In the age of retail apocalypse, several brick and mortar stores have faced their demise. Amazon has turned the retail industry on its heels. While some stores are seeing sales decline, other retail stores are thriving. For instance, Walmart and Target continue to score big with consumers. As a matter of fact, Walmart surpassed Amazon in sales. Why is that?
Believe it or not, brick and mortar stores still have the upper hand over e-commerce because stores offer an experience. Consumers still desire and remember a shopping experience and customer service. It’s customer experience versus customer transaction. People like to share experiences that are memorable. Whether it’s small or big, experiences that incorporate your senses – touch, vision, sounds – are unique.
So what can you do to engage customer experience in your retail store? Here are a few applications to upgrade your customer service.
To capture the current and next generation, retailers have to update their stores. The overall design of a storefront sets the tone for the experience. With an online store, the only thing a consumer views is a website the size of a desktop, iPad or even their cell phone. A brick and mortar store has the advantage of a full scenic view. It has the advantage by incorporating textiles, colors, smells, and music.
Of course, when it comes to redesigning a store or multiple locations, cost plays a major factor. Today, you can find several different interior décor options that can be lightweight and easy to install. With printed graphics, you can create the appearance of a brick wall versus trying to apply the real deal. You can create a tile background appearance versus paying for and installing individual tile pieces.
While e-commerce displays 2-dimensional signs with the occasional pop up blockers, you have the advantage of 3-dimensional signage that can light up, guide, and showcase your brand image. Modernize your brand logo and create a cost effective brand image and wayfinding signage to display indoors and outdoors.
As you are well aware, consumers are all about digital. But how can you make digital work for you? Incorporate digital to further drive a satisfactory customer experience. From interactive kiosks and advertisements spanning multiple screens to immersive virtual reality opportunities, use digital messaging to garner a memorable experience.
An easy way to get started is to simply allow your customers to shop online, in store. Staff members are easily accessible for questions and to further the sale. Your staff’s presence has the advantage of creating dialogue and a memorable impression.
The difference between those who have failed and those who succeed is the willingness to adapt. It is the willingness to continually evolve and innovate to meet a modern customer experience. “Retailtainment” is today’s coined term to describe current shopping trends. It’s the combination of retail and entertainment that further heightens a customer’s experience.
With customer service being more important than ever in today’s age of one-click-and-buy, the question is, are you ready to modernize your customer experience?