Your brick-and-mortar retail shop gets a lot of competition from online shopping options. Despite the convenience of online retailers, consumers still appreciate a quality local retailer. Improving the in-store experience for your customers can help build loyalty, even if they can’t shop at midnight in their PJs. Little touches set your store apart and make customers want to come back.
Offering Something Unique
People know what to expect when they go shopping. Shaking up those assumptions with a unique experience makes your shop stand out. You might offer a free service like free knife sharpening at your kitchen supply store or free boot waterproofing at your shoe store. Consumers love the idea of getting something extra. They may come in to take advantage of the free offer and add a few extras to their carts before leaving.
Small touches throughout the shopping process add to the experience. Packaging purchases in pretty bags or wrapping them in tissue paper adds an upscale feel. Other options include a tray of complimentary treats, product samples, loyalty programs, free upgrades, and hassle-free returns. Making the experience easy and pleasant encourages customers to return for future shopping needs.
Making Your Store Inviting
Creating a space people enjoy being in helps you gain a following of loyal customers. Visual merchandising concepts help you maximize space and draw attention to the things you want customers to buy. Changing your decor regularly helps keep the look fresh. Attention-grabbing signs and front-and-center displays of products people might splurge on can increase your sales.
If your customer base includes families or parents, making your store welcoming to kids is a huge plus. Parents can relax and shop longer when their kids are welcome and enjoying the trip. Setting up a small corner with toys, a chalkboard, or a TV playing cartoons does the trick. Another tip is to set up your products to avoid breakable things at kid level. Parents feel stressed when they’re constantly worrying about their kids breaking something.
Improving Your Employees
Your employees serve as the face of your company. A negative encounter with a grumpy sales associate makes a lasting impression on a customer. Keeping your staff happy by supporting a positive work environment helps them pass on the cheer to customers. Training sessions on customer service help associates understand the expectations of the job. Customers want associates who are accessible without being overbearing. Friendliness and the willingness to really help the customer also score points.
Creating a Sensory Experience
Immerse customers in a unique experience when they step through your doors. Your visual merchandising is only part of the equation. Music that appeals to your target audience adds an audio experience. Avoid music that’s too loud. Scent branding uses smells to attract customers. A pleasant scent makes people associate that smell with your store, but don’t overwhelm shoppers with strong fragrances. Something light and fresh appeals to a wide audience. If you sell scented products, place them prominently throughout the store for natural scent branding. The sense of touch is another powerful option to include. Encourage shoppers to touch items by having demo products on display.
Building a Community
Keeping shoppers in your store for as long as possible can boost your sales. Classes, workshops, demos, and in-store events create a sense of community and encourage shoppers to linger. Those events make it easier for shoppers to interact with one another and your staff. Adding chairs or a lounge area is another way to keep customers there longer.
Improving the retail experience makes your customers feel important. Set yourself apart with exceptional customer service and unexpected extras to keep customers coming back.