Customers are more likely to be won over by the presence of salespeople in a store than any in-store retail marketing strategies, according to new GetApp research. More than one third of consumers (33.8%) polled said that they are more impressed with the presence of salespeople in a store than other retail tactics such as point of purchase displays (i.e. sales promotions next to the checkout), innovative use of in-store real estate, or technologies such as video walls and way-finding kiosks.

“In fact, it seems that customers still aren’t being bowled over by modern in-store technology, with only 14% of respondents saying that this tech is the thing most likely to impress them when they walk into a store – the least popular of the four options given in our survey,” James Thornton writes.

“Point of purchase displays are the second most powerful retail marketing strategy, according to the research, with almost 30% of consumers polled saying these displays are most likely to impress them as they walk into a shop.”

Outlet malls and the retailers within them can focus on improving their point of purchase displays while promoting their friendly sales staff in ad campaigns. The latest AudienceSCAN survey revealed 23.4% of shoppers intend to buy from outlet malls and/or outlet shops during the next 12 months.

What impresses men and women most in a store?

“Interestingly, among women, point of purchase displays are seen as more impressive than the presence of salespeople, with 35.7% of women polled saying they are most impressed by these displays, compared to 34% who prefer salespeople.”

“The GetApp research suggests men are more likely to be wowed by tech displays (18.9% say this impresses them most, compared to just 10% of the women we asked) and innovative use of interior real estate (24.5% vs 19.9% of women).”

Shops can target the sexes differently using the preferred medium for each gender. They can also target shoppers with direct mail campaigns featuring recent improvements and tech-related merchandising. The AudienceSCAN study found 43% of Outlet Mall Shoppers took action based on the ads/coupons they received in their mailboxes in the past month.

What do different age groups want to see when walking into a store?

“When it comes to the age of shoppers it seems that, older customers are more interested in seeing salespeople in store than younger consumers. In fact, almost half of over-55s questioned (45.4%) are more enthused by the presence of salespeople than any other retail marketing strategy. In the case of under-25s, only 24.5% said having salespeople on the ground was the most impressive thing for them about a store.”

Consider that fact that the AudienceSCAN survey found 51% of Outlet Mall Shoppers make a point of shopping where salespeople are helpful and friendly.

“The age group that showed most interest in in-store tech were 45-54 year-olds (19.7% put this at the top of their impressiveness list), while the least impressed with tech were the 25-34 year-olds, with only 8.3% saying it got their juices going more than anything else in a store.”

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.