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Most holiday shoppers aim to avoid stores

WBFO file photo

As the holiday shopping season creeps forward, nearly nine out of 10 consumers say they'll try to avoid traditional brick-and-mortar stores, turning instead to online retailers.

Retail expert Shelley Bransten is with Salesforce, a San Francisco cloud computing company that focuses on customer relationships.

She told WBFO recent data suggests a growing disconnect between consumers and retail employees.

“It’s a real wake-up call at the most important moment for store-based retailers about how the change in consumer behavior is happening faster than any of us would have imagined,” said Bransten.

She said retailers have to work extra hard to appease Millennials, who now have $1 trillion in purchasing power.

“What’s exciting about them is a majority of them are saying, ‘I will give you my social information, my loyalty information.’ And they’re not having a problem with sharing that at all, but they’re expecting that the retailers cater to them and make it more convenient for them to shop.”

Bransten says traditional retailers need to redefine the shopping experience if they want to compete for the upcoming holiday season.

“They have to look at, what are the pain points? You know, the crowds, the lines, feeling like you’re overpaying. And retailors have got to take those pain points and make the experience more connective and personalized for the shopper,” said Bransten.

Data compiled by Salesforce finds that two-thirds of consumers harbor doubts that sales associates are telling them the truth during their in-store experiences.

She says chatter on social media about Black Friday has died down 11 percent since last year.

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