Provide Excellent Customer Service
“Nearly 80% of American consumers say that speed, convenience, knowledgeable help and friendly service are the most important elements of a positive customer experience,” according to a PwC study.
Notice anything missing from this consumer research for retail? No mention of price.
Delighting customers means treating them well. While this may sound obvious, the time-tested emphasis still matters. Greatly.
Offering excellent customer service is the gift that keeps on giving. Freshworks, a business software company that focuses on customer engagement says, “… it is customer service that turns those casual purchasers into loyal customers.”
And so, if you want to endear yourself to customers and make them more loyal, give them great service.
Offer In-Store Experiences
Ecommerce enables endless choices and makes it simple to comparison shop. If you want to lure shoppers to your brick-and-mortar location, you need to provide an exceptional in-store experience.
This retail customer trend is especially true for younger people. A survey from NetSuite found that “Gen Z and Millennial shoppers say they’re more excited about having an in-store experience than their elders” are.
In a blog post from Qualtrics, a software company that helps brands assess their core experiences, Danielle Lumetta of Accenture said, “Brands are becoming more like Disney—giving consumers little experiences, rather than just pushing product.”
While experiential retail is focused more on experience than sales, they ultimately feed off of each other: Give consumers the experience they’re looking for and increased sales can follow.
Brands are becoming more like Disney—giving consumers little experiences, rather than just pushing product
Keep Stock in Store and Value Your Customer’s Time
Many people today feel like they just don’t have enough time to accomplish what they want.
Nothing is more frustrating for a consumer than taking time to visit a store only to find they can’t get product they came for.
“One of the biggest influences on customer experience is your inventory management,” says Matthew Hudson of The Balance Small Business. “Being out of stock on hot items … can make shopping feel like a chaotic experience and drive customers crazy.”
Being out of an item is not a rare occurrence. Retail Dive reports on an IHL study which found that “shoppers encounter out-of-stocks in as often as one in three shopping trips.” This led to a loss of nearly $1 trillion in sales in 2017.
A store that is not well stocked leads to frustrated customers and a loss of business. Period.
Create a Positive Image
Consumer behavior in 2020 and beyond points to consumer being driven by image.
Lumetta said, “You’re no longer buying a product—you’re buying a brand image.” She adds, “Consumers buy into what the brand stands for, and the ethos of the brand.”
Your shopper wants to feel good about your brand and your retail outlet. The way a retail store interacts with the community, its focus on sustainability, its ethics, etc., contribute to forming an image.
When your business acts responsibly and functions in a way that appeals to your target customer, shoppers will react positively. Some will even be willing to pay more because they feel good about where their money is going.
Harness the Power of Social Media
Statista reports that in 2019, “79 percent of the population in the United States had a social networking profile.” And that’s a 2% increase from 2018.
You can meet your shopper on social media through social media influencers. “Social media influencers play a huge role in how consumers choose one product over another,” says Rita Das in an article for The Future of Customer Engagement and Experience, a company that provides thought leadership and analysis on commerce topics.
Das notes that brands are “recognizing the power of superstars in niche sectors, and the incredible power that they wield.” NetSuite says, “… social influencers are becoming a powerful tool in advertising that customers may not think of as a social media interaction.”
Influencers on social media can bring shoppers to you.
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