74% of parents hate when shop staff lack knowledge of products

New consumer research report specifically about parents’ shopping habits reveals that mums, dads and guardians of young children want knowledgeable shop staff, efficiency, convenience, and good facilities when shopping, whether in a city centre, retail park, shopping centre or in a department store.

The online consumer survey, run by YouGov and commissioned by retail software company, Cybertill, surveyed parents of children aged 11 years old and under about their shopping preferences. The survey covered what drives parents of children aged 11 and under into store, their shopping channel preferences, what would incentivise them to sign up to a loyalty scheme, what in-store technology they find the most useful, what frustrates them the most when shopping, and what they want from click and collect.

In today’s digital society parents can be more informed than ever before about where, what and how they buy their products. The modern-day parent is an omnichannel shopper, moving between high street, online, mobile, or even browsing and buying via Instagram shops. They are not impulsive, and instead like to check prices from various sources and compare items in-person.

Key findings about shopping behaviours of parents of children aged 11 and under include:

  • Knowledgeable shop staff: Parents often make complex purchases, especially first-time parents who may need help when choosing the best products to buy for their baby. 24% of parents say that their main incentive to go in store is face-to-face customer service from store staff. And 74% of parents of children aged 11 and under feel frustrated when shop staff seem to be less knowledgeable about the product(s) than themselves.
  • Showrooming: Parents more likely to be channel agnostic and tend to browse products in real life and compare prices online before deciding to buy. Only 13% of online purchases are aided by in-store browsing when parents are shopping for Baby & Nursery, Jewellery & Accessories, Health & Beauty and Sports & Leisure
  • Queue-busting is key: when asked in general about features they’d like to see in store and online, 64% of parent consumers want a dedicated click and collect till or area when collecting an order and 48% of parents are frustrated when there is a long queue to collect their click and collect order.
  • Loyalty schemes: 68% of parents would be encouraged by discounts, buy-one-get -one-free offers, and points that equal money to spend in-store in return for handing over their personal data for loyalty schemes. Only 13% liked the idea of personal recommendations based on their purchase history.
  • Digital technology: When it comes to in-store tech, 41% of parents want self-stock check and 32% want self-checkout via touch screen displays.

Ian Tomlinson, founder and CEO of retail technology firm Cybertill says,

“Parents want retailers to keep it simple. If you’re thinking of investing in digital technology in-store, make sure that you’re going to make the shopping experience more efficient and helpful. Firstly, have a dedicated click and collect point, clearly marked. Smyths Toys are really on the money with click and collect. With a wait time of just 1 hour, this can only be a good thing for parents who have limited time as it is.

Secondly, ensure that your shop staff is knowledgeable and has access to technology that allows them to serve customers in-store effectively, and thirdly, consider offering facilities in-store that will make your shop a destination for parents shopping with their children, whether that be offering free drinking water, a changing room, or simply a place to rest or play.”

The full report and access to the YouGov data can be downloaded here.

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