Wireless customers are returning to stores, JD Power survey finds

There was a notable uptick in the percentage of wireless customers who were making their purchases in stores during the second half of the 2021, according to a new survey from J.D. Power.

The last two installments of the J.D. Power study of wireless purchase experience have shown more customers going in-store for purchases; the newest one, released today, shows 35% of wireless customers are purchasing in-store, up 6% from the same time a year ago.

While there has been a massive shift toward online shopping and purchases during the Covid-19 pandemic, J.D. Power says that customers who shop in-store express greater satisfaction with cost and promotions, as well as higher rates of completing a purchase during their first interaction.

“The method chosen for the wireless product purchase does make a difference in overall purchase experience satisfaction and the store is a more personal channel that can have a great impact on this,” said Ian Greenblatt, managing director at J.D. Power. “In-person store experience allows customers to receive more attention, further explanation of charges and promotions while also elevating purchase experience satisfaction and customer perceptions of their carrier.”

The survey is based on responses from nearly 10,000 customers who used one of four purchase channels (phone calls, visiting a carrier store, visiting a carrier website, or using a carrier mobile app) and evaluate their experience. The survey process took place from July-December 2021.

Retail support specialist IQMetrix has said that prior to the pandemic, wireless operators relied less on online sales and support than other industries. Pandemic-related short-term store shutdowns as well as permanent closures of stores have resulted in wireless customers being pushed into using online shopping and ordering. In early 2020, IQMetrix predicted that the pandemic would result in more wireless customer interactions being pushed online.

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