How to Create the Ultimate Shopper Experience
As consumer demands become greater and customer loyalty gets harder to earn, it becomes more and more important for brands to enhance their in-store marketing to attract customers and offer them a fantastic experience. Here are a handful of ways to create the ultimate shopper experience.
Deliver rich shopper experiences
Consumers are showing increasingly high expectations when it comes to shopping. The overwhelming industry research in retail last year focused on the increasing importance of offering experiential shopping to appeal to customers’ senses. This builds a positive and memorable experience, building brand loyalty to help brands to thrive in the future.
By creating immersive experiences, retailers can drive people to their stores, ensuring they leave with both products and great memories.
An example of a successful shopper marketing tactic is what Ralph Lauren did to change the experience of trying on clothes. They transformed the changing room experience by adding interactive touch-screen mirrors. While trying on items, shoppers can browse a real-time store inventory and even control light settings, going from Fifth Ave daylight, through to Evening at the Polo Bar.
Hunter’s flagship store in Japan also did a great job, by designing the store to appeal to the senses with huge digital displays of imaginary forests, alongside sounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms.
Stores should be set up for a seamless and enjoyable experience, with carefully curated signage and information, irresistible and creative in-store marketing visuals and an open and spacious layout. There should be no ‘sticky’ points, including at the tills.
Many retailers have harnessed the power of tech to integrate online and offline channels and platforms. This helps them offer speed and convenience as well as meeting consumers’ needs at exactly the right time. Examples include Lloyds pharmacy who uses in-store kiosks, so shoppers can see the full product offering, the location of the item and any out-of-stock items.
Touch and the multisensory experience
Brick and mortar shops hold the cards over their online competitors when it comes to tangible experiences. Shoppers want to see, touch and take away items, and that’s something only physical stores can offer.
Shops that include music, visuals, video and scent to create a multisensory experience always see an increase in sales. In fact, that’s one of the reasons we created the Tokinomo device. We wanted to give shops and brands an easy way to create a real multisensory experience for their customers.
"Shops that include music, visuals, video and scent to create a multisensory experience always see an increase in sales."
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Enhanced customer service
One of the important in-store marketing benefits of brick and mortar shops, is that clients can interact in multiple ways with the staff, and get a better sense of the brand. The interaction between staff and shoppers is of key importance and customers must always feel acknowledged and valued. That means that staff need in-depth product and industry knowledge, along with exceptional communication skills. When consumers chat to staff who are positive about the products they are selling, the impact on brand perception increases exponentially.
Great customer service may include ideas like giving out free samples or tasting sessions. One study by the Journal of Retailing at New York University found that sampling had a positive short-term effect and sustained impact on sales.
Use retail technology to offer personalised shopping
Retailers need to know and understand exactly what the clientele they are looking to attract wants. They must then curate their shop with that clientele in mind. One of the most powerful things they can do nowadays is create a personalised shopping experience with the help of technology. Ideas could include displaying personalised content to shopper via in-store touchscreens, digital concierges to offer advice or recommendations, or sending information directly to consumers’ smartphones, to encourage them to shop in-store.
Create a community
Physical shops bring people together in a way that is not possible with websites or Apps. Bricks and mortar stores can use this to their advantage, running classes or events that attract and engage potential customers. Business of Fashion recently found that engaged consumers spend more money. The cycling brand Rapha’s shops also serve coffee and cake to cyclists, while Tsutaya Japanese store opened a Tsutaya Book Apartment, which acts as a shop, office and hotel.
A community is powerful because it isn’t limited to the bricks and mortar store and it can extend to the local area. By taking the local population into account, you not only become more visible to real people, but you can also create an impact that positively affects your brand. Some ideas to get you started could be partnering with other local businesses, organising charity events or creating a dedicated newsletter with matters that concern the locals.
What have you already done to create a better shopping experience for your customers? Whether you are using retail technology to attract people with something new, or you’re getting more involved in the local community, there is always something you can do create better experiences and increase your sales too.