According to a report from the United States Census Bureau, “Brick-and-mortar sales rose from $2985 billion in 2016 to $3043 billion in 2017, a two percent increase”. This report debunks the myth that only online stores are growing. Nevertheless, most stores do not bother about giving their customers the best retail shopping experience possible.
In this era of online shopping, where consumers can sit in the comfort of their living room to buy products, brick and mortar retailers need to up their game. They need to start offering retail customer experiences that can’t be gotten online. If first-time customers get a worthwhile shopping experience, they’re more likely to become regulars at your store.
So how do you provide the best retail shopping experience possible?
Here are several tips that will keep customers coming back to your retail store.
1. Create A Unique Customer Experience
Every customer wants a unique and engaging experience. Look for ways to impress them in a unique way. If a customer spends quality time in your store, use that time to win their heart; Make it captivating. Scrutinize the shopping experience of your customers and find a way to introduce a unique experience to your retail store. It could be the way your customers relate with your products. Find something your customers can relate to personally.
2. Cut Down Long Lines
In today’s on-the-move society, no one wants to be stuck waiting in long lines. Reducing the wait-time helps keep your shoppers happy. It also decreases the chance that they leave your retail store frustrated without buying anything.
Utilizing a POS system can help solve the problem of long lines. A POS system is fast and simple. It will help fast track checkouts. Some POS systems can even allow for self-checkout functions.
Apart from these 2 advantages, POS systems offer better marketing, enhanced customer service and reporting tools that can help you provide the best retail shopping experience for your customers.
3. Train Your Employees
Apart from investing in the appearance of your store and the technologies in it, make sure you invest in your staff as well. The success of your brand is directly proportional to how much knowledge your employees have.
Staff behavior is very important in brick and mortar stores. Teach your staff the best way to engage with customers. Let them know that being active listeners, being honest and building a client-customer relationship is much more important than just selling a product.
Trust is essential to building a good relationship. If your customer trusts you, they will return to your store again and even make referrals for you.
4. Cater to the “co-shoppers”
Remember, you should also cater for the co-shoppers. The co-shoppers include husbands, wives, boyfriends, and girlfriends of your actual customers. Kids are also co-shoppers. They can influence the buyer’s decision in making a purchase or not.
Make sure your retail store is comfortable to walk in. Set up comfort stations for the co-shoppers. Comfort stations could comprise of a few comfortable chairs, TV or magazines that would make them want to stay longer. The goal is to create a relaxed atmosphere for co-shoppers and this equates to higher sales per visit.
For the kids, provide activities that will keep them occupied so that their parents can shop with peace of mind. It might seem trivial but it will go a long way in increasing sales.
5. Engage the senses
A unique advantage of brick-and-mortar stores over an online store is the buying experience. Not only do customers see what they want to buy, they can see and touch the products as well. It is up to you to make it easy for your customers to feel and connect with your products. Your store should have a pleasant aroma and the right kind of music.
You do not want to bore your customers or chase them out of the store. Hence the right music is very important. Play upbeat and fun music that matches the atmosphere of your store. This can encourage customers to spend more time at your store.
Have a lovely playlist that your customers can relate with. The right soundtrack can create the perfect mood and retail customer experience in a store as well as create a brand culture. Just make sure the music isn’t too loud or explicit, you don’t want to offend anyone.
6. Embrace technology
Technology is very important for survival in today’s world. Just because you own a traditional brick and mortar store, doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the internet. You will be shooting yourself in the leg if you fail to do so.
Create accounts on different social media channels. You can use this to communicate with your customers easily. You can also put your store on Google maps, and small businesses locators. This will make it very easy for people to find your retail store.
You can also set up an online ecommerce store to complement your retail store. It is the perfect way to grow your business. Even with this, you have a lot of advantages over other online retailers. One being that your existing retail store customers can also patronize your online store.
Another one is that syncing your online and offline business together can offer customer advantages like same day delivery and in-store pick up.
An online and real world presence is perfect. It makes it easier for new customers to locate you and old customers to keep buying even if they can’t make it in the store.
That being said, there is no one perfect way to improve your retail shopping experience. These are simply ideas that work for most business. Brainstorm on your own and ask customers what they love about your store and what can make it better. They know what they like. Building on these steps can set you on your way to creating the best retail shopping experience ever.