Twice bitten: Two negative experiences in any channel will make shoppers dump a retailer, survey finds

Kronos survey shows interactions with sales staff, speed of delivery, available inventory contribute to retail brand loyalty

CHELMSFORD, Mass. — Negative experiences in one shopping channel can influence consumers' perceptions of other channels too, according to a new survey.

The survey, "Holiday 2013: Top Trends to Watch," commissioned by Kronos and conducted online by Harris Interactive, found that 68% of Americans report that a negative experience in one channel can influence how they perceive physical stores, online, mobile, phone centers and catalogs. The survey was conducted from Sept. 26-30 among 2,003 adults.

"The margin of error when it comes to customer satisfaction and brand loyalty is continually shrinking, and the new survey puts some hard numbers around this disposition in retail," Kronos director of retail and hospitality practice Liz Moughan said. "The combination of the government shutdown, a millennial population to appease and the need to get a handle on omnichannel could make this holiday season a difficult one for many retailers. Fortunately, many have embraced the power of omnichannel and are well-positioned to capture the wallets of consumers not just during the holiday season, but keep shoppers loyal to their brand into the future."

In any channel, the survey found, it takes an average of 2.2 negative experiences for Americans to stop purchasing from a retail brand. Millennials in particular are easily influenced by negative experiences, with 78% of men and 80% of women saying they would stop shopping at a retailer as a result of a negative experience in any channel. For at least 90% of respondents, factors contributing to positive shopping experiences include inventory availability, speed of delivery and pickup and interaction with sales staff. Seventy-nine percent said that interaction with knowledgeable, friendly staff while shopping, picking up an online order or even returning an item are somewhat likely to make them purchase an additional item.

Meanwhile, 66% of respondents reported that they would order online and ship to their homes or offices, and 25% said they would order online and pick up at the store.


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