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Did you know that about 20-30% of shoppers prefer to shop online?  That’s the word from The Retail Doctor who points out that this statistic indicates that when people go out shopping, it’s not something they have to do, it is something they want to do. It also means that if your store doesn’t make their trip worthwhile (i.e. offer an exceptional experience), they probably won’t be back.

Providing a great retail experience involves being a trusted advisor, and matching shopper needs with your products, as well as overcoming any hesitance they may have about handing over their hard-earned money on an item they fear won’t deliver.

In other words, you need to bulldoze shopper roadblocks that prevent them from making a purchase in your retail store. The Retail Doctor mentions five shopper roadblocks that keep customers from opening their wallet and how you can change their minds:

1. They Don’t Perceive a Need

Whether shoppers don’t trust the salesperson they’re dealing with or they don’t see how your product will solve their problem, it’s your job to discover why a particular shopper is in your store at that moment so you can understand their lifestyle and personality. That way, you’ll be able to speak the same language as them.

Frequently, when a shopper doesn’t feel that they need something, it stems from a sales associate who is trying to sell them the wrong product.You need to bond with a shopper as an individual first before you can narrow your product choices down to the one that’s just right for their needs or desires.

2. There is No Emotional Motivation

It’s important to nurture the shopper’s interest in a product by offering genuine emotional reasons why the item is worth buying.

Painting pictures that signal value can help the shopper develop emotional ties to your product. For example, ask the customer if they can imagine the look on their loved one’s face when they open the product or if they can grasp the realization of not having to deal with a problem ever again because of the solution your product provides. These types of value-laced statements can help the shopper become emotionally invested in buying your product.

Ultimately, your job as a retail salesperson is to give your customer the ability to accomplish their shopping goal and be rewarded for spending their time and money in your store.

3. They Don’t Recognize a Sense of Urgency

When shoppers claim they are “on the fence” or that “they can wait” to buy your product, they are giving you mixed signals. In reality, they wouldn’t have walked through your doors if they could have waited. Heck, they probably would have made a purchase online if that were the case.

So why is the customer hesitating? A lack of urgency can be the direct result of having too many choices. When customers have too many options, it leads to confusion. A brain that’s confused has trouble making a decision on something worth more than a cup of joe.

A lack of urgency can also be brought on by an untrained salesperson who is simply failing to clearly and directly ask for the sale. If a shopper tells you, “I’ll wait,” ask them what they will do if they don’t purchase the product today. This will help the shopper see that the problem will continue unless they purchase a product solution now.

Regardless of whether the shopper recognizes a sense of urgency or not, you need to be skillful enough to help them “see” it and prevent these shopper roadblocks. Only then can you close the sale and help your customer in the process.

4. They Don’t Trust You

“Trust is the number one reason shoppers buy from you,” says The Retail Doctor. “You must do everything to build trust from the moment you first greet the shopper.”

You need to make the shopper feel like you share common interests and therefore, you understand them. Building trust must occur early in the conversation, otherwise, the shopper won’t take you at your word when you pitch the value of your products later on. Customers don’t want to feel like they’re “being sold to.”

One way to help build trust with your shopper is to use the “Feel, Felt, Found” method:

  • “I understand how you feel about this product, buying something expensive, etc.”
  • “I felt the same way too until I purchased it and found it saved me time, wore well, etc.”

Do you have real customer stories to share? Do so using the formula above to show how others have trusted you and achieved similar results.

5. They Are Price-Sensitive

Often times, salespeople love to blame missed sales on price. According to The Retail Doctor, “It’s never about price, it’s about them weighing your price in relation to the words you’ve used to describe how their life will be easier, better, or sexier.”

“People will move heaven and earth to buy something if they clearly understand the benefits, not just the features of your products.” Source: The Retail Doctor

Don’t waste time trying to justify the price on several of your products. Wait for the shopper to select one product, then sell the value before you talk price.


The stakes have risen for retailers trying to compete with online stores and larger brick and mortar businesses.

The only way to ensure success is to discover each shopper’s reasons for buying. If you don’t understand that, you’re not going to do very well in serving them.

It’s 2018, folks! Shoppers today are walking into your store already knowing about your products.

You need to focus on building confidence in your skills as a trusted advisor, connecting with them on an emotional level, and removing product risk fears, as well as understanding what they really need in order to overcome their price sensitivity.

“What helps people, helps business.”  Source: Leo Burnett, Advertising Executive

When you help every customer accomplish their shopping goals by purchasing what they truly need, they’ll feel rewarded for having spent their time and money in your store. And—BONUS—they’ll come back again and again!

Learn more about decreasing shopper roadblocks and growth your retail store with Jewel360.