Three ways to enhance the customer experience in your stores
Despite the impressive growth of e-commerce over the last 10 years, most retail transactions worldwide are still done in-store.
But if brick-and-mortar shops have not been eclipsed by an increasing volume of online and mobile orders, new technology and best-in-class retailers have raised the bar for all brands when it comes to meeting increased customer expectations.
Shoppers today are better informed and more discerning than ever. They can compare products, ratings, availability and delivery times from their smartphone or the comfort of their home. When they visit a store, they expect a sales associate to know as much as they do about the product they want to buy, and to assist them as seamlessly and effectively as purchasing online would be.
As a retailer, how can you transform your stores to address these critical changes in consumer behavior, stay relevant, and maximise your sales? Here are three tips to get started:
Tip 1 – Leverage technology to reduce friction and enhance the customer experience
One of the priorities to deliver good customer experience is still to focus on reducing shopper frustration. Nobody wants to go to a store to try out an item they saw online to discover that it is not in stock, to quickly pick up the products they want during their lunchtime break and have to queue at the till, or to miss out on a promotion they saw on social media but that is not available in-store. The use of mobile tools and payment terminals can eliminate lines at the counter and free valuable in-store real estate. Connected sales associates can now take payments, accept returns, issue credits, and process refunds from mobile tablets and smartphones, to offer shoppers a frictionless experience in-store and address the needs of customers who are on the go.
Tip 2 – Master clienteling to offer highly personalised service in-store
Sales associates today are not only expected to have a thorough knowledge of the brand, and the services and products it offers, but to know the customer’s purchase history, the products they like and price range they usually purchase at, as well as their loyalty status and preferred form of delivery and payment. The solution to developing stronger relationships with shoppers in-store is clienteling, and connected sales associates play a key role in it. With a tablet or mobile app that displays centralised information available on each customer they interact with, sales associates can now access insights on their preferences, objectives, and needs to tailor their approach.
Tip 3 – Elevate the store to a brand experience destination
Modern stores are now connected ecosystems and they are transforming to offer more valuable, seamless and personalised shopping experiences to customers as well as sought-after omnichannel services like click-and-collect and in-store returns. Because of this, shoppers have an incentive to visit stores even if they also shop online, and this offers a fantastic opportunity to strengthen the brand-customer relationship at each visit. To this end, retailers must take full advantage of these spaces to offer immersive brand experiences. By optimising the layout and design of the stores, their décor and lighting, they can fashion a look and feel that conveys the personality of the brand. They can also organise in-store events to showcase their products as part of engaging experiences like makeup tutorials, book launches, or fitness classes to transform stores into lifestyle destinations and foster both customer engagement and brand loyalty.
Modern shoppers expect the ability to purchase products anytime, anywhere, irrespective of the sales channel, so retailers must make every effort to give customers the products they want at the right place, the right moment, and the right price. But a truly satisfying shopping experience caters to the customers’ needs before, during and after making a purchase. Anticipating their preferences and meeting their expectations all along their shopping journey, which should be as seamless and personalised as possible, is the best way to capture every sales opportunity.
The store plays a key role in this transformation of retail and there are many ways to leverage them for success. To find out how to deliver enhanced shopping experiences in-store, download your copy of The Store Reinvented for Unified Commerce.
This guide will give you expert tips and best practices to:
- Implement sought-after omnichannel services in-store.
- Optimise product traceability, availability and delivery.
- Leverage customer data for personalised interactions.
- Harness connected mobile tools for frictionless shopping.
- Transform your sales associates into brand ambassadors.
- Build customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Learn how to transform your stores and empower your sales associates to offer best-in-class shopping experiences in-store and never miss a sale!