Store Employees Valuable to Shopping Experience

ChargeItSpot study shows store associates matter to customers.

Automation may be threatening to change the face of the shopping experience, but consumers still value interactions with store associates.

ChargeItSpot, a provider of cell phone charging stations for major retailers, has revealed the results of its “Store Associate Report” study, which asked consumers their thoughts and feelings on the value of store associates at retail locations. ChargeItSpot collected responses from over 600 shoppers at malls across the country, using its integrated survey capability, QuickPoll.

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The study revealed that more than 60% of shoppers say store employee presence is extremely important to their retail experience. Some 63% of all shoppers see store associates as extremely important, with an additional 28% saying that store associates are somewhat important. Only a combined 9% deemed associates as unimportant to their shopping experience. Interestingly, supposedly tech-savvy Millennials placed the highest value on store associates, while baby boomers were the most comfortable with doing away with that human interaction.

“Retailers strive to deliver rewarding experiences to shoppers every time they enter a store,” said Douglas Baldasare, CEO and founder of ChargeItSpot. “Store associates represent the brand and are there to help shoppers with their needs. Our survey found that even young shoppers see the added value of having a human interaction when they enter a store.”

Check out the chart below for a full breakdown – by age – indicating shoppers’ sentiments on the overall importance of store employee presence during their shopping experience.


Bots Not Enough
Shoppers were asked if they would shop at a store where bots replaced human workers and 43% said they would not, while 27% said yes and 30% said they maybe would. Check out the chart below for a full breakdown by age of shoppers feelings on bots replacing human workers.

“We are seeing more technology being integrated into the in-store experience,” added Baldasare. “Amazon is already testing the cashier-less checkout process in their Amazon Go location, eliminating the need for human workers altogether. While this may seem like a perk for some, it could turn shoppers away from stores.”