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More people are buying products online than ever before, but brick and mortar stores are still alive and well. Customers still want to see, touch and experience a product before they purchase it. Stores allow them to do that.
But today, customers are more concerned about the experience rather than the products themselves. They can buy any item they want online. When they step into a store, they want to be taken to a different place and enjoy a different experience even if only for a moment in time.
1. Provide Friendly, Helpful Service
A positive in-store experience starts with a friendly, helpful staff. Employees should be eager and happy to help customers find what they need or answer their questions. They should be educated on the products being sold, so that they may answer questions or address issues immediately.
Employees should also be able to relate better to shoppers and connect with them in a memorable way. The goal is to shift the customer’s perception from employees being salespeople to them being friends.
2. Make Customers Feel Safe
Customers want to feel safe when they walk into a store. Shopping malls, because they offer public access, have a duty to protect individuals on the premises. There are many ways to make customers feel a little safer while doing their shopping.
- Ensure your store has clear sight lines. Increase light levels, and break down walls to improve sight lines throughout the store.
- Make navigation more intuitive. Maze-like layouts can make some shoppers feel nervous and anxious. Make sure exits are clearly visible, and that the store is easy to navigate.
- Staff and surveillance systems can help customers feel safe.
3. Provide an Escapist Experience
Create an experience where customers can be in the moment and forget about the stresses of everyday life. They call this creating an escapist experience.
Positive interactions with employees, pleasant music, merchandising displays and other details can help a customer relax. Try offering a unique experience for your shoppers. Look at what other stores are doing, and try to do something different. It could be the way shoppers interact with your products, or it could be the way your staff provides an experience.
4. Use QR Codes
QR codes can provide your customers with more information about your products or details about special promotions that aren’t being promoted.
Maybe you’re selling cookware in your store. A QR code may provide chef-created recipes that customers will value and appreciate. QR codes can provide you with an opportunity to give your customers more value and information.
5. Redefine the Checkout Process
Today’s customers want instant gratification. They want to go on with the rest of their day; they don’t want to waste too much time waiting in line.
Research shows that American consumers will abandon their purchase and leave the store after eight minutes of waiting in a checkout line. Don’t let long lines affect your profit. Take steps to speed up the checkout process if your queues are becoming lengthy.
Have additional registers ready, or have staff ready with mobile checkout devices.