How To Improve Customer Shopping Experience Sep 26, 2018Views: 298
It’s no secret that the efficiency of online shopping is hitting bricks-and-mortar retail outlets hard. Last year, nearly 6,000 stores closed on the UK high streets. While 11 new shops opened every day, 16 were closing down at the same time. Sometimes stores are competing with their own online business, and it works out more cost-effective to shut up shop and move everything online.
How can retailers expect their stores to survive against an online shopping experience which allows customers to find the same product at the best price, in less time and often with next day delivery, all without leaving the comfort of their home?
Retailers need to capitalise on the one thing that sets them apart from their online counterparts: the in-person customer experience. Even if stores can’t afford to compete on price, they shouldn’t underestimate the value of dazzling your customers with great service, presentation, atmosphere and more.
What Makes A Shopping Experience Great?
If you asked most people what constitutes a great shopping experience, their first - if not only - answer would be customer service. Having staff that are trained with the tools they need to boost sales and keep your clientele coming back for more is absolutely essential and the most effective way of growing your business.
Superior product knowledge that allows retail staff to suggest, locate and describe what they’re trying to sell at the drop of a hat creates a more seamless and personable shopping experience for the customer than a nervous customer service advisor approaching them and asking if they need any help, which they probably don’t realise they do.
However, there’s a lot more that goes into an outstanding shopping experience, particularly for customers who prefer less interaction. A lot of people want to go in a store, find what they need as quickly as possible and move on with their day. These are largely the customers who are taking their business online, so they can get what they’re after at the click of a button.
While you may not be able to fully discourage them from their digital ways, improving your store’s layout and making products easy to find will undoubtedly encourage your customers to keep shopping in store with you. Good lighting, clear signposting and well-presented displays are crucial.
Encouraging a steady flow of customers through the front door is about offering an experience they can’t get anywhere else. This doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, and trying to do too much could actually impede growth by throwing up a roadblock to completing the sale. But your store unquestionably has something unique about it, otherwise it wouldn’t exist.
Figuring out your unique selling point and integrating it seamlessly into the customer shopping experience is a twofold consideration. Obviously you need to separate yourself from your immediate competition, but you also need to offer something that your customer can’t get online - whether that’s from your business’ own online counterpart or a competitor. Given the choice between two identical experiences, customers will choose the easiest path, which is online.
Delivering an in-store shopping experience that leads to business growth, in an age where customers can almost definitely get the same product at a better price, without ever setting foot in a bricks-and-mortar outlet is no small feat.
However, for customers, shopping is about more than just purchasing a product that you need. It is one of the most common social activities, it’s worth over £300 billion to the UK economy and is an important source of human interaction for many people. The provision of a shopping experience that caters to this need for engagement, as well as essential goods, is an area where online retailers can’t compete.Chris The Dropshipper likes this.
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