There’s no doubt that the retail industry has become more important than ever before. Customers are more fickle than ever, as they can easily go to another store and find what they are looking for with little effort. This is why it’s more important than ever for retailers to focus on creating a great customer experience. It is important to keep in mind that every customer is different, so you will need to cater to their individual needs. Some general tips include being friendly and helpful, providing good customer service, and maintaining a clean and organized store. You should also be prepared for customers who may be difficult or demanding. In this article, we’ll discuss what goes into creating a great customer experience, as well as some strategies you can use to improve yours.
Note: Need a tool for a better understanding of your visitors to provide them a personalized experience? WatchThemLive provides the best customer tracking tools; keep reading to learn more.
What Is Retail Customer Experience?
A retail customer experience is an overall journey your customers take, starting from the moment they see your store until they leave. The journey includes the exterior branding, every touchpoint within the store, and every interaction with a staff member. It sums up the customers’ browsing experience, purchasing, and packaging. Keep in mind that customer experience doesn’t stop in the store and is not only about offline shopping. Talking about eCommerce, the customer experience is different but still as important as being in a physical store. Your digital shop should be user-friendly and easy to browse and purchase from, along with a supporting team to quickly deal with any queries or technical difficulties.
Why Is Retail Customer Experience Important?
As it is stated in Price Waterhouse Cooper’s study, 73% of retail consumers said that a good experience is more important to them in comparison to price or quality, and they found a positive experience even more influential than advertising. Another interesting thing was that they were willing to pay even more but have a friendly and welcoming experience.
A noteworthy customer experience leads to widespread word-of-mouth recommendation, social sharing, and loyal customers in the long run.
A great experience will help you in developing a personalized relationship with customers and standing out from the competitors. Building an effective retail customer experience strategy leads to:
- Better reviews
- A boost in sales and employee engagement
- Increased customer loyalty
Retail Customer Experience Strategies you Should Consider in 2022
A good CX strategy is supposed to create meaningful experiences that can improve customer loyalty. Check the strategies below for creating a better retail customer experience.
1- Authorize Your Employees with Data-Driven Decision Making
The most effective way of improving your retail CX strategy is through data analysis and employee empowerment. Giving your employees the data they need will empower them, and it simply leads to better CX outcomes. Additionally, by using behavioral analytics tools such as WatchThemLive, you can have access to real-time information and customer interaction with your brand and products. Tools like WatchThemLive can help you collect both quantitative and qualitative data. Analytics features can provide you with valuable data, including the number of your website’s visitors, their sessions, and the pageviews.
You can use filters to narrow down the data you are receiving.
More information is also accessible. You can see the number of pageviews in the “pages” section. The second column, “Referres,” gives you information about your traffic sources, and the last one, “Country section,” tells you where most of your visitors are from.
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2- Develop Better Listeners and Encourage Storytelling
Offline store staff have the opportunity to provide a human touch to all interactions a customer has with a brand; actually, this is the number one advantage of offline shopping in comparison to digital counterparts.
You can also take advantage of this favor and train your staff to build a strong relationship with your customers through relevant shopping assistance, information sharing, and personal engagement.
Still, as most of customers prefer online interaction these days, retail brands need to take this interpersonal storytelling aspect a step further into the digital world. Social apps such as Facebook or Instagram allow brands to explore storytelling to have a connection with their online customers as well.
Make sure you invest time to train and assess how well your staff interacts with your customers in their buying journey.
3- Focus on the Consumer Experience Across Multiple Channels
One of the biggest challenges any retailer faces today is not being present in the channels that customers expect them to be; of course, it’s not a new concern; it has always been this way since the dawn of eCommerce. The only thing that has changed is the numerous applications we face in this era of technology. Today, we can interact with our favorite brands whenever, and wherever we wish, we can share our experience with friends and family right away, and it only makes shopping easier for consumers. For brands, it has become difficult to achieve consistency across every customer touchpoint. Achieving consistency across your channels should be your number one CX strategy, and this isn’t easy to achieve, of course. The best way to achieve this is to bake CX into your business’ entire operations. In 2022, you have to move towards becoming a customer-centric company.
4- Provide More Personalized Experiences
Creating a personalized experience is not something new in the digital marketing world. It is clear that in order to have loyal customers, we should provide a personal and memorable experience for our customers. The data also backs it up. Research conducted by Forrester reveals that 77% of consumers have chosen, recommended, or paid more for a brand that provides a personalized service or experience.
There are different strategies to deliver a personalized customer experience; for instance, you can use their personal names or reward their loyalty. But this is what all businesses do. You should do more and go beyond these tactics.
5- Use Artificial Intelligence to Improve Your CX Strategy
Artificial intelligence has already transformed many industries over the past few years. Today, we can see significant changes in the world of CX. AI systems, such as NLP, can analyze large quantities of text from reviews, surveys, and other customer interactions and present meaningful insights into customers’ behavior. AI as a CX leader can help you to make informed decisions and deliver better CX. This is a crucial strategy for 2022 that all CX leaders should consider.
6- Embrace Predictive Analytics
According to McKinsey’s report, The Future of CX, predictive analytics will take over from traditional survey-based approaches to CX. Still, there is a vital question: “Is the quantitative data from the predictive analytics system really enough to understand our customers? Is qualitative data losing its importance?”
The answer is no; a combination of both is needed. What we need is a blend of predictive analysis of qualitative data collected through real-world customer interactions.
7- Engage customers in DIY During Purchase
Customization in products is another important strategy for retail customer experience. It gets even better when you let your customers to do it all by themselves and match their likes and preferences.
We have seen this strategy being in use several times at restaurants in the forms of “build your own bowl” or “Make your sandwich”. These are examples of DIY that you can opt them for your own business and provide customers with a unique and customized experience.
This way, retail brands can let their customers connect better with them.
Types of Retail Experiences that Convert Customers
To have customers coming back, you need to apply some strategies. The point is that the “right” customer strategy depends on your product, your store, and your customers. Need inspiration on how to do that? Keep on reading.
1- Treasure Hunts
The excitement customers feel when they go to a store can make them come back. That is the reason that treasure hunt experiences are extremely powerful. People tend to go back to places that offer amazing products and deals. You should always keep customers on their toes by constantly revealing something new and interesting to look at and buy when they visit your store.
2- Make Customers Feel Safe and Secure
Since the start of COVID-19, more and more people have faced up to online shopping for their safety which has become a habit in their life. Even in a post-pandemic world, consumers are looking for retailers that can make them feel safe and secure. You need to stay on top of store cleanliness and safety guidelines. Doing so will eventually build trust, along with repeat visits and customer retention.
3- Strong Customer Service
The most significant thing that people can’t get from online shops is face-to-face customer service. Although online reviews and live chat can provide acceptable information to help with the process of shopping, nothing is as powerful as a knowledge-based interaction with customers who are seeking help. Imagine you want to buy something for the first time, and you go to a store where a knowledgeable and helpful salesperson helps you through; having such experience, you will be more likely to go back to the store another time. If you are able to train your staff, instill a deeper sense of service in them and provide strong customer service, you can build trust in your customers, and they can have a better experience.
Physical spaces can create a kind of atmosphere that websites or mobile apps can’t. As a brick-and-mortar store, this is an advantage you have, use it in the right way. Find ways to build any kind of community including events or classes. Create an atmosphere where people engage with your products in a communal way.
Retailtainment, as the word suggests, is the combination of retail and entertainment. Retailtainment is all about enhancing the shopping experience by entertaining customers. The entertainment you offer depends on your store and customers, it can be inviting celebrities to your place, or giving them something they don’t see every day. For example, a store in New York once used real people instead of mannequins in its window display.
6- Bundling Products and Services
Selling products and services that are grouped together is becoming popular in retail. The idea is simple and reasonable; a customer has decided to buy something, why not getting a related product or service while he is still at the store? For such a strategy, you should first ask yourself what can make your customers’ lives easier, group related products, and offer it to them.
In conclusion, the customer experience is important in retail and can be really influential in the coming years. Retailers need to focus on providing a positive customer experience, as it can lead to repeat customers and word-of-mouth marketing. Additionally, happy customers are more likely to spend more money and suggest you to their friends and family. Improving the customer experience should be the top priority for retailers. In the near future, brands that can’t beat their competitors and are unable to improve will be terminated. Are you looking to take your customer experience to a whole new level? What are you waiting for? Sign up and snag your free plan now!