From a sales perspective, the only question I can’t help with is the question I never hear about. Marketers and sales people lose sleep at night thinking about customers that walk away with a wrong impression or misunderstanding.
At the end of the day, a store exists to make a sale or provide a service. When you step inside, they figure you’re there for one thing only. When making that sale is the most important thing, it’s easy to translate into overly aggressive salespeople. A used car salesman is paid based on getting you into a car. If they let you wander and you go to a different salesperson, their weekly check just got smaller. That’s why you get the lurking sales people in a lot of stores.
The reality is if you feel overly helped, they’re probably doing it wrong. Really good customer service reps or sales people can lead you through a process without making it feel like they’re taking you through a process. But that requires a lot of training and knowledge about what they’re doing.
Either way, we’ll end up with the fully automated stores pretty soon.