping in-store?
- How do you make decisions?
- What was the last store you visited
- What would you change from your experience?
Here’s a quick highlight reel of reactions:
The quant results
Almost everyone who advanced in the study had visited a store last week.
Seventy-two percent of respondents said they’ve visited more than five stores in six months.
The qual results
Respondents recorded a quick asynchronous video message for the qual questions – selfie-style, directly from their phones.
The automatic sentiment analysis showed that 37 percent of all statements were positive, with 21 percent negative and 43 percent neutral.
Unlike the quant questions – which are self-reported answers – this sentiment analysis pulls from what respondents said in their video responses.
The automatic theme explorer and Word Cloud gave me an idea of some of the most mentioned topics.
At times, I also use the Theme Builder and my knowledge of the subject to build and group themes for topics that I consider related.
Next, I read through the transcripts of the responses. This is an easy way to read some more in-depth, skim ahead when applicable, and go back to previous answers in seconds.
What customers expect
- Things must be set up to make it easy to find items.
- The availability of hand sanitizer
- Affordability in prices
- Ease of getting in and out
- Enough shopping carts
- Availability of staff when needed for a question
- Other consumers said they like to be checked on proactively
- Enough checkout lanes to speed up the process
- Friendly employees
- A calm atmosphere
- Good customer service
- Intuitive layout without constant changes
- Integration with available apps. Some consumers say they search the store’s app for products and then find them in the store.
- Enough space to shop comfortably without feeling crowded
Where to next?
We did see a good mix of people going to a store with a specific purchase goal in mind. But, we also had respondents who said they go and browse. And sometimes it’s a combination.
“Usually, when I shop at retail stores, I don’t have a goal,” said Denise, 24, of Sunderland. “I just like to see what is at the store, something that’s cute or something new, just to see what’s out there.”
But how does the in-store experience differ for people who are just browsing and those with a specific goal of getting in and out? That could be a potential follow-up asynchronous feedback study.
Others talked through their purchasing decision-making process, which usually included price, quality, and availability. That could be another potential follow-up and maybe an in-store video survey with shoppers: “Explain to us why you just chose that product?”