Study: Perceived Customer Service Has Improved Online, Declined in Stores

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Survey conducted by hybris and The Future of Commerce finds that e-commerce is an essential part of the purchasing process from start to finish

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More than a third of customers believe in-store customer service at major retailers has declined and online customer service has improved over the past three years, according to a joint study between hybris software, an SAP company and the world’s fastest growing commerce platform provider, and The Future of Commerce.

The survey, which polled more than 1,700 male and female consumers about their shopping habits, found that 37 percent of respondents believe in-store customer service has declined over the last three years while only 13 percent said it had improved. Conversely, 34 percent of respondents said online customer service has improved in the same timeframe, with 12 percent saying it has declined.

When asked to rank their biggest complaints about shopping in store, consumers noted long lines (40 percent) and unhelpful sales associates (22 percent). Limited inventory was also an issue as 95 percent of respondents said they would leave the store if the product they wanted was not in stock. For online shoppers, 23 percent said waiting for delivery was their biggest complaint while 21 percent cited security concerns.

“We found that most complaints consumers have about shopping online and in store could be resolved with the right commerce technology,” said Stefan Schmidt, vice president of product strategy at hybris. “In-store technology like tablets and mobile checkout options can shorten waiting time and equip associates with the tools they need to efficiently serve their customers. E-commerce technology, like click-and-collect, can be a solution for customers that are not interested in waiting for delivery.”

The study found that consumers are open to new technology that facilitates a superior shopping experience. Fifty-two percent of respondents said they’d be more likely to shop at stores where employees were equipped with tablets or mobile devices and 55 percent indicated they were more likely to shop at stores that offered self-checkout options.

Consumers also reported spending a significant amount of time researching products online, with 29 percent spending more than thirty minutes before they make a purchase. Eighty-two percent said they consult online customer reviews and 80 percent said they visit the retailer’s website. However, the study unveiled that social media may not be as persuasive as retailers may think: 84 percent of respondents said that sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest don’t influence their purchasing decisions.

“Retailers should look for technology that makes it easy for consumers to find the information they’re looking for, whether it’s store locations, product availability or their purchase history,” said Schmidt. “An advanced commerce platform should make the customer experience seamless across channels, allowing consumers to browse, purchase and pick up items however they choose. “

A full report based on the survey results is available at

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About hybris software
hybris software, an SAP company, helps businesses around the globe sell more goods, services and digital content through every touch point, channel and device. hybris delivers omni-channel commerce solutions: state-of-the-art master data management for commerce and unified commerce processes that give a business a single view of its customers, products and orders, and its customers a single view of the business. hybris has helped some of the world’s leading organisations including 3M, ASICS, Bridgestone, EE, Galeries Lafayette, Johnson & Johnson, Levi Strauss & Co, Nestlé, Nespresso, Nikon, Rexel, Samsung Electronics, Ted Baker, Tommy Bahama and W.W. Grainger, to attract, retain, and grow a profitable customer base. hybris sits at the heart of SAP’s Customer Engagement and Commerce suite of solutions, alongside SAP® Cloud for Sales, SAP Cloud for Service, SAP Cloud for Marketing and SAP Cloud for Social Engagement, providing the foundation, framework and business tools to create a holistic customer view across channels, simplify customer engagement and solve complex business problems.
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Kelsey Gunderson
Walker Sands Communications
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Kaylee Johnson
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