The Coronavirus pandemic has changed customers’ shopping habits and behaviors. In the era of lockdowns and social distancing measures, many customers have shifted to online shopping. Does that mean that brick-and-mortar retail is dying? The answer is no. Despite massive retail business closures in 2020, the industry remains the pillar of local economies. However, customers’ expectations from brick-and-mortar retailers have changed. In 2022, experience-based retail will gain momentum. According to research studies, 70% of consumers prefer to spend more on experiences than physical goods. In this guide, we unveil the tried and tested customer engagement tricks for brick-and-mortar stores.
Engage Employees to Boost Customer Satisfaction
Employee engagement boosts customer satisfaction, ensures corporate alignment, and enhances internal communications. In other words, increasing employee morale is your highway to customer engagement and loyalty.
There are many tactics you can apply:
Create an Employee Feedback Program
Employee feedback allows you to stay updated with your workers’ thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Create online and offline surveys to gain qualitative and quantitative insights into your employees’ satisfaction.
Prioritize Employee Health and Safety
In the Coronavirus era, strengthen your workplace health and safety policy. For starters, equip your retail staff with physical barriers and protective equipment. Also, provide employees with health insurance plans.
Build a Strong Company Culture to Deliver Consistent Customer Experiences
Build strong brand guidelines to ensure your employees share your company’s goals and visions. That is particularly important to physical businesses outsourcing processes like customer support or marketing. If you hire contingent workers, consider letting employer of record services manage them. That way, you can focus more on your in-house staff.
Make your Offices Flexible and Employee-Friendly
Unlike software developers or virtual assistants, retail employees cannot afford to work remotely. To boost their morale amid the Coronavirus pandemic, provide flexible work options to staff members with caregiving responsibilities. For example, allow them to swap schedules and work alternate hours.
Measure In-Store Customers’ Engagement
In the ecommerce landscape, measuring customer engagement and satisfaction is simple. By investing in website analytics and ecommerce analytics tools, you can understand online consumers’ behaviors, purchasing habits, etc.
In the brick-and-mortar world, measuring customer engagement and loyalty is not that easy. Fortunately, various in-store customer analytics tools can help you.
For example, Flame Analytics offers various Insights tools, including:
- Wi-Fi Analytics: Understand how customers interact and behave at the point of sale
- People Counters: Measure the number of visitors who have entered your brick-and-mortar store within a specific time range.
- Location Analytics: Track customers buying journey from the moment they go in the store until they buy a product.
- Demographics: Stay on top of customers’ demographic data, such as their age or gender.
Personalize In-Store Experiences
Like we have already mentioned above, tracking offline customers’ interactions with your brand is possible. AI-powered customer analytics lets you understand their shopping habits, behaviors, and preferences. That way, you can personalize their buying experiences.
For example, these technologies can measure ups and downs in shop occupancy, compare the point of sale, and identify the most popular products. Sensors can even notify retail employees when a loyal customer enters the store. That way, your customer care staff can access customers’ data and provide them with personalized offers.
By knowing what your customers like, you can send them targeted content and offers. For example, inform them when the item they love is in stock again.
Keep Offline Customers Engaged
With the rise of advanced retail technologies, online and offline commerce can be a match made in heaven.
One such example is Beacons. Proximity marketing tools let your physical store send messages directly to your customers’ smartphones.
For example, when a customer walks past your store, you can send them a personalized message in real-time. That is an effective way to engage customers and get them to take action. You can even track customers’ locations in-store and their past purchases. Based on them, you can send personalized messages to your customers’ phones.
Another way to boost user engagement is via virtual reality technologies. For example, you can use devices like Oculus Rift to let customers preview your products from multiple angles. That helps customers find what they are looking for and, yet, keeps them engaged.
Provide Frictionless Checkout Experiences
Customers prefer online shopping because of its convenience and ease of use. They can purchase products almost instantly without having to wait in lines. Precisely because of that, you should invest in AI-powered technologies to optimize your in-store checkout processes.
Flame Analytics offers a wide range of advanced technologies, such as people counting, heat maps, and location analytics. With these tools, you gain a better understanding of how customers move through the store.
For example, you can use heat maps to determine traffic patterns, dead zones, and areas where store visitors often meet. Based on these data, you can simplify consumers’ movement through your brick-and-mortar store. Above all, you will let them avoid traffic congestion and finalize the purchase faster.
Over to You
You do not need to choose between having an online and offline store anymore. You can use various digital technologies to energize your brick-and-mortar store.
With tools like Flame Analytics, you can gain better insights into customer behaviors and deliver hyper-personalized offers and content. You can use technologies like Beacons or VR to engage in-store customers and convert them.
Most importantly, do not forget the role of your staff in the employee engagement process. Only by keeping your employees satisfied can you retain your customers.