Survey: Store associates still play big role for younger shoppers

PHILADELPHIA — Generation Y may be tech-savvy, but for many, store employees still play a pivotal role in their overall shopping experience.

In fact, 63% of shoppers aged 18-35 see store associates as extremely important to their retail experience, according to the “Store Associates Report,” from ChargeItSpot. The study is based on responses from more than 600 shoppers at malls across the country.

Another 28% said that store associates are somewhat important. Only 9% of Gen Y customers deemed associates as unimportant to their shopping experience.

While approximately half (49%) of Baby Boomers said store associates are extremely important to their shopping experience, 24% would be comfortable with doing away with this human interaction.  

“Retailers strive to deliver rewarding experiences to shoppers every time they enter a store,” said Douglas Baldasare, CEO and founder of ChargeItSpot. “Store associates represent the brand and are there to help shoppers with their needs. Our survey found that even young shoppers see the added value of having a human interaction when they enter a store.”

When asked if they would shop at a store where bots replaced human workers, 42% of Millennials said they would not; 27% said they would, and 30% said they might. While Boomers are comfortable with less human interaction, 51% said they are not yet ready to shop in a store where bots replaced workers. Almost one-in-five (19%) would shop in a store controlled by bots, and 30% said they might be willing to shop in these automated stores.

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