For brick-and-mortar retailers, providing quality products at a fair price is no longer enough in a world where consumers can buy most products online. To compete and thrive in today’s climate, retailers must create an in-store experience for customers that leaves a positive impression and encourages them to keep coming back. Putting together a retail customer experience strategy may not be as simple as it sounds. It will take some investment and will need to be tailored to a specific business. While all of these may not apply to your specific business, here are some ideas to develop a retail customer experience strategy that can help keep your retail store competitive.
Expedite Checkout For Great Retail Customer Experience
One of the best things any retailer can do for the customer experience is to make the checkout process as quick and painless as possible. As soon as a customer is ready to make a purchase, make sure they can make that purchase and get out of the store as quickly as possible. Few things leave a lasting negative impression of a business better than making someone wait to complete their purchase.
Modern consumers may not even stick around and wait, causing retailers to lose sales altogether. Fortunately, there are several ways that retailers can reduce long lines and expedite the checkout experience, for example, by investing in smart checkout scales. All of these options should at least be considered because if customers don’t have to stand around and wait, they are more likely to have a positive experience.
One example of how to expedite the checkout process is by adopting smart carts. While they may look like traditional shopping carts, modern smart carts can do so much more. They can weigh products, identify products, and even allow customers to checkout without having to go through a traditional checkout line where they have to unload and reload everything in their cart. While not appropriate for every environment or every customer, smart carts will undoubtedly give customers who use them a better experience that helps them to get their shopping done more efficiently.
Product Testing to Secure Successful Retail Customer Experience
Testing out products is one thing that consumers can’t do when shopping online. Therefore, brick-and-mortar retailers need to take advantage of this key differentiator between them and online retailers. Set aside space within a store for customers to use and test out products before they buy them. This allows them to know ahead of time that they are getting exactly what they want and will be satisfied with the purchase. This will help to prevent costly returns and improve retail customer satisfaction. It also helps to give customers an in-store experience that goes beyond looking at products and reading descriptions. Surely, they will notice and appreciate how this differs from online retailers.
Offering a loyalty program has become a common practice for retailers these days. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, including customer experience. Customers enjoy being able to track their progress within the loyalty program while making in-store experiences. They also like being offered discounts or free items while making purchases because they participated in the loyalty program. The trick is tying in rewards to making in-store purchases, which allows loyalty program participation to become a part of the retail customer experience.
Retailers can’t forget that part of the shopping experience for customers is seeing the products that are being highlighted as part of sales and promotions. This is how retailers can push customers toward certain products that they might want while also letting customers know how they can get a great deal. With in-store tools like a scale-up bay, it can be easier to put together special promotions and monitor their success. With this type of setup, you can promote products more effectively while showing customers how they can save money or score a great deal, which improves the overall shopping experience from their perspective.
Create a Social Retail Customer Experience
While some people may view shopping as a solitary activity, it’s always more enjoyable when there is a social aspect to it. Therefore, the goal of any retailer is to make shopping more of a social activity. This can mean creating events in a retail store that drive people there without necessarily needing to buy anything.
This is a way to provide a service and an experience that goes beyond selling items. Think of it as a way to help people socialize with other people who have similar interests and hobbies, specifically when those interests and hobbies align with your products. These types of events can give consumers a positive experience that took place in your store, encouraging them to come back.
Emphasize Customer Service
It’s essential not to overlook the role employees play in providing the best retail customer experience. Employees need to understand that it’s their job to go above and beyond expectations when interacting with customers. This means having a vision, setting standards for customer service, and making sure employees have the proper training to meet those standards
Obviously, they need to have the right attitude and approach when it comes to interacting with customers. But they also need to have the tools and know-how to help customers in any situation. No retail store can allow a customer to leave feeling as if their employees didn’t do all they possibly could to help. If so, there is no way that the customer had a positive experience and will leave with a positive impression of the store.
Always Ask for Feedback
Strategically, one of the best ways to improve the retail customer experience is to ask for feedback. This can be done through surveys, email follow-up, and other methods. No matter how you gather information, make sure you’re getting feedback from your customers. It’s important to know how consumers feel about your products, the checkout process, and their overall experience in the store.
Make sure you are taking this feedback to heart and looking for trends and commonalities within the feedback. Keep in mind that the customer is always right, especially when it comes to what they experienced while in your store. This can be one of the best ways to find and address shortcomings in the retail customer experience.
Curious about our cutting-edge retail solutions and their potential to elevate your retail customer experiences? Ensure your business stays ahead by exploring our array of retail technology solutions now.