Survey: U.S. Shoppers Spend More Time in Stores

London, Sales employees of U.S. fashion retailers are engaging only with 5% of customers who enter the store, according to a survey conducted by U.K.-based Envision Retail, and it’s costing the retailers about $12 billion a year.

If those workers approached the additional 4% of customers who are looking for assistance, sales could increase 7%, the survey said.

"Retailers are very good at selecting products and merchandising them in a way that inspire customers to make a purchase, which is why over half the shoppers who enter a store with no clear idea of what to buy account for over 40% of sales," said Jason Kemp, managing director, Envision Retail. "But if they want to make a big leap in sales, apart from just expanding the number of outlets, they need to get their staff selling.

The importance of the fitting room is also a major finding from the survey. On the sales floor 10% of customers are converted into buyers, whereas in the fitting room it is closer to 70%. Envision calculated that if staff provides quality service at the fitting room and assists customers with finding alternative sizes or items, sales could increase by 1%.

American shoppers spend 23% longer in a store compared with the global average and this is partly accounted for by the fact that 50% more customers use the fitting room.