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In light of many major retailers announcing their intentions to shut down hundreds of brick-and-mortar stores, retailers may wonder what they can do to keep their in-person sales thriving. Luckily, technology is just as capable of optimizing the in-store experience as it is the online experience. The key is to make the in-store experience worth it so that customers will want to shop in person. There are a number of ways to do this.
Digital Signage – Old hand-painted signs are not going to impress many people these days. Make the switch to digital signage to look more professional and attract more favorable attention. It is also easier to adjust prices and nudge shoppers to your higher profit margin items. Digital signage also goes a long way toward engaging all five senses, which is proven to increase customer satisfaction.
Cater to Tech-Savvy Shoppers – There are practically limitless methods to impress your customers and improve their shopping experience. For example, an in-store virtual reality center is a great way to lure in tech-savvy shoppers. Using technology to make it easier for customers to get assistance is another idea. Retail apps and touchpoint transactions are two more ways to help tech-savvy customers feel connected and well-served.
Use Big Data to Personalize Service – Data analysis is helpful for improving the merchandising in your store. It will help you group companion products together, for example, based on historical buying habits.
Customer Service – Nothing spells disaster more than leaving customers feeling isolated and ignored. Don’t make the mistake of having labor costs, including training, be the first thing you trim. Statistics show that $41 million is lost each year nationwide due to bad customer service.
Focus on Product Line & Expertise – It is hard to sell something that can be found just about anywhere, especially if the same products are cheaper elsewhere. Focus on adding value to your product line via exclusivity, quality, and a knowledgeable sales staff. Also, consider products that consumers are more inclined to want to see and touch. By presenting your company as experts on the product line you offer, you’ll instill confidence that they should purchase it from you, even if your price is higher than elsewhere.
It is possible to compete with ecommerce if you make the in-store experience worth it. Consumers are social creatures, so they aren’t going to do 100% of their shopping online. If you have taken the steps that made their last shopping experience special, they’ll be back next time they want to get out of the house.
The old adage about making a first impression still holds true, but it is the entire shopping experience that creates loyalty. Attentive and cheerful customer service, a desirable product line, and a great atmosphere are all pieces of the puzzle that will keep those sales numbers increasing.
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