7 Must-Haves For the Best In-Store Customer Experience
Posted by Megan Webb-Morgan on May 31, 2013 in Business Management, Retail [ 2 Comments ]
The experience that customers have in your store – from the physical experience to their interactions with your sales associates – has an effect on their shopping behavior, brand loyalty, and overall satisfaction with your business.
In order to help your customers get the most out of their in-store experience, you need to have the following:
Related: Find a POS system to fit your needs
Shopping in your store needs to be convenient – not a hassle. The Home Depot found a way to make their payment process much more convenient by implementing a mobile POS system in 1,970 of their stores (NCR).
- Instead of hauling large items to the front of the store and through the checkout line, customers could now pay for the item on the floor through the mobile POS, then head straight out.
Customers need to connect your out-of-store branding to their in-store experience – otherwise, they’ll walk into your store, look down at the advertisement in their hand, and wonder if they’re really in the right place. If you market your store as a calm, tranquil space for relaxed shopping, make sure that it’s accurately representing your retail space. If customers expect one thing and get something else, that’s going to negatively impact how they experience your store – and how much they spend.
Call your customers by name. It makes them feel recognized and valued, and increases their sense of familiarity and comfort within your store. Make sure you have their name spelled correctly in your POS or CRM system, as errors can negatively affect not only their in-store experience, but their experience with any of your personalized marketing efforts.
When customers have a question about product in your store, they expect your associates to be able to answer it quickly and accurately. Well-trained associates who are knowledgeable about your product close 33% more sales on average (Bluewolf).
- Consider equipping your sales staff with mobile devices or tablets that they can use to quickly check the inventory status of an item or look up more information about it. This way, they don’t have to leave the customer to check the back room, but can instead respond, “I don’t know –let’s find out!”
How often do your associates walk the floor? Are they trained to check up on customers? Can they tell the difference between a customer who is fine on their own, and one who needs help? Nothing is more frustrating to a customer than to need help but be unable to find it.
- Make sure your associates are helpful and available to customers within your store. This encompasses not only physical presence, but also body language, facial expression, and tone of voice.
If mobile isn’t yet part of your store’s marketing strategy, you need to hop on that bandwagon. Mobile coupons are redeemed 10 times more than traditional paper coupons (source). Provide your customers with mobile or email coupons that they can redeem in-store from their mobile device. You can even set a location-based ad that can be sent to customers when they walk into your store.
Help customer shop smarter by providing them with in-store wifi. It enables customers without data plans on their phones and tablets to look up products online and make more informed purchasing decisions.
The more you enable customers to engage with your business and products, the better experience they’ll have in your store – and the more valuable they’ll be to your business. Make sure that your marketing, associates, and in-store processes are geared towards giving customers the best experience possible.