The ambience of a store is more important for UK shoppers than the location, a study by design consultancy Dalziel & Pow revealed. The study also showed that staff friendliness and customer service are important elements.
Of the 1,000 female shoppers that took part in the study (Dalziel & Pow’s retail clients cater for predominantly female shoppers), 41% listed store ambiance as an important consideration. In comparison, 31% of participants noted store location, followed by staff friendliness (30%) and customer service (25%).
More than eight out of ten respondents said that the range of products in a store is their top priority. This was followed by value for money (59%) and the quality of products (54%).
However, to further underline the importance of ambience, 35% of participants placed a lack of atmosphere as the most common reason to dislike or avoid certain stores. Overly expensive products put off 34% of respondents, while 33% object to poor quality.
According to Dalziel & Pow group development director Keith Ware, it was a surprise to see store environment and ambience as the most important aspect of shopping after product range, quality and value. This, Ware explained, suggests that people will forgive poor customer service and abrupt staff as long as the retail experience supports the brand.
Another thing the study notes is that retailers now seem to be experimenting more with new technologies and concepts. According to Ware, after a bad period for retail, consumers now seem more optimistic – something retailers have picked up on. Brands have now started to provide more playful and interactive experiences for their customers.