Market Force just released the results its 2017 Fashion Retail Customer Experience study. For the fifth straight year, Nordstrom received the best ratings, and given the recent publicity about this brand dropping Ivanka Trump, the press has had a field day with the research (see Women's Wear Daily). Once again, Nordstrom’s emphasis on service gets the highest ratings of any brand in our research. Why does that matter? Conversion rates.

We asked consumers to tell us about their most recent experience shopping at their favorite fashion retailer. They rated their overall shopping experience as well as satisfaction with merchandise selection, atmosphere, checkout experience, etc. Consumers also indicated whether a sales associate assisted them during their visit and whether they made a purchase. Results?

42% were assisted by a sales associate.

On average, 85% made a purchase—however, 90% of those were assisted by a sales associate made a purchase compared to 82% who were not. An 8 point difference.

Skilled sales associates made a big impact on conversion rate. At Nordstrom’s, 90% of those who were assisted purchased something—compared to 63% who purchased when unassisted. That’s a 27 point difference and reflects the exceptional skills of the Nordstrom staff.

Even in brands with lower price-points, service made a difference to conversion rates, with brands like Ross Stores, TJ Maxx, and JC Penny’s getting markedly higher lift from their sales associates. 

Sales associates matter in every industry. Investments in both their training and continuous measurement on execution drives ROI. If you would like to purchase a copy of this research or talk more about developing a sales efficacy model and measurement system, contact us at 1-877-329-9621, or schedule a briefing to review the research.

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As Chief Strategy Officer, Cheryl aligns Market Force's strategic direction with our clients' strategic objectives. She oversees the North American client base, Analytics and Insights, Winnipeg Operations and Marketing. She has a Ph.D. in social psychology and broad business experience in both private and public companies.​

Tags: retail