PLEASANTON, Calif. — While the recent "The State of Brick and Mortar Retail Report" focuses on all types of retailers, tire dealerships can glean some helpful tips to improve their customer traffic.
The report by ServiceChannel.com Inc., a Pleasanton-based business software company, analyzes what causes customers to not return to a retail location and warns that retailers who have not invested in their physical locations leave themselves prone to disappointing in-store experiences and bad business consequences.
The study found that while 86% of consumers continue to make the majority of their purchases at brick-and-mortar locations versus online, a single negative experience, such as a dirty bathroom, a broken shelf or a parking lot issue, can endanger brand loyalty and repeat purchases.
The online survey involved 1,521 respondents in the U.S. who made an in-store purchase in the six months prior to the survey.
Forty percent of respondents said they will spend less money and time in a store if they've had a negative experience and 43% said they are more likely to shop at a competitor after a similar negative in-store experience.
ServiceChannel noted the recent upheaval in the brick-and-mortar space, including the bankruptcy of 68 major retailers, such as Sears, Sports Authority and RadioShack, since 2015. However other retailers are expanding their brick-and-mortar space, including Target, Costco, Dollar General and Dollar Tree.
"Many would blame e-commerce for sector churn, but online retail accounts for only 14% of total retail purchases," the ServiceChannel report said.
"The real problem is that too many retailers have abandoned the basics that matter most to consumers, subjecting shoppers to terrible in-store experiences, like disorganized shelves, dirty bathrooms and burned-out light bulbs. ...
"When retailers offer great in-store experiences, shoppers spend more time in stores, make more impulse purchases, come back more often and think more favorably about the brand. Smart retailers view their physical locations as a strength and invest accordingly."
Respondents expressed some frustration when retailers overinvested in new merchandising technology without fixing the basics of the retail location first.