Why Does the Store Ignore What Shoppers Trust Most?

Why, in the physical store, do we consistently ignore the most trusted decision source in retail?

Let’s talk today about how today’s shopper decisions are influenced.

And how that influence is delivered.

Especially in the store.

Recent reports from Bizrate and product experience management provider Salsify confirm the essential importance of reviews and ratings in today’s decision process.

Especially among the deeply-desired 18- to 39-year-old cohorts.

According to the Bizrate study, more than 80 percent of respondents ages 18-29 said they always or often looked at product reviews before they purchased.

And roughly 70% of respondents ages 30-39 said the same.

The data falls in line with the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group digital shopping studies of 2010-2014, which pointed to growing shopper dependence upon ratings and reviews, a dependence that surpassed (in use and trust) the advice of friends and family.

It also falls into line with a day spent not so long ago in a west coast-area store interviewing millennial shoppers. The topic: personal technology, shopping habits, and a new self-serve concept.

“What are your thoughts about this?” I asked, showing visuals. “Or, what about that?”

My new-found well-tattooed friend shrugged his shoulders in disdain.

“Just show me the stars, man,” he growled, referring to the stars of the rating system.

“That’s how I buy.”

Those who seek the stars also will – most often – go to Amazon.

Salsify’s survey found that over half (51%) of US digital buyers trust Amazon the most for useful product information.   Which compares to Google (27%), the brand itself (16%) or a retailer (5%).

Let’s ask ourselves how often product ratings and reviews find their way to the floors of physical stores.

Yes, you’ll find them on Amazon shelves.   (Should we be surprised?)

But I cannot remember ever seeing them in demos of electronic shelf labels.

Or in demos (or implementations) of small format digital signs.


Tell me what you think.


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Jon Stine

About Jon Stine

Global Director Retail Sales at Intel. Jon Stine leads Intel’s global sales and strategy for the retail, hospitality, and consumer goods industry sectors. His CV includes leadership of North American retail consulting practice for Cisco Systems, and a prior stint at Intel, where he founded the company’s sales and marketing focus on the retail industry. His perspective on technology’s value in the industry has been shaped by advisory and project engagements in the United States, across the European Union, and in India, Australia, and the People’s Republic of China, and from 15 years of executive sales and marketing experience in the U.S. apparel industry, working with the nation’s leading department and specialty stores. At Intel, his current areas of research and engagement include the future of the store in this new digital age; how and where retailers turn data into competitive advantage; the role of technology within the new cross-channel shopper journey, and, the critical business and IT capabilities that industry success will demand going forward.