Creating a Unique Retail Experience to Increase Sales
Online retail has dramatically impacted brick-and-mortar stores, leaving many traditional retailers struggling to find new ways to attract buyers. One strategy gaining popularity is to create a unique buying experience for the customer, something that will make the retailer shine among its competitors.
This strategy has caught the attention of high-end retailers who seek to attract buyers in various ways, including customized promotions, lavishly remodeled stores, and specialty fashion and diet options to fit many different lifestyle choices. And this strategy appears to be working: Consumers, especially Millennials, have embraced buying experiences over simply purchasing a product.
In a recent survey, 1,920 business professionals were asked about their top priorities for the next 5 years. Over 45% chose customer experience, beating product and pricing for the third time. And for good reason. Recent omnichannel statistics also show that 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience, up to 13% for luxury and indulgence services!
What does a great retail experience look like? It starts with offering a superior buying experience, with knowledgeable staff providing personalized service, comfortable surroundings, and easily navigable aisles.
Read on for additional steps stores are taking to improve their customer experience to enhance customer engagement and increase sales.
Enhance the customer experience at ALL your sales channels
Savvy retailers know that omnichannel helps to increase sales. Using three or more channels can increase orders by nearly 5 times, and half of all shoppers look at products online before they buy them in-store.
By enhancing the omnichannel retail experience, companies can build a community around their brand. Fun and unique opportunities for customers to interact with the brand help improve the customer experience.
For in-person stores, this includes providing makeovers for clients, custom fittings, in-store demonstrations, and bringing in celebrities that appeal to the store’s target customers. This makes going to the store a memorable event, a destination where people are excited to go.
Online stores can offer creative interactions as well. Furniture stores provide online images of how their furniture will look in your room. Fashion stores offer ways to see color and style selections in various settings. Cosmetic company L’Oréal offers virtual makeup sessions and personalized beauty tips to its online visitors.
The point is to keep the customer engaged across all your channels.
Personalize the experience
Part of building a rich customer experience is being familiar with individual tastes and buying habits. Retailers are investing in software that helps them build trust with their customers by offering personalized products and service suggestions that appeal uniquely to them. This also helps with upselling and cross-selling opportunities.
While you’re at it, be sure to consider a personalized customer loyalty program. Once customers trust your recommendations, encourage loyalty through special offers, extra hours, and deals on their favorite products.
Another trend is to reduce the size of the shopping area of the store. A smaller space makes it faster and easier to navigate with less energy. As customers walk the aisles, they find a variety of products grouped to show how they are used in particular lifestyle situations. Rather than an exhaustive display of similar products on shelves, customers can see item selections in a way that customers can relate to them.
Combining products with related services
Many retailers have learned that combining products with services has helped them extend their brand and increase sales. Electronics stores, furniture stores, and flooring stores offer assembly and installation services for their products. Home improvement and countertop stores offer design help when purchasing cabinets and countertops to ensure you select the correct elements and that they will work in your design space.
Stay engaged, capture data, and be ready to pivot
Focusing on providing a unique and engaging customer experience is becoming the new business model for many retailers, and they are reaping the rewards of their efforts.
These retailers provide unique and innovative experiences for their customers through each of their channels. Every touchpoint with the customer is another opportunity to capture data about their buying behavior. This data is vital to remain connected with your customers. And if the data shows a particular initiative does not work, be prepared to pivot to a new idea.
If you need assistance supporting your omnichannel strategy with technology, ArcherPoint can help. Contact us today.