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Virtual Appointments Are the Future of Retail, Survey Finds

Sam Osbourne
by Sam Osbourne

During the pandemic, it was necessary for enterprise retailers and banks to adopt new initiatives to keep customers on side. From the rise of drive-through contactless pickup to Buy Online, Pick-Up In-Store (BOPIS) services, customers were spoiled for choice. Yet one initiative above all the others stands out: the virtual appointment. 

Arising out of the retailer’s need to connect with health conscious customers in a socially distanced way, demand for virtual services is still high post-covid. As such, we’re certain virtual services will be a key part of your omnichannel retail offering in the future. 

Cartoon of a store associate video chatting with a customer during a virtual appointment

7 statistics proving virtual appointments are the future of retail

The business intelligence insights we provide to our customers highlight some interesting data regarding the rise in virtual service appointment booking. We can see distinct patterns in customer data that shows just how red-hot virtual appointments are.

Take a look at the 7 key statistics that struck us when we took a deeper look at our database. 

1. Virtual and in-store appointment bookings are on the rise

Our clients have seen a steady increase in virtual and in-store appointment bookings across the board in the past 12 months. If that’s not proof appointment services are here to stay, we don’t know what is. 

2. Virtual appointment bookings have increased by 31% on average month on month 

That’s right, bookings for virtual appointments have increased by an average of 31% every month for the past six months. When we talk about the virtual service revolution in retail, we really are putting the emphasis on revolution

3. Virtual appointment bookings have increased across retail 

Fashion. Banking. Pharmacy. Grocery. Department store. Toy. Travel. Demand for virtual appointment scheduling software is growing across every retail industry you can think of. 

Consequently, you can safely assume that deploying a virtual service software will boost your online sales–regardless of which retail industry you’re in. 

 

4. US demand for virtual appointments is twice as high as UK demand 

Interestingly, Americans are twice as likely to schedule virtual appointments than their British counterparts. 

However, there’s by no means a virtual appointment demand deficit among Brits. British retailers and banks are still enjoying enormous virtual service uptake. 

Ultimately, this statistic speaks more to just how much Americans love virtual services. 

 

5. Virtual appointments trigger fewer no shows than in-store appointments

This statistic is slightly more complicated than it seems at first glance so stay with us for a moment. 

Overall, more customers have canceled virtual appointments than in-store appointments. However, virtual services typically encounter fewer no-shows than in-store appointments.

As a result, by deploying virtual services, you’re effectively safeguarding your store associates’ time.

 

6. Banks experience fewer cancellations across virtual services 

Online banking is incredibly popular right now. As such, it’s no surprise that virtual appointment customers are less likely to cancel or fail to show up for their meetings than their in-store appointment counterparts. 

Going forward, enterprise-sized banks and financial institutions should use virtual appointment services to ensure their store associates use their time optimally. 

 

7. Virtual appointments are more popular than in-branch appointments in banking

As of July 2021, virtual appointment bookings in banking have overtaken in-store appointments. 

Cartoon of a customer video chatting with a fashion advisor showing a handbag on her desktop during a virtual appointment

Virtual services are here for the long-term

Now you’ve had time to digest the data, we think it’s fair to say that virtual appointments aren’t a fad. Nor are they in vogue, trending or enjoying their hay day. 

We believe the numbers are telling us something far more significant–that virtual services are a permanent fixture in retail and banking. 

 

If you’d like to find out more about appointment scheduling softwares, why not check out our Virtual Service Revolution infographics for Banking and Retail

 

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Latest consumer survey report

Our latest consumer survey report shows which types of retail stores and banks customers want to be able to schedule appointments within…

Recent consumer survey report

Our recent consumer survey report shows how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits and which habits will be here to stay…

Upcoming Webinar

Our Upcoming Webinar will present consumer insights on how the pandemic has changed consumer shopping habits. Sign-up below for Tuesday October 12th (2pm ET | 11am PT).