How to boost your in-store engagement
10 Oct 2019 How to boost your in-store engagement
The traditional way of piling up stocks and wait for sale to happen has already proved detrimental to thousands of brick and mortar retailers across the globe. However, the changing dynamics of retail has somehow propagated the false notion that consumers have all of a sudden stopped going to retail stores and malls.
On the contrary, more than half of the consumers would rather shop for brands in a physical store than in pure-play eCommerce marketplaces, according to Google. Moreover, customers generally visit a store when they need a product quite immediately.
However, there is a disconnect between demand and supply which indicates that customers are visiting the store but leaving without making a purchase. How can retailers fix it?
A good approach here would be to analyse brands like Nordstrom, Walmart and Ulta who were not only unaffected by the doom and despair but in fact, thriving this turbulent retail landscape. They achieved this by re-calibrating their retail experience through a combination of experiential shopping, new-age technologies such as VR and AR and loyalty program restructuring.
While the implementations and solutions might have been different, however one common thread that binds these three brands together is the fact that they have all approached the scenario keeping in mind the changing needs of omnichannel customers.
They have focussed on deeper understanding of customers to anticipate their needs and create highly personalized micro-moments throughout the purchase journey.
Why retail stores need to focus on in-store engagement
Over the last few years, customer experience has deftly evolved as one of the crucial factors for retail brands. According to Gartner, over 80% of organization expect to compete mainly based on CX in 2019. The highly competitive market where the lines between competing brands and products are increasingly getting blurred is the reason behind the sudden obsession towards customer experience. Brands have realized that the only way to stand out is through stellar experiences where the customer engagement strategy plays a critical role.
From a brand perspective, combining customer data and analytics with friendly, face-to-face staff interaction reveals a whole universe of opportunities for maximizing Average order value (AOV), brand loyalty and repeat sales. From a customer perspective, a personalized interaction flips the experience from that of a purely transactional one to one that is emotionally fulfilling and memorable.
In-store engagement plays a stellar role in transforming customer experience in terms of brand personalization. Here are the major ways you can overhaul/enhance your in-store engagement
Best practices for in-store engagement:
1.Capitalize on real-time promotions and deals
These days, most retailers offer some kind of promotional voucher, however, these promotions lack variety and often loose tractions. Instead, what if you could analyse and connect the dots between the customer’s in-store behaviour, previous purchases, and online browsing patterns to generate a dynamic voucher that is personalized for them, right before checkout. It helps in retention significantly simply because you are offering them something exclusive and value-driven.
2. Empower your store associates with 360-degree Customer view
Personalized interactions by Store associates play a significant role in improving customer experience but it may not go a long way in increasing sales. Today’s connected customers looks for interactions which goes beyond basic greetings and start paying personalized attention to them and their shopping habits. It can be as simple as reminding them that their anniversary is coming up next week or remembering that outfit that is her preference. Technology can play a key role in powering these personalized interactions by offering store associates in-depth customer information like demographics, past purchases, online and in-store browsing behaviour, special occasion, etc. Advanced analytics can even empower store staff to offer predictive recommendations by comparing purchase behaviour across customers of similar personas.
3. There should be no loss of sales due to stockouts
‘No stock Sir’ is the most common and irritating answer a customer gets while searching for her favourite outfit. It has a collective negative impact on sales, customer loyalty, and customer experience. While preventing stock-out seems like a fairly simple task to the outside world, you as a retailer, understand the precarious and delicate balancing nature of ‘having enough stock’ and ‘overstocking’. Technology can now help in this by precisely indicating when to stock up and even better – offer customers the option of buying exactly what they are looking for even when you don’t have it in stock at the store.
The Way forward
Regardless of which engagement solution you choose to implement, personalization should form the crux of your in-store engagement strategy. Imagine it as a layer that percolates across all in-store customer interactions, right from greetings, to product recommendations, to after-sales interaction.
Looking for a personalized in-store digital technology solution? Learn more