Any retailer knows the supreme importance of the in-store visitor. It doesn’t matter by what means they were brought into the establishment (short of asking to use the bathroom); once they are inside they are a retailer’s best bet for an immediate sale and continuing patronage.
The in-store shopper’s experience must be pleasant and convenient. They must be acknowledged immediately, not left to wander around on their own and then wander out again. They must not feel pressured or hurried into making a purchasing decision.
They need to sense right off the bat that they are appreciated by the store personnel as an individual, not as a sale, and be treated with enough respect and courtesy to implant in them a desire to remain a customer and to spread the good word about the store/service via social media, word of mouth, etc.
When an in-store visitor feels comfortable and welcome, their desire to make a purchase is nearly always acted on. Although the analogy of using good bait on a hook to catch a fish is rather patronizing and cheapens the buyer/seller relationship, it is still a vivid and valid illustration of the importance of first welcoming, then interesting, and then finally ‘hooking’ the in-store visitor with the article or service they want.
The process of purchasing is both continuous and intermittent. It begins before the person enters the store and does not automatically stop when they leave. You can’t close a sale if the
Bruce Molloy, Vice President of Customer Mobile, a company that, among other things, offers help in measuring and responding to customer behavior, has said there is a growing disconnect between coming into a brick and mortar store and the actual point of sale; purchasers desire to make their buying decisions based on a clean and easy basis, and are growing more and more confident about using sales apps and platforms in the store itself, right at the point of purchase, to supplement the attention and knowledge of the sales person.customer is not ‘open’ yet. Buying and selling are two sides of the same coin. Engagement on both sides is absolutely essential.
Here are five ways to personalize the in-store shopping experience for customers:
- When you are offering a complex product or service to the potential customer, make sure you provide an assisting selling platform to help them navigate all the ins and outs of the product or service. Oftentimes a customer cannot internalize the instruction and example of the sales person, but needs to do it himself or herself with a hands-on approach. Such platforms, which are a specialty at Customer Mobile and other similar websites, ensure the customer feels comfortable and confident with their purchase, and lowers the return rate to nearly zero.
- What are your displays really saying? Do they invite people in or put them off, or are they completely ignored? Better to insult someone window shopping than to bore them and have them pass by unmoved! Remember that displays at the point of sale should be compact and dynamic, inviting the customer to interact.
- Don’t be too proud to learn from the industry leaders in your niche; what are they doing in-store that drives business? Check out the latest innovations in your competitors – what are they doing that you are not yet doing? Emulation is the sincerest form of flattery, and good business as well. A Harvard Business Review Blog, by Scott Anthony, maintains that innovation is the only way to keep a business viable in these hectic times.
- Get the right partner for your merchandising display program. If your off-site consultant is hard to get ahold of or doesn’t come through with programs, displays and results as promised, or if they are not up on the very latest technology, look for another, more committed, association. New display options are constantly being invented, tested, and put on the market. Do you have the resources to be aware of them, or does your merchandizing display program partner have the connections to know about them? Change for the sake of change is not always a good idea; but change for the sake of more sales makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
- New display options are constantly being invented, tested, and put on the market. Do you have the resources to be aware of them, or does your merchandizing display program partner have the connections to know about them? One overlooked sales closing tool is the interactive in-store kiosk, according to a white paper on the website Retail Customer Experience.Change for the sake of change is not always a good idea; but change for the sake of more sales makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
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