A survey of 300 high street shoppers in the UK was carried out by global business Stellar, specialising in creating retail experiences, to establish the impact of product experiences on purchasing behaviours surrounding higher cost items and products that require explanation.
Age groups of the respondents were evenly spread with around a third each falling into the 18 to 34, 35 to 54 and 55+ brackets.
The majority earned in the region of the national average annual salary (between £30,000 and £40, 000) and 69 per cent of respondents considered themselves to be in charge of household shopping and purchases in general.
As the high street slowly evolves in a bid to absorb and reflect how we shop in the modern world, we set our focus on the specific needs of today’s consumer and how we can best respond to them.
It is no surprise consumers are keen to explore their options, experience them at close quarters and arrive at a fully educated conclusion before making their final choice – because choice is exactly what shoppers have in today’s retail market.
Stellar believe in giving customers the opportunity to be guided by experts and get hands on with a product to guarantee shopper satisfaction and ultimately, a sale.
The results of the survey clearly show how product demonstrations are directly linked to sales uplift, with 85 per cent of respondents confirming such an experience would encourage them to buy the product in question.
Anna Brettle, Co-founder and Director of Stellar, commented: “The high street is a place to explore, to discover and most important of all, to experience. That is our main objective at Stellar. We want to develop and optimise retail experiences by combining the power of people, data and insight to increase profitability. Everyone wants to see the revival of the high street but for that to happen, then something needs to change.”
Consider for a moment the possibility that the same 85 per cent may not purchase a product should there be no option of a demonstration, then this really is a no brainer for retailers.
Indeed, almost 60 per cent of those surveyed stated they would not spend more than £250 on an item without seeing it and understanding how it works first-hand.
For brands, it makes complete sense to direct their marketing budget towards the product experience approach to guarantee greater success at point of sale, as consumers today demand more from the bricks-and-mortar shops they choose to visit.
As we look deeper into the data collected in this survey, a further stand out statistic shows how brands that offer product demonstrations are considerably more likely to guarantee customer loyalty in the future.
84 per cent of shoppers would feel more inclined to buy from a brand again after a brand experience
The results show 84 per cent of shoppers would feel more inclined to buy from a brand again after a brand experience, presumably because they feel safe in the knowledge the next time they are in the market for a related product, they would have the chance to try it first.
The survey also explores exactly what customers hope to gain from these demonstrations, which can be used as a tool to continually shape and sculpt the service to suit their needs.
For the majority, it is simply to understand how the product works, with more than two thirds also stating they want the chance to get hands on and try for themselves.
More than half said a product demonstration would help them to compare models, options and prices and 61 per cent want to experience friendly and knowledgeable staff, this is why meticulous recruitment and in-depth training are paramount.
Interestingly a noticeably smaller number of shoppers were interested in receiving a discount on the product after demonstration, with the other, aforementioned factors being more important to them.