RedPrairie Corporation, a productivity solutions provider, has commissioned market research organisation YouGov to explore the key factors of a good Christmas shopping experience.
In a survey of 1,974 British adults, 71% cited product availability as being one of the three most important factors in a good Christmas shopping experience, with short queue times being the second most popular choice (57%). Shoppers also revealed that staff played an important role with over a third of respondents (43%) identifying staff being friendly and happy to help, followed by availability of staff to help (22%) and knowledge of staff to answer queries (21%).
The survey also explored the relative importance of service and price when Christmas shopping. Just 4% identified service as being more important than price this year down from 5% last year. However almost half (46%) indicated that service and price were of equal importance.
John Bailey, RedPrairie's Retail Industry Director says: "The fact that many consumers place equal value on price and service comes as no surprise. With many products available today with no real USP, a major differentiator to the consumer is the service they receive in-store.
"As we see from the results, product availability, queue times and attitude of staff are the top service factors. The use of optimised workforce scheduling can help retailers get these crucial factors right to keep customers returning, not just at Christmas but throughout the year, for example, by making sure that there are enough staff to replenish stock and double up on till points to pack goods during busy periods."
RedPrairie's enterprise workforce management solution gives retailers the tools to improve customer service whilst maximising productivity and increasing their return on labour by better managing and optimising time and attendance, forecasting, scheduling, task management, workload planning and performance analysis.
The survey also found that service was slightly more important to men (4%) than to women (3%) and was deemed more important than price by a higher percentage of 25-34 year olds (5%) than any other age group.
In geographical terms, shoppers in the South West of England placed the highest number of votes for service over price (6%), whilst just 1% of Londoners said that service was more important.