5 Ways to Improve Your In-Store Customer Experience
You did it! You managed to accomplish one of the more challenging parts of owning a retail business - you got the customer in the door! But, now that they are in the store, what can you do to engage them further and encourage them to not only make a purchase today but also want to come back in the future?
1. Start with Your Employees
The customer experience is heavily shaped by what is going on behind the scenes. If your employees are happy, it will reflect in the quality of their work. One way to ensure that employees are engaged with customers and feel knowledgeable is to arm them with the proper training and materials that they need to give a quality experience to your customers.
From the moment your customer enters your retail space, employees need to be engaged and welcoming. Being well-dressed and when possible, representing the brand with a branded name tag or uniform is also something to consider. A disengaged employee may make a customer feel undervalued and potentially angry. Thorough retail sales training will teach your employees how to be engaged with customers in a way that complements and enhances their shopping experience.
2. Offer a Unique Experience Through a Branded Environment
Creating brand recognition is incredibly important for any retail business and one way to do this is through signage that shows your brand message. There are many options for retail businesses to leverage signage within their store including digital signs that display promotions or marketing material, graphics that display brand logos and messaging, or directional signage that lets users know where to find specific items in the store.
Quality customer experiences go beyond the personal interactions your team has with the customer. In order to decrease frustration, customers should be able to find what they are looking for easily because your store is well designed and clearly marked. Large retail stores may opt for floor decals that display the department, for example, “women’s” or “men’s” clothing departments. Floor decals can be customized for your business and when the time comes, they can be removed. Other stores may label each aisle using signs that hang from the ceiling or signs that are strategically placed at the top on the side of endcaps. All of these options can be customized according to your branding.
3. Make Effective Use of POP Display Signs
The point of purchase is a great area to showcase promotional products, flash sales, or final sale items. Additionally, POP displays are also a great way to share your business’s social media accounts and to share the value of subscribing to your newsletter or rewards club. Retail businesses that want to create brand recognition should encourage customers to connect with them digitally to be first the first to know about new information such as expansions or annual sales.
Digital signage has become increasingly popular as POP displays for retail stores because they can be updated relatively easily. Marketing videos of the products in use are being displayed behind checkout to pique customer interest further with the product.
4. Host Events in Your Store and Build Community
Fostering a healthy community around your brand can turn customers into brand advocates. Businesses that invite the community to their retail space for a special evening of networking will be considered leaders in their space and community. Are you a local market that offers curated culinary products for at-home chefs? Look for local food bloggers that might be interested in hosting a free cooking lesson to other influencers in the area. Or, are you a retail space that sells clothing and accessories? Host quarterly fashion shows of your latest shipments to increase interest and social media presence.
Promotion of your community events can be through signage sprinkled throughout your store, sidewalk signs, window graphics, outdoor banners, or even via email marketing and social media. If you want to build an interest in your events, you really need to advertise them. Consider offering a discount to those who attend the event and make a purchase that day.
5. Reward Your Regulars
Customers that love your brand will tell their friends and family about your products and services. Reward them by offering a rewards program or special discounts for subscribing to your email list. A common discount is 10% off your first order for sharing your email with the business. Reward programs are easy to implement now and require just a little bit of information from the customer (i.e., phone number, name, and email address). How you calculate rewards can vary on the type of business you have. Some brands offer a discount once a customer reaches a certain amount of money spent. Or you could provide a discount based on the number of visits the customer makes to your store. A regular customer is one that should be nurtured and taken care of because their loyalty will likely gain you more business.
In the current marketplace, most retailers are having concerns about the expansion of digital brands. In order to stand out and bring the customer experience back to retail, brands need to think of the customer first and their brand second. By offering a quality experience from the minute the customer enters the door and a modern marketing strategy, your business will thrive amongst the digital noise.