A new survey has revealed what consumers consider when deciding whether or not to return to a particular retail location.
As many consumers continue to turn to online shopping rather than visiting a brick-and-mortar retail location, it is becoming increasingly important for retailers to work to ensure customer retention. While not all variable that may cause a customer to decide not to return to a retail location are in the retailer’s control, many are.
A new survey commissioned by Cintas Corp. and conducted by Harris Poll identifies common issues that would keep shoppers away from retail establishments. Conducted online among 2,082 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, the study found that 93% of U.S. adults would not return to a retailer if they experienced some type of issue related to the facility.
“Today’s consumer has an almost unlimited choice when deciding where to shop, whether it’s another store across the street or online,” said John Engel, senior marketing manager, Cintas. “With this type of competition, retailers need to understand why their customers return, and more importantly, why they don’t. It is imperative for retailers to ensure that their employees and brick-and-mortar stores are READY to tackle store-related issues to keep customers returning.”
The top five factors that would turn patrons away from a retail store include:
- General bad odor – 78%
- Dirty restrooms (e.g., floors, stalls, mirrors, odor) – 66%
- Dirty surfaces (e.g., dust on displays, dust bunnies on floors) – 65%
- Entryway cleanliness (e.g., cigarette butts, overflowing trash cans, unkempt appearance) – 60%
- Dressing room conditions (e.g., dirty mirrors, dirty floors, broken locks, lighting issues) – 56%
Consumers also cited broken or cracked glass (53%), plumbing issues (e.g., toilets and/or sinks not working) (52%), slippery floors (e.g., wetness, dirt/dust) (52%), noise (e.g., loud music, loud employees, phones ringing) (43%), lighting issues (e.g., light fixtures out, not working properly, poor lighting) (40%) and temperature (e.g., too hot/too cold) (30%) as factors that would influence them in choosing to not return to a retail store.
The study also found that gender plays a role in which factors influence a customer to avoid a retail facility. Women are less likely to return to a facility with poor dressing room conditions (65%) than males (47%). Conversely, males (33%) consider temperature more strongly than women (27%) when deciding to return to a store.
Baby boomers prefer to purchase an item in the store, versus online, so it’s important to note that the data revealed that older Americans, ages 65 and above, are the most likely to say that experiencing these facility issues would influence their decision to return to a retail store (98% vs. 92% – ages 18-64).