Do you intend to introduce any fresh elements to the in-store experiences?
If your response is “no,” then prepare for potential challenges ahead in your retail business.
Why? Because the retail sector is currently witnessing heightened competition. With a plethora of e-commerce platforms and subscription services available, consumers have numerous options for how and where they allocate their time and money.
To maintain competitiveness, it is imperative to provide them with compelling incentives to visit your physical store and make purchases.
What are In-Store Experiences?
To stay competitive with their online counterparts, physical stores are transitioning from mere brick-and-mortar locations into immersive hubs of customer engagement.
In-store experiences now entail a tangible, unforgettable sensory journey that captivates customers, encompassing the brand as a whole. This approach extends beyond the mere sale of individual products or product lines and strives to craft a tailored, comprehensive purchasing experience for each customer.
Naturally, brands are striving to strike a balance between maintaining a digital presence and sustaining consistent foot traffic. In their London Covent Garden establishment, Tiffany and Co. has recently introduced jewelry personalization options and even a perfume vending machine to enhance the in-store customer experience.
Made.com has affixed QR codes to their products, allowing customers to easily locate and purchase items online. Sephora, a beauty brand, has introduced virtual try-on capabilities and rewards points to seamlessly blend the in-store and online shopping experiences, achieving remarkable results in terms of sales, social media engagement, and conversion rates.
The Importance of Offering an Innovative In-Store Experiences
In 2021, the easing of COVID-19 lockdowns globally prevented a potential catastrophe in the retail sector, as retail sales made a remarkable recovery. Retailers who offer unique in-store experiences tend to attract more attention and experience accelerated growth.
In 2023, a whopping 94% of shoppers expressed their willingness to revisit physical stores if their previous experiences had been positive. Positive in-store encounters not only foster customer loyalty but also enhance a brand’s image.
Rather than pursuing standardization, the most successful in-store experiences incorporate intricate personalization along with immersive activities. Presently, we witness brands experimenting and innovating by introducing various experiences, such as innovative self-service options, click-and-collect services, and activities that bolster their brand identity.
Nonetheless, commencing with a robust grasp of the basics is pivotal when endeavoring to construct captivating in-store retail encounters.
5 Strategies for Generating In-Store Experiences That Boost Traffic and Sales
Retailers, desiring genuine distinction in today’s fiercely competitive landscape, must concentrate on each juncture at which their brand engages a customer and every encounter patrons have with offerings or services. This approach serves as a means to impact customer expenditures and allegiance.
Seeking methods to achieve precisely this? Below, you’ll find five pointers and instances to initiate your efforts.
1. Train your workforce to establish connections with customers
Your primary sales staff are your most significant and vital resources for crafting an unforgettable in-store encounter. Recruit individuals capable of effortlessly engaging with your loyal patrons, and provide them with guidance to refine their service competencies.
At a minimum, instruct your employees to acquire knowledge about your merchandise and store regulations, but this alone won’t suffice. Additionally, educate them on the art of engaging in meaningful, memorable conversations with your clientele.
2. Promote a secure shopping experience
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly transformed consumer behaviors, particularly in the context of offline shopping. Shoppers are presently more conscious of their health and safety, rendering it essential to integrate cleanliness, hygiene, and sanitization into your in-store experience strategy.
Here are a few recommendations on how to achieve this.
Adhere strictly to health regulations
To begin with, ensure that you strictly adhere to local regulations that affect your business. Pay attention to capacity limitations and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, and make sure you implement these policies within your establishment.
Consider introducing retail appointments
Large crowds can deter consumers. If you aim to reduce the number of individuals in your store, contemplate the introduction of retail appointments.
Research conducted by Accenture indicates that 62% of consumers stated that scheduling in-store appointments could potentially encourage them to revisit physical retail stores.
Therefore, if it aligns with your store’s operations, explore the possibility of implementing appointments in your business and observe how shoppers react.
Use the latest cyber security services for your online customers
Facilitate your online customers with maximum security. They should feel safe when purchasing online from your store. Make sure to implement the highest degree of cyber security to safeguard your precious customers. It is better to use these services from experts like cyber security services in Chicago that make sure your customers are in safe hands.
3. Personalize the retail encounter
A staggering 80 percent of customers exhibit a heightened inclination to buy from retailers who individualize the in-store customer encounter. Customers attach substantial importance to being at the epicenter of an experience meticulously tailored to their distinct preferences and inclinations. Naturally, crafting an encounter tailored to each and every customer can pose challenges.
Commence by familiarizing yourself more extensively with your customers, allowing you to present them discounts and offers in accordance with their buying patterns, favored brands, and product selections.
4. Incorporate a social media aspect into the in-store experience
It’s common knowledge that individuals delight in sharing their encounters on social platforms such as Instagram — thus the surge in Instagram-friendly museums, floral backdrops, and similar attractions.
Consequently, it might be advantageous to enhance the Instagram appeal of your store.
Possibly, you could introduce a wall or seating arrangement where visitors can capture photographs. Alternatively, consider establishing artistic installations that patrons can appreciate and snap pictures of.
The crucial element is to initiate an Instagram-friendly endeavor that aligns harmoniously with your brand. Extra credit if you can localize your in-store experiences and personalize them for the local community.
Consider this illustration from Glossier, which recently inaugurated a store in Seattle. The establishment showcases mushrooms reminiscent of Willy Wonka, boulders adorned with moss, and holographic butterflies.
5. Bring your website to your physical store
Consider elevating the in-store experience by granting shoppers the opportunity to explore your online store within your physical location. This can prove to be a valuable offering, especially if you operate multiple stores or warehouses and don’t maintain all your inventory in one place.
Empowering customers to peruse your online shop while in-store enables them to discover products or variations that may not be physically available. Should they find something they fancy, you can readily have your associate’s place an order on their behalf and arrange for home delivery.
Take a cue from Nike’s approach. In select outlets, this athletic wear retailer has incorporated sizable touch-screen displays, allowing patrons to navigate Nike.com and make immediate product purchases.
Invest on in-store experiences
How can you enhance your store’s experience to the next level? The brief response hinges on various factors.
Conduct your research. Inquire of yourself — or even more advantageously, inquire of your customers — what factors would entice shoppers into your establishments? Do you necessitate providing omnichannel services? Should you concentrate on fostering a sense of community? The sole approach to ascertain this is by acquainting yourself with your patrons and experimenting with novel methods.
Will it be effortless? Probably not. Nonetheless, undertaking this is imperative if you aspire to prosper in the forthcoming months and years.