You may know the term "UX," but as a small business owner, you’re already very familiar with the concept. UX, which stands for "user experience," encompasses all aspects of a customer’s or user’s overall experience with your products, services, and your business itself. The term, though mainly used in discussions about mobile apps or business websites, actually applies to physical stores and products, also.
When physical store owners don’t look at their brick-and-mortar location as a place to optimize UX, they’re missing a golden opportunity. Think about the way Starbucks cares about customer UX, even treating it like an art form. Starbucks stores are always very clean and tidy. The tables, chairs, and products displays are strategically placed to guide the customer, showing where to walk in the store and where to order. LCD screens mention what song is on the radio at the time, wireless cellphone charging stations are available, and Wi-Fi is free. Even having the barista write your name on the drink you order makes the UX a little more personal.
To analyse your business’s UX, start by reviewing the placement of physical elements to make sure you customer moves through the store as you want them to. Reviewing what the customers hears, smells, and even feels helps ensure that customers experience exactly what you want them to. Personalizing your customers’ experience encourages return visits — try to come up with an analogue of those handwritten names on customers’ cups at Starbucks.
Creating a great UX is an opportunity for owners of brick-and-mortar stores to connect with customers and provide an opportunity for them to experience your products, services, and business exactly the way you want them to.