The retail shopping experience encompasses how customers encounter and interact with a company's store, product, and brand. However, with online shopping growing increasingly popular, it is harder for businesses to engage and communicate with their customers in person.
Retailers now have a large task of cultivating a personalized and unique in-store experience that customers cannot get online. By drawing attention and welcoming people into brick and mortar locations, businesses can foster strong customer relationships and build a loyal consumer base.
8 Tips to Enhance the Customer Shopping Experience
Developing a successful customer experience strategy requires an understanding of the company's products, customer demographic, and store layout. These 3 factors can help retailers identify how they can effectively connect with customers.
Companies can further improve their shopping experience by implementing these best practices.
1. Have Face-to-Face Interactions
In-store locations have the advantage of providing face-to-face customer service. Businesses should have friendly and knowledgeable staff available to help shoppers find exactly what they need and answer all of the questions they may have about the store.
Rather than having to depend on online reviews and product descriptions, people can go into a store and speak directly to an employee and ask for recommendations. These interactions will help build trust between customers and the company.
Additionally, people can experience the product themselves when shopping in a store. Depending on the goods that a business is selling, retailers should display samples of their products so that incoming shoppers can touch, feel, and test out the item before they make a purchase.
2. Regularly Update In-Store Displays
Having a unique store layout can draw customers' attention and create an exciting atmosphere for shoppers. Floor managers should regularly revamp their store displays so that consumers encounter new merchandise every time they come in.
To be cost-efficient, retailers can focus on showcasing new products and reorganizing window displays. Merchandise can be moved around the store to ensure that people discover different products.
3. Build a Community
Having a physical store gives retailers the advantage of bringing people who have the same interests together. Managers can use their store to build a community where people are encouraged to meet and experience the store's products together.
Businesses can do this by hosting events or creating an area where customers can sit and engage with the merchandise. Many Barnes and Noble locations, for example, have a Starbucks cafe inside their store. This enables shoppers to sit, have coffee, and enjoy their new books with other people.
4. Promote Product Building
Product building allows customers to create a personalized item in-store. This can be an enjoyable and interesting experience for shoppers as they can customize a unique product to their own liking.
The food chain Chipotle uses this concept, in which customers can come into the store, sample different add-ons to their order, and build a meal according to their liking.
5. Provide Service or Product Bundles
Since customers are already shopping in-store, retailers can enhance their experience by offering services or products related to their purchases.
For instance, a beauty retailer can provide customers with a facial to promote a new skincare line or offer makeovers to teach them how to use a product. By bundling services in this way, retailers can create a pleasant experience for customers, as well as advertise products and increase sales.
6. Make it Shareable on Social Media
Many consumers prefer experiences that they can document and share with their friends and family on social media. Retailers should set up their store in a way that is captivating and aesthetically pleasing to customers to encourage more foot traffic.
New restaurants and coffee shops can often be seen with Instagrammable walls that are adorned with decorations that catch people's attention, along with stylish tables, dining ware, and seating. This drives people to come and take pictures to share on their social media.
Not only do customers get to enjoy shopping in a unique setting, but retailers can also gain more online traction and maximize their customer base.
7. Take Care of Everyone in the Store
Oftentimes customers will come into the store with their friends, partners, and children. To ensure that all parties are comfortable and satisfied, retailers should set up areas for seating and relaxing.
Providing magazines or entertainment for younger children, such as paper and crayons, can allow the customer to calmly shop and not be pressured to leave.
8. Use Technology
Managers can set up large screens and play store-sponsored videos at the register or checkout counter to entertain customers waiting in line. This allows retailers to inform shoppers of any promotions or store updates.
Businesses should also utilize a modern point-of-sale (POS) system so that management can collect information about the customer's buying history, loyalty program profiles, and e-mails. This will allow retailers to send customized offers and discounts, which can drive customers to come back and experience the store another time.
By following these tips on creating an enjoyable and personalized shopping experience, businesses will be able to improve overall satisfaction and maintain customer loyalty.