The In-Store Shopping Experience That Will Get More Customers
If you ask customers about their best service experience, they'll remember how the staff helped them to solve a problem or how politely and clearly they provided the necessary information. But subconsciously, customers remember the buying process where they felt happy.
Look at examples of the great customer experience of global brands. Companies such as Apple, Starbucks, Costco, and many others have long been practicing the highest level of customer service. They show their customers how much they appreciate them, and know their needs, care, and help. And this best customer experience is provided by five components. That is what the customers get - a useful and convenient, friendly, polite, and memorable experience, that fulfills needs, and saves time.
So, the Starbucks barista always smiles when greeting the customer, asks for the name, and writes it down on the order. Costco shows its loyalty to customers with a return policy. Thus, customers can return almost anything they have purchased at any time.
The U.S. retail chain Target is known for its great customer experience in stores through technology. Customers who use the Target app receive assistance in choosing products. The app is connected to the customer's account, so it can offer personalized or promotional recommendations.
What do customers expect most from in-store shopping?
Emotions. A feeling of happiness. Even those who usually buy online. According to research, 26% of online shoppers say they are interested in making a purchase in a physical store after a positive online customer service experience.
In fact, about 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. Buyers become loyal, focusing not much on prices, but on the experience they get. Happy customers mean brand loyalty, increased recognition, and future recommendations to family and friends.
The Essential Components of Great Customer Service
Wide Assortment and Merchandising
A wide range of goods in the store will meet the needs of different customer segments. Attractive merchandising and a well-thought-out layout of the sales area will attract customers' attention and increase sales. To do this, a retailer must pay attention to effective merchandising. By setting up a whole planogramming process, you'll ensure high-quality in-store merchandising and quickly manage all processes.
The goal is to get customers around the entire sales floor through proper planning and merchandising. It's important to design the customer's path in the store from the entrance to the checkout in advance and to eliminate all possible obstacles. Ask yourself if customers notice signages when they enter the store. Do they help the customer find what they are seeking in the store? Can you direct the customer to the right areas of the store? Think over the answers and consider what else you can do to get customers' attention.
Make every effort to ensure that the customer journey is exciting from the moment they enter the store until they make their purchase. Customers should feel the atmosphere of the store, see, touch, examine products and choose what they are looking for.
Organize cross-merchandising by offering customers additional products next to the main ones. Customers may not buy an additional product, but they will know exactly where they can find such a choice and will definitely buy when the need arises.
The Atmosphere in the Store
Shopping should be fun. Every detail matters, every single element, and the overall atmosphere. Colors, store design, music, lighting, ease of movement between rows, on-shelf availability of goods - everything should attract the attention of customers.
At the same time, reduce customer anxiety by using soft lighting or cool color palettes. Consider using scented air fresheners to create a special mood. Take care of the music in the store to reduce stress and promote positive vibes.
Keep in mind, if you have a chain of stores, the shopping experience should be the same across all stores in the chain and recognizable to your customers. Buyers should feel that they are at your place and not at the competitors.
The customer's direct interaction with the store is the store's service. Create an atmosphere of trust. This will be the foundation of a long-term relationship between the seller and the customer. To do this, research your customers' needs, expectations, budgets, and typical shopping times in order to create targeted offers for your buyers.
The Best Ways to Improve Customer Experience in a Store
Pay Attention to Staff Training
In-store staff is the intermediaries between the retailer and the customer. And, the brand conveys through them the company's values, attitude toward customers and shows the highest customer service.
The customer expectation is to get qualified advice, respect, and help. Therefore, make sure that employees know the assortment and its benefits, are familiar with promotional offers in detail and know the sales techniques. Regular staff training and a system of rewards increase motivation and interest in work. This improves labor productivity, which stimulates sales and increases profits.
Customers appreciate being offered products based on preferences and real needs. This provides personalization, is memorable, and leads to higher sales and even greater loyalty to the store.
Discounts in the Store
Receiving a coupon, offering a discount or free product samples makes customers feel special. Offer rewards and discounts to loyal customers. This is a great way to increase customer experience and loyalty.
Analyze Customer Service
Explore if customers are happy with the in-store service through various surveys after a customer makes a purchase. Find mistakes, problems, and weaknesses in the customer-store interaction in time, and solve them quickly. The retailer who finds out customers' expectations, can choose the right strategy to improve the quality of customer service. Retail chains often monitor the service standards with secret shoppers.
Use Modern Technologies
Complete your stores with an online version with the ability to order online and pick up in-store. Take care of the brand's social media presence. Educate customers through posts, articles, videos, tips, and information about new products. Think of these steps as just another selling technique. Please communicate with your customers, answer their questions, and help them solve every little problem.
Automate business processes throughout the chain stores using special programs and solutions. Save time with data analysis tools. Track sales dynamics, and analyze the effectiveness of the assortment, marketing campaigns, and supplier reliability using the Datawiz BES platform. These are opportunities for retailers to make important decisions based on real data and monitor store performance.
Creating a great in-store customer experience is one of the important tasks for retailers. This can be done in a number of ways, from high-quality customer service to using technology to streamline in-store processes. This will ensure the retailer's success and competitiveness in the future.
Superior customer service in stores has an impact on sales. A great customer experience is crucial to business success. Take care of your customers, solve their problems, and help them during the shopping process and after they make a purchase.
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