“You will never see eye-to-eye if you never meet face-to-face.”
So are the words of Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He emphasizes the importance of human interaction despite today’s environment where relationships often exist behind email, text or phone. We’ve spent the last several years building new ways to interact — chat, click-to-call, FaceTime — yet none build the intimacy, or effectiveness, of face-to-face conversations.
In today’s business climate, technology has been used to supplant face-to-face engagement. In retail, consumers are researching and purchasing goods via smartphones, tablets and computers, swapping the in-store experience for at-home convenience, while retailers rely on email to communicate with their best customers. However, according to Harvard Business Review, face-to-face requests were 34 times more likely to garner positive responses than emails.
Retailers need to bring consumers back in-store to not only strengthen their relationships with them, but because it’s a good business move. When retailers can move online consumers in-store, basket size can increase by 3X–10X by providing consumers with an experience — an opportunity to interact with products and services, or exposure to ancillary and complementary items.