The world of retail as we know it is definitely taking some turns. With newer technology on the rise, customers expect that stores are keeping up with what they want, and that means an outstanding shopping experience. Although there has been a boom in e-commerce, people still enjoy the experience of shopping in stores. For this reason, you must ensure you have the following elements in your business plan.
- Personalized customer service
A customer will choose to shop in the store so that they can get the in-person service that they can’t always get online. Most customers feel that personalized service from a sales associate is an important factor when determining where to shop. Make sure your salespeople are well trained in customer service and are focused on giving the customer an outstanding shopping experience.
- An integrated online and offline experience
Consumers want a consistent experience across all shopping channels, so you have to integrate both your online and offline stores! For example, consumers want to be able to purchase something online and pick it up in the store, or even to buy products online and return them in the physical store. Most retailers don’t have this “pick up in store” option, so the ones that do really stand out to customers. If you have both e-commerce and a physical store, make sure your brand feels the same online and offline, and maybe even look into adding a click-and-collect to your store, as this will help improve customer perception of your brand.
- The use of technology
As technology becomes more widely used in our daily lives, retail stores are starting to take advantage of its many uses. Some stores have started to give their salespeople tablets and mobile devices to check out customers on the spot without them having to wait in line, which also allows for more interaction between the salespeople and the customers. This allows for a much better shopping experience as well.
- Loyalty rewards
Loyalty rewards are a great way to get returning customers. Shoppers love any deal they can get, so starting a loyalty program is a great way to incentivize them to continue purchasing from you. The more they buy, the more points they get, which usually leads to a free product or other special deal (and what avid shopper doesn’t want that?!). Once you collect your customers’ email addresses, you should also frequently alert them of deals and send them coupons. Most customers expect to receive mobile offers and coupons, and promotions are often a large factor in determining where people shop. To go even further, you could offer them invitations to special events, early access to new products, and other perks to keep them loyal customers.
- Store Financing
Most young shoppers these days don’t have credit cards, so these shoppers often choose to not buy a product if they don’t have enough money for it at that time, and you lose out on a sale. To solve this issue, you could offer financing that breaks up payments into smaller amounts. This allows them to pay off the item slowly, but they still get it right away. Your younger shoppers or those who are cash-strapped will definitely thank you for this.
Customers can seem hard to please sometimes, but implementing these five aspects into your business will definitely improve their experience and perception of your brand. It’s all about keeping up with their ever-changing wants and needs, but the more you focus your business on the customer, the better off you’ll be!