• Casey Reagan

5 Ways to Improve Your Shoppers’ Customer Experience in Stores

While large investments have been made over the past several years in online, retailers are now realizing that they must also make technology investments in brick-and-mortar. Especially as internet stalwarts, such as Warby Parker, Bonobos, and Amazon, are all opening physical stores. Further, if you are reading this you probably already know that brick-and-mortar retail still accounts for over 80% of revenue. Stores are here to stay. But, that doesn’t mean you can breathe a sigh of relief.

What shoppers have come to expect from retail is shifting rapidly, as the shopper expects the conveniences/ease of digital shopping to manifest/be available in-stores. Therefore, here are some tips to help make sure you are providing the best experience for your customers.

1. Start With Your Associates

As the saying goes, “take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers.” Your front-line associates are the face of your brand. Invest in training and tools that allow them to be knowledgeable and confident to provide the best experience to your shoppers. Training should include not only product assortment, visuals, and brand, but also problem resolution. As part of the experience, associates should also be happy for customers when they make a purchase. It’s not just a dress, it’s a first date or anniversary, it’s not just a pair of running shoes, it’s the first step to accomplishing a goal.

2. Make Your Store Worth Visiting

Shoppers these days have many choices. Create a store experience that will keep shoppers coming back. This can include events such as signings or special appearances, product demos, or other training depending on your merchandise assortment. Stores such as Macy’s and New York and Company have both used real people in place of mannequins to create a unique experience. LEGO stores frequently have special build and take events and minifigure trading. REI offers guided adventures outside the store. Whatever you do, it should fit your brand.

3. Empower your Influencers

Shopping more often than not is emotional and shoppers may want to get input from others. Enable this in store. Encourage your shoppers to share with friends on social media. Include a selfie spot in your retail location with an attractive backdrop ideally with a brand/logo. Show customers the items which are the most shared. When shoppers see that others like them enjoy an item they want to be part of that. All the better when it is their friends or other real people and not paid celebrities.

4. Reduce Friction

Understand the shopping goals of your customers and make it easy for them to accomplish those goals. For example, 87% of fashion and apparel shoppers want to try things on. If you are in this area of retail, make the fitting experience the best part of your store. Are the rooms clean? Is there a way for shoppers to request additional sizes and colors or even see recommended items? Once shoppers know what they want can they quickly check out? Shoppers have become accustomed to the ease of online, but it still is not immediate. Maintain this advantage for your physical stores.

5. Bring the Digital into the Physical

Stores are not going away, but the expectation is changing. Modern shoppers are used to seeing product details and receive other product suggestions for products of interest. At the same time, these shoppers may not immediately want to talk to an associate. Providing a customer experience platform with a self-service interactive display that shoppers can use to get these details can deliver this experience and allow engagement with your staff at just the right moment. Further, the right solution is easy to access and get started, allowing even the newest employee to quickly be providing an excellent customer experience.

If you are looking for ways to improve the customer experience in your stores, I invite you to check out Perfit.