What defines a positive in-store experience?
Although ecommerce is a popular topic of discussion among merchandising professionals, they would do well not to ignore one of their greatest sources of revenue: brick-and-mortar stores.
According to Street Fight Magazine contributor Anne Stephen, online sales account for a mere 10 percent of the industry's total retail transactions, with in-store purchases making up the difference.
With this in mind, no outlet is the same. Each one provides a unique customer experience that pertains to the store's brand, how the products are presented and the way in which salespeople interact with shoppers. The question is, how do retailers measure the success of their in-store experience models?
Start with the KPIs
In-store beacons that measure movement and POS software can both contribute to a merchant's key performance indicators. Stephen maintained that the ultimate goal is to understand how business decisions affect customer perceptions and then adjust delivery methods accordingly.
How should shopper behavior be measured? From the moment a person enters a store, the way they carry themselves should be acknowledged. Customer A may know exactly what she wants and walk at a faster pace in an effort to get to the section of the store she's looking for. In contrast, Customer B may display signs of browsing: slow pacing, wandering looks and kino tests (touching).
What are you selling?
Once measurements are established, store managers must observe the way their sales staff contributes to the customer experience. Is there a blanket solution applicable to every specialty retail outlet? Absolutely not.
While one merchant may specialize in mobile devices, another may provide consumers with designer apparel. These two mediums inspire different mindsets among shoppers. Listed below are the best approaches for each retailer to take:
- Smartphones: Describe what the prospective buyer can do with the technology and detail each device's limitations. Be sure to acknowledge that people aren't necessarily tech-iliterate.
- Designer clothing: Don't describe the feel of the clothing – that's what dressing rooms are for. Instead, focus on the inspiration of the design and the emotions the appearance is supposed to evoke.
Not as good as they hoped
On a more general note, retailers of every ilk need to pay more attention to their patrons. According to Commerce Tuned, a survey of 2,000 people residing in the United Kingdom showed 38 percent of respondents will leave a store if representatives fail to return to them in three minutes.
There will be times when an assistant needs to look up certain information. In order to prevent abandonment from occurring, it would do store managers well to provide their employees with tablets to help them find specific intelligence.