Today’s consumers are highly inclined towards convenience. The retail industry has evolved over time and now offers omnichannel retailing for customers. E-commerce and online shopping are accelerating rapidly as it helps consumers with a greater variety and less hassle. But, in this world of doorstep deliveries and instant online transactions, why do consumers still support brick and mortar stores? The simple answer is “retail experience”.
Retail stores offer a personalized shopping experience, which most customers love. According to the Retail Trade Report released in December 2021 by The US Department of Commerce Retail Indicator Division, brick-and-mortar stores saw more growth compared to e-commerce for the first time. Physical stores displayed growth of 18.5% versus 14.2% for e-commerce. Considering the aggressive competition that the retail industry is experiencing, retailers must focus on what matters the most, delivering an outstanding in-store customer experience.
What Does In-Store Customer Experience Mean?
The in-store experience is what the customers feel right from the time they walk into your store, till the time they checkout. It is an opportunity for retailers to increase their brand awareness, as well as to showcase what their brand is all about. The in-store customer experience that you deliver is the deciding factor in whether or not your customers will return to your store.
A lot of factors go into building a great in-store experience, how well your customers are engaged, how efficient your in-house customer service is and how well you are able to create a seamless shopping journey for your customers.
Modern-day customers are well-aware of their buying choices and the products that they desire. The cut-throat competition in the retail industry has ensured that customers never run out of options. In this case, it is the in-store experience that keeps customers coming back to your store.
5 In-Store Experiences to Engage Your Customers Better
What is it that you can do in order to deliver a memorable shopping experience for your customers? Simply having a broad range of products is not enough. With the ever-evolving market, you must create a one-of-a-kind experience for your buyers.
Modern-day retail is highly digital and here’s how you can leverage digital technology to create seamless customer experiences:
1. Click & Collect
Several well-known brands across the world are going in for an omnichannel retail approach. This business model includes both an online shopping platform, as well as offline retail stores. If your business works on an omnichannel model, you can allow your customers to select their choice of products on your website and later pick them up from the store. This enables your customers to save time by skipping crowded stores and waiting in long payment queues. You can also direct offline customers to online channels using trackable and reusable dynamic QR codes for them to compare products and directly place orders for them to be delivered to their preferred locations. All you need to ensure is that your online and offline inventory is in sync.
2. Contactless Shopping
The major reason why consumers like online shopping is the sense of independence and autonomy that it offers. You can create this sense of autonomy in your stores by implementing self-service kiosks. Your digital kiosks can help your customers with product information, redeem discount coupons or even pre-ordering products that are soon to be in stock. With this, not only can you enable privacy for your customers, but also relieve your in-house staff from basic customer management chores. In the post-pandemic times where restrictions are lowered, but caution must still be taken, this creates a perfect contactless shopping experience for your buyers.
3. Easy Payments & Self Checkouts
There’s nothing that spoils a shopping experience more than waiting in checkout queues at the cash counter for hours. Several customers decide to back out just by looking at the payment queue. Here’s what you can do to reduce long wait times for your customers and lower the manual burden on your staff, also this is a smart way to handle difficult customers. You can adopt mPOS systems for your retail store which allows customers to make payments from anywhere within your store. Managing mPOS systems is very easy, especially if you have Mobile Device Management (MDM) software in place, and you can also keep a systematic track of your daily payments with it.
4. Immersive Experiences
Most retailers struggle to capture their customers’ attention. Creating immersive experiences is not complicated anymore thanks to the tonnes of digital technology. You can install and easily manage digital signages to advertise your brand, product catalog, discount offers, display a map of your store and much more. Several retailers have already adopted this tactic to grab the attention of their potential customers.
5. Feedback, Reviews & Surveys
The best way to ensure the quality of your products and customer service is to gather periodic customer feedback. Implementing digital feedback booths can help you to simplify and speed up the process of collecting feedback and suggestions. You can install these feedback kiosks at multiple locations in your store. You can use this data to analyze buying behavior, likes and dislikes of your customers. You can also conduct surveys based on your new product range to estimate the market and your customers’ reactions.
The truth is that several carefully curated factors come together to create a seamless retail experience. Your products have very little to contribute here since the numbers of brands that are competing with you with similar products are probably countless. You can use modern-day digital technology to your favor and focus on creating unforgettable shopping experiences for your customers. Picking the right technology for your store and implementing them at the right places is half the battle won.
Shambhavi is a Senior Content Writer at Promobi Technologies with prior experience in commercial writing, creative planning, product cataloging, and content strategizing. She is a "Biotechnologist turned writer" and believes that the inception of great ideas happens over coffee.
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