636801216196264415636801216196264415636801216196264415636801216196264415 Shop by Appointment? Consumers Say, Maybe So!

Shop by Appointment? Consumers Say, Maybe So!

December 15, 2016Perry Kuklin

Customers today seem to be busier and more time-sensitive than ever. We live by our calendars and that includes figuring out exactly when we can fit in that shopping time. This may translate into a new realm for retailers as customers are starting to explore shopping with precision - that means by appointment.

Shopping “by appointment”--in other words, setting a specific day and time to arrive at a store to receive personal attention from a sales representative--can allow your customers to efficiently fit in shopping on their own time, by their own schedule, while receiving the personal attention they want. Think about how this might work in a jewelry store or when shopping for a new computer, television, or other high-ticket item.

In a TimeTrade study, 59% of consumers showed willingness to book an appointment with a retailer (from any device) at a time that is convenient for them. The reason may come down to speed of service.  Consumers in the TimeTrade study reported prompt service to be what they value most: ranking prompt service, personalized service, and smart recommendations as what they value most when shopping in a retail store.

If pre-scheduled service seems like going above and beyond, it may be compared to historical expectations. But for retailers today, it’s a new trend that pairs well with high expectations of personalized service and prompt service. Appointments may be a way to deliver both.

Millennials Say Yes to Appointments

As an important niche market, millennials are especially responsive to scheduling appointments at 71% confirming willingness to book an appointment to shop. Statistics like this make interactive direction an important consideration for retailers short- and long-term.

“Millennials value being delighted by retailers to the extent that they are putting money where their mouths are as they are willing to spend on average 31.6% more compared to last year for a unique experience in retail. Millennials continue to embrace deeper personalization… therefore assisted selling via an appointment with a store associate will become more mainstream in stores.” - Sahir Anand, Vice President of Research and Principal Analyst at EKN Research (from TimeTrade Study)

Appointment setting also comes with great benefits for the retailer. Integrating appointment setting technology can provide management with a clear picture of how much staff will be needed when and where. With more predictability, you can increase efficiencies as well as the quality of customer service. Proactive and prepared, service agents can not only be prompt in addressing the needs of customers, they can also be ready with personalized recommendations or selections.

This is especially possible with two-way text communication, or an interactive appointment setting feature where customers can provide input when they make their appointment. For high end purchases like jewelry or electronics, this service creates a unique experience and meets the most direct customer needs, making it possible for a high level of satisfaction and planting seeds for customer loyalty.

To learn more about how appointment setting could elevate your customer experience, contact one of our virtual queue technology experts today.

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