We’ve spoken to UK and US consumers, to find out how the pandemic changed shopping on both sides of the Atlantic. Although confidence in retail colleagues remains high, we noticed that 75% of shoppers still leave stores feeling ‘frustrated.’
Why are the majority of shoppers frustrated?
In two years, the very nature of shopping has been irrevocably changed. Whereas previously, large numbers of consumers enjoyed shopping as a pastime, in 2021 it couldn’t be more different. A renewed focus on safety and efficiency, overshadowed by the global pandemic, has had a huge impact on consumer experience.
Let’s look at the top reasons UK and US consumers feel frustrated in 2021:
- One in three shoppers would leave a store if they saw that social distancing was not being followed by colleagues.
- Another top frustration mentioned was lack of social distancing by other shoppers – in fact, almost half (43%) felt this way.
- The other main frustration was a lack of stock (30%) having to wear a mask (28%) or being unable to try on items (23%).
The trend is clear – shopper frustrations are deeply linked to the impact of COVID-19. Either shoppers feel concerned about the observation of physical distancing by other customers, or frustrated in themselves for having to follow new rules.
What in-store occurrences annoy shoppers most?
Consumers are irritated with a number of issues. Nearly all (93%) of the respondents we spoke to had frustrations with in-store shopping.
- The biggest worry was crowded stores, which over one-third felt uneasy about.
- The second greatest concern was about queuing at checkouts, or poor customer service, which one in five felt annoyed about respectively.
Frustrations with queues, crowds and other shoppers’ actions, are linked with concerns about personal safety. Both of these trends are undeniably linked to the pandemic.
The unsung heroes – retail colleagues
If shoppers are frustrated, it’s not because of the efforts of colleagues. However, these frustrations are often sadly vented at colleagues. Worryingly, 7% of our respondents had ‘shouted’ at a retail colleague in frustration.
Overall, it’s clear that frustrations in-store are likely to continue as long as the pandemic does. Shoppers are wary of risk and want to minimise time and effort in-store. For retail colleagues and retail owners, it’s a difficult time.
We’re here to help
We noticed that ‘poor customer service’ appeared in some respondents’ answers, when talking about the frustrations they had. One in three said their main complaint was that someone ‘took too long to serve me’, and 28% cited this as a reason for losing their temper.
What can be done to alleviate some of this pressure on retail colleagues?
At VoCoVo, our ecosystem of communications technology enables effortless, instant talk between teams. It saves time, effort and wasted trips; keeping you with the customer while providing a quicker answer. Our customers love it, because it makes their jobs easier (and makes customers happier too).