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More than half of UK shoppers say that retail staff ‘make or break’ their experiences in-store

The retail space around the world may be at the centre of sweeping change amid talk of the ever-greater role of immersive and experiential tech, but recent research has indicated the extent to which the sector remains strongly ‘people-oriented’.

Specifically, the Retail Technology Show – a flagship retail-tech event which took place at London’s Olympia in April – polled over 1,000 UK consumers. It was discovered through this research that some 53% of respondents felt that store staff ‘make or break’ the shopping experience.

That particular measure was 13 percentage points higher than was recorded in 2022. Furthermore, it was by no means the only finding from the survey that will be of interest to many brands presently seeking out promotional event or pop-up staffing solutions.

Customers seem to have become more appreciative of retail workers in recent years

Another intriguing discovery to emerge from the Retail Technology Show’s research was nearly two fifths (37%) those questioned stating that they were now more respectful of retail staff since before the COVID-19 pandemic, with this score being three percentage points higher than in 2022.

What’s more, it seems that many respondents wanted to feel that those retail staffers were being treated well by their bosses. This was evidenced by 34% of those polled expressing the belief that retailers could do more to look after their workforces in the current economic climate.

This is a potentially very significant finding as far as retail brands are concerned, not least because it raises the question of the extent to which their treatment of their workers could influence consumer buying decisions.

Sure enough, almost a fifth – 17% – of the UK shoppers covered in the research said that how a retailer or brand supported, paid, or looked after its staff members had an impact on their decision to purchase from them.

“Retail is – and always has been – a people business”

Responding to the poll findings, Matt Bradley – Event Director for the Retail Technology Show – commented: “Retail is – and always has been – a people business.

“Both retailers and their customers continue to recognise the central role retail staff play in creating those key moments in in-store shopping journeys that keep bricks-and-mortar relevant, immersive and brand-rich.”

Certainly, while we are in no doubt ourselves here at BrandWarriors that technology has been making a fundamental contribution in the 2020s to shaping what retail experiences can and should be, we are equally convinced that the importance of the human touch can never be overlooked.

Indeed, the brands that exert the greatest impact through their in-store and event experiences today, tend to be those that are savvy in interweaving face-to-face human with online and digital elements.

That, in turn, could provide all the more reason to ask our BrandWarriors about the tailored promo event, specialist, and pop-up staffing solutions that we can give your brand the benefit of this year, and for many more years to come.

Send an email to our team today in relation to your intended brand activation or upcoming event, and we will be pleased to discuss with you how we could assist.


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