Despite retailers’ best efforts to improve customer experience and engagement, research indicates that the majority of UK consumers look to peers when making a purchasing decision, rather than the retailer or brand.
A recent survey conducted by commerce platform iAdvize found that three quarters of customers trust their peers’ opinions and knowledge of products more than those of retailer staff — especially when it comes to online shopping.
Meanwhile, and 54 per cent find previous customer product reviews more influential than retailer advice.
A further 17 per cent said that they would be more persuaded to buy something if they were offered assistance by another customer over a member of staff.
The survey also indicated that 85 per cent of consumers want to be offered a choice of customer service options when seeking help while shopping for an item, thus highlighting the need for retailers to implement better customer service platforms.
Live web chat is the most preferred in terms of convenience and demand, with almost 73 per cent of respondents saying they’d find live chat helpful.
In addition, 26 per cent said chat would make them more likely to shop with the brand online and purchase more while 79 per cent of customers said that they’d find live online chat with a savvy peer or regular customer helpful when seeking information to influence their purchasing decision.
Emerging channels such as live video chat, messaging app chat and social media communications also rated highly among the newer support services that customers would like to see retailers embrace.