The high street is dead...or is it? People still like to see, touch and try before they buy – and we live in an immediate world, where sometimes next day delivery isn’t good enough. Hence the on-going popularity of brick and mortar stores.
Customers are often thought to be driven by price alone. In reality, 83% of retailers say that shoppers can find a better deal elsewhere. So why do they still buy?
The experience is just as important as the price. So long as the two match-up, customers will keep coming through the door. In fact, two thirds of customers are willing to pay up to 20% more in a store that delivers truly excellent service.
In these digital times, the path to purchase starts well before a shopper enters the building with online research, social network recommendations etc. but it also doesn’t end once people enter the store. Retailers need to make the in-store journey as easy and as positive as possible. An impersonal in-store experience and an unfamiliar layout are examples of the issues that can put up barriers in a customer’s mind.
So how can you build a path for your customers? Follow these ten steps:
1. Welcome every customer to the store – personally or digitally
2. Connect customers to the store with guest Wi-Fi
3. Implement guided shopping through a map or self scanning solution
4. Promote the right products through hyper-personalised marketing
5. Provide product reviews at the point of decision
6. Locate customers to build a picture of their in-store journey
7. Ensure sales assistants are available and enabled at busy purchase points
8. Reduce queues with mobile point of sale solutions around the store
9. Offer self-service checkouts
10. Cut queuing time with the best scanning equipment available
As a retailer you should test your stores against these steps and whilst they are not exhaustive, together these steps help to create an experience that responds to the top priority of today’s customers – convenience.
Successful retailers create experiences for their customers that blend the physical with the digital to make the path to purchase more connected and informed.
Whether they are buying online or in bricks and mortar, shoppers are looking for consistency, simplicity and value. That’s why when you see multiple channels, they see one store, and that’s how they expect you to run your business.
20% Stat External Source: 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer; Findings in the U.S.; American Express; Prepared by Echo, 2012