by Brian Lipton

Brick and mortar shoppers still value the importance of sales associates even if 83 percent of shoppers believe they’re more knowledgeable than retail store associates, according to a new survey by Tulip Retail, a mobile application platform built exclusively for retail stores and sales associates.

Additional key findings from the survey include the following:

79 percent of survey respondents say knowledgeable store associates are “important” or “very important.”

73 percent would be interested in having a store associate text or email them about the status of their order or that their order has arrived in the store

72 percent of respondents who dealt with a store associate who uses a mobile device to provide things like product info, credit card checkout, and inventory look-up, said it resulted in a better shopping experience.

53 percent believe that store associates are either “very valuable, very helpful” or “valuable, helpful”

Nearly 50 percent said a knowledgeable store associate who is able to suggest products based on their purchase history would encourage them to shop in-store

Almost 30 percent know the store associates by name at the retailers they visit

“Our survey had some sobering findings that should keep executives of brick-and-mortar retailers up at night – the fact that nearly 90% of respondents shop at Amazon and that store associates are not meeting customer expectations,” said Ali Asaria, CEO of Tulip Retail. “But there’s also some really good news for retailers that our survey uncovered – knowledgeable store associates are valued by shoppers, and those empowered with mobile technology are delivering better shopping experiences. Bottom line, investing in store associates needs to be a high priority. With the right tools, they can become beacons of knowledge, trusted advisors and drive sales.”