While in-store shopping still accounts for the majority of retail, the increasing tilt towards e-commerce means that stores are trying harder to deliver better customer experiences.
Reputation.com says that The Lego Stores, Disney Store, Athleta (Gap’s yoga brand), Lululemon Athletica and Nordstrom are providing the best customer shopping experiences based on 40,000 online consumer reviews, in over 8,000 US retail locations.
Its new report reveals which retailers in the US lead and which lag on the aspects of shopping experience, most frequently cited by consumers in online reviews posted on Facebook and Google.
The report is based on algorithms that interpret the text in online customer reviews into nine key in-store experience categories: value, service, wait time, cleanliness, convenience, manager interactions, product availability, staff competence, and parking, facilities and amenities.
Some of the retailers that were included in the report are: Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Aeropostale, American Eagle Outfitters, Athleta by Gap, Burlington, Carter’s, Disney Store, Express, Gymboree, Hollister Co., The Home Depot, Hugo Boss, Justice, The Lego Stores, Lowe’s, Lululemon Athletica, Nike, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, OshKosh B’Gosh, Ralph Lauren, Ross Dress for Less, Sephora, Toys R Us, TJ Maxx and Ulta.
What makes this ranking good, according to Mark Lange, chief marketing officer of Reputation.com, is that it’s based on online reviews, where people generally tend to mouth off about anything, good or bad.
So, who stood out the most?
The Lego Stores led the entire retail pack, ranking at the top of the list with 4.53 stars overall. In fact, consumers rated Lego well over 4 stars in eight out of nine categories of shopping experience, including: value, service, wait times, cleanliness, convenience, product availability, staff competence, and parking, facilities and amenities (the latter which got 5 stars). The Lego Store launched its first store Australia in 2016, opening its 350 square meter flagship store on the Gold Coast’s Dreamworld theme park.
The Disney Store (4.49 stars) a very close second overall, but did top the list when it comes to customer service alone, outperforming Nordstrom (3.7 stars) who are reknowned for its high customer service standards. Lego and Nike came in close by after Disney.
Among apparel retailers, Athleta led overall with 4.39 stars, largely due to consumers’ ratings of its staff, product availability, parking, facilities and amenities.
Lululemon (4.38 stars) and Nordstrom (4.32 stars) were close behind, mainly due to their teams’ abilities, although they did get more complaints about wait times. And while Hugo Boss, with 3.63 stars did extremely well on staff competence, consumers did crticise the stores’ managers.
Leading the discount retailers in our sample, TJ Maxx won with 4.13 stars, followed by Nordstrom Rack (4.06 stars).
“What struck us is this range of issues that matter most, which kept appearing across all categories,” Lange told Marketing Daily. “To our knowledge, this is the first study that reflects the spontaneous, unbridled voice of the customer.”
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