Are Retailers Getting the Customer Service Message?

Are Retailers Getting the Customer Service Message?

Several studies published recently by organisations like RSR (Retail Systems Research) and the IGD (Institute of Grocery Distribution) highlight how retailers are saving money by cutting costs, especially payroll, while making life harder and less satisfying for consumers.

Examples include:

  • Installing more self-checkouts in stores.
  • Checkout free stores.  The most famous being Amazon’s.
  • AI driven chatbots on e-commerce sites to handle a wide variety of customer service functions.
  • Replenishing store aisles during the day, greatly reducing aisle widths for shoppers, especially in grocery stores.
  • Being “forced” to use retailers’ loyalty cards to get the prices and special offers, knowing that many prices were increased to pay for it.

The reality is that shoppers don’t like these changes and they are starting to push back.  We can’t put a number on it, but part of the growth of e-commerce sales is the decline in the in-store experience, and too many retailers seem inclined to hasten their own demise.  No store-based retailer has yet found a way to make online sales delivered to homes do anything other than reduce their net profit margin.  But if you know different, I’d love to hear from you.

Learn more about how to improve customer service.

Posted by Brian Hume
31st May 2024

Back to The Martec Minute