3 Tips for Enhancing In-Store Customer Experiences in 2016


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Online business is booming, including in sectors like clothing and grocery products once considered brick and mortar bastions. So what’s a real world store to do? While online companies may offer convenience, dropping products right at your door, there are still advantages that only live interaction can offer. Here’s what it takes to outsell the ecommerce competition.

Boost Employee Power

Too often, shoppers consider floor employees as an interference when trying to shop – they stop, attempt to engage with you about your sweater choices, and everyone is a bit uncomfortable. But done right, employee attention can be the selling point for your store. The key is to focus on providing your employees with effective knowledge rather than a list of tasks.

Think about how Apple stores do it. You walk into the store and nearly every person is actively engaged with an employee who is providing useful support. This is most people’s worst nightmare, yet in this setting it works. That’s because Apple’s employees aren’t passive bodies. Instead, they’re fountains of knowledge.

Tell A Story

Although web design has come a long way in terms of narrative capacity, those tools aren’t used widely in ecommerce settings. This gives physical storefronts a great advantage when it comes to selling a complete experience. One great way to build you overall sales story is by using mannequins, but don’t stop at just dressing them up!

No, there are several key parts to a great mannequin display. First, your mannequins should be wearing fully complete outfits – that means accessories, belts, shoes, and even props. These mannequins have lives, they go on adventures, and most importantly they are the people your shoppers want to be.

It’s also important that the rest of your store space continue to tell the story. If you’ve got a mannequin kayaking, they shouldn’t be doing it against a plain white wall. Keep color schemes and the overall tone consistent with the physical activities your mannequins are supposedly doing.

Get The Tech Edge

Just because you’re selling out of a physical space, doesn’t mean you have to do it without up to date technology. Mobile tech can still offer you some advantages, or at least help you keep up with online sales operations. For example, one of the reasons shoppers enjoy shopping online is the ability to click through a link to get more information about a product. You can do this in your store with QR codes.

Add QR codes to your displays and when shoppers scan them they’ll be granted access to more product information, ranging from composition information to uses and customer reviews. While an employee might be able to provide some of this information, you can also craft additional narrative moments into these links. The story doesn’t have to end at the display.

On the other end, employees can use POS technology programmed for hourly sales updates to track inventory and recommend top selling products. POS devices can also help your employees make sales decisions that are carefully calculated to improve numbers during slow moments. This can make a big difference, especially if those timely sales increase the rate of return shoppers.

Your Store, Your Advantage

No matter the apparent dominance of ecommerce settings today, brick and mortar stores are by no means down for the count. Rather, the most important thing you can do as a business with a physical footprint is make the human interaction factor count. You have the ability to offer top customer service as an added value to shopping in store rather than online. Track those interactions, train your employees, and build a story your customers want to participate in and you’ll be on the road to success.

Larry Alton
Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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