Retailers are beginning to realize that investing in the customer’s experience is more important than ever, considering all the ways that we can shop without leaving our home. Getting customers into the store is harder than ever with all the online and delivery options at their disposal, so the time to invest in their shopping experience is now. The ways that retailers are succeeding at this all focus on personalizing the shopping experience.
The main advantage that online retailers have over traditional brick and mortar stores is convenience. With that in mind, both large and small retailers are ramping up their online efforts – if you can’t beat them, join them. However, their physical locations can pose a threat to online sellers if they have the right strategy.
Customers that enter a physical store should be rewarded with an exciting experience, and taking steps to “tailor” each customer’s experience can be done by embracing the exciting technology that has affected us in so many ways. Store owners are exploring beacons and how they can personalize each shopper’s time in a store. High-tech displays and trendy designs can make customers feel as if they’ve stepped into the future. Advancements in POS systems can make the actual buying process much more fluid and cohesive with the rest of the experience.
While a unique experience can generate interest and foot traffic in your stores, you want customers to be engaged. Some technologies previously mentioned, like beacons and interactive displays, can engage customers and keep them interested while they are inside the store, but can’t really do much while they are not in the store at that moment. Social media can be a very powerful tool for retailers. Staying connected with customers 24/7 is a way to level the playing field with online sellers. While they both have the ability to engage with customers through various social media platforms, retail store owners are the ones who actually have a physical location to attract customers towards. This presents unique opportunities for special promotions and events.
Any time you implement new engagement strategies or cutting edge technologies into your store, customers are going to have opinions. No matter if the consensus is positive or negative, you should be prepared to embrace customers’ feedback. This can be a tremendous way to analyze trends and better understand the people that are shopping in your stores. Surveys can be sent out via social media to your (hopefully) engaged followers that can also return some very valuable data. Keep their thoughts and suggestions in mind, as a customer who feels appreciated is more likely to not only frequent your establishment, but also spread positive word of mouth to others.
As the popular phrase goes, “You just had to be there.” Make sure your customers are echoing that sentiment in regards to the experience you are providing them every time they shop with you.