Trading in the field of tension between technology and humanity

Trading in the field of tension between technology and humanity


The central theme of the Retail Trade Conference, which took place for the seventh time as a cooperation between Nielsen Switzerland and Fuhrer & Hotz Excellence in Retailing, is the balancing act between digitization in online and offline commerce as well as the return to “humanity” at the POS.

But is today’s consumer still looking for advice or should shopping be as quick and uncomplicated as possible? As so often the situation resp. the place of purchase plays a central role in answering this question. The following graph shows that the desire for advices increases with the complexity of the object of purchase.

While nearly 40% of respondents almost always say they look for advice when buying electronics, jewelery and sports equipment, the percentage for groceries is only 3%. Two-thirds of respondents never seek advice at groceries.

This fact alone shows that it is difficult, especially in grocery stores and in bookstores, to place sales staff at the center as a possible contact point if the consumer does not seek or desire this service at all.

Why are there so many households that do not want advice?

Interestingly, some of the most frequently mentioned answers also include points which the retailers themselves can influence (availability, quality, interest, etc.).

For retailers, therefore, it is crucial that they have well-trained staff on the one hand and on the other hand know what type of advice, if it is used, is in the foreground. This allows them to focus on this area and to use digital consulting tools such as in-store touchscreens where advice plays a minor role.

A look at the psychography of the interviewees, who are also always / regularly advised in the supermarket, shows the following picture:

Quality Conscious (Purchaser Index: 125), Sensible Eaters (110), Homemade-Oriented (108) and Organic / Eco-Fans (108) are increasingly in need of advice in a supermarket. These households also spend about 5% more on food than consumers who do their shopping without advices from the sales staff.

It turns out that households that focus on quality, food in general and cooking in the first place, seek advice. That’s probably where the future of consulting lies. The survey also showed that consulting is less of a central topic in the area of near-food.

Explanation of the Purchaser Index

The Buyers’ Index of 125 for Quality Oriented individuals indicates that the psychographic trait is more pronounced in answering the question, “How often do you advise on grocery shopping?”

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