11.12.2020

How to Offer the Perfect In-store Experience for Shoppers

Written by Austin Chegini

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With so many retail stores offering similar products, and online retailers undercutting prices, how do you stand out? Marketing may get people in the door, but offering a phenomenal in-store experience is crucial for bringing in shoppers, and driving repeat business. 

Examples of successful in-store experiences

These businesses know how to offer their customers top-of-the-line service and unique experiences. 

  • Lush: When you visit a Lush store, you can test out products and wash your hands with their various soaps while an employee recommends the best product for your skin. This interaction is an excellent form of suggestive selling.
  • Vans: The House of Vans is not just a retail location. From an indoor skating area to the large concert halls, this multi-floor building immerses users in everything that the brand embodies. 
  • Ghiradelli: When you visit a Ghirardelli Chocolate Company store, you will be greeted by more than the scent of chocolate. These stores are famous for offering free samples of their chocolate, making them a must-see retail location any time you are nearby.

Seven steps to create your ultimate in-store experience

Give shoppers personal attention

Customers do not like walking into stores and being left to find goods for themselves. According to recent consumer surveys, 63% of shoppers want personalized recommendations from retailers. 

In addition to being helpful, personalized service boosts your store’s profitability. Researchers found that 49% of consumers made impulsive purchases after receiving a recommendation, and 44% became repeat buyers because of this service. Failing to pay attention to your shoppers can cost you much more than you think. 

Tips for offering a personalized in-store experience:

  • Greet each customer:
  • Master suggestive selling:
  • Establish a customer loyalty program:

Present guests with digital experiences

You can draw in customers, and keep them, by embracing the latest technologies. With the applications and digital displays, you can provide shoppers a more immersive experience. 

Many stores are tapping into the power of augmented reality for their displays and fitting rooms. Guests can stand in front of digital mirrors that allow them to “try on” outfits by overlaying their bodies with clothes. Technologies like these capture wandering shoppers’ interest and encourage them to interact with your goods. 

While in-store experiences like augmented reality are very captivating, they also come at a high price tag. However, your store can invest in tablets and large display screens to promote products and grab attention. 

These touchscreens are perfect for playing videos about the product and highlighting features and benefits. If you have an e-commerce website, you can use your tablets to show customers out of stock items that they can order for pickup or delivery. 

Offer a one-of-a-kind treat

Every time guests stay at a Doubletree hotel, they get served a warm cookie. Although this cookie costs hardly anything, this hallmark treat is eagerly accepted by visitors. 

Small touches like these amplify customer experience and go a long way in boosting brand loyalty. Guests will know that you value them and will make an effort to visit your store more often.

What’s more, these free gifts can become talk triggers that help grow your business. Shoppers will be delighted to receive a small token of appreciation each time they visit, and they will tell all their friends about it. This kind of word of mouth marketing can reap massive dividends. 

Show off your cleanliness

It may go without saying, but shoppers want to know they are touching clean surfaces and products. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will last for years, and shoppers will likely continue practicing safety measures like distancing and frequent hand washing. 

To show that you care about your customers’ well being, be sure to promote hygiene where possible. For example, if your store uses interactive displays, place hand sanitizer for shoppers to use after touching the device. If you allow customers to try on clothes, have your staff wipe down fitting rooms after each use. 

Most important of all, keep your store tidy. A Morpace survey found that 52% of shoppers chose not to enter a store because the entrance appeared dirty. No matter how good your deals are, shoppers do not want to see dusty displays or fingerprints on your front door. 

Speed up checkout

Considering that 126 million Americans are Amazon Prime members, there is a growing demand for fast service. Ordering online is convenient, especially with two-day shipping, but your store can still compete if you streamline the buying process. 

Customers visit stores to get hands-on experience with products and speak with staff for recommendations. However, these perks of the in-store experience can easily be negated by long lines at checkout. If a customer has enough time to find the same product online and pay for it before reaching a cashier, you will probably lose sales.

To speed up the process, outfit your store with the latest point of sale system. You will want a device that can scan barcodes, accept all payment types, and send digital receipts. A modern POS will execute transactions quickly and update your inventory along the way.

The Epos Now retail point of sale does all this and more — call a consultant to learn more.

Recognize repeat shoppers

It’s no secret that almost everyone likes to feel special. Consumers are no different, and it is your store’s duty to show them you value their patronage. In fact, a TD Bank study found that 77% of consumers like when brands show their gratitude. 

Thank your repeat customers by offering them perks through a loyalty program. Guests will earn rewards for shopping with you, which will encourage them to come back and shop some more. With the right loyalty program, you can track how much guests spend, send special offers, and show your customers how much you value their business.

Get buyers in the right mood

Shopping should be fun, not a chore. By establishing the perfect atmosphere, you can subconsciously encourage your guests to stay longer and buy more products. 

It begins with music. One study found that playing slow music caused shoppers to slow down and take their time looking at items. However, playing fast music caused guests to rush through the store and spend less. 

Light comes next. Although the science is mixed on whether lighting can affect shopping behaviors, you want to create a comfortable environment. Bright lights and cools hues can make shoppers uncomfortable, so opt for natural light as much as possible. 

Also, you want to make sure your guests see your products in the right light. If you sell clothes and fabrics, lighting can distort how they appear, causing guests to return their purchase once they step outside. Think about how your shoppers will use your products, and make sure your lighting highlights those aspects best.

Take your store to the next level with Epos Now

Even if you offer the best in-store experience, outdated sales technology will undo your efforts. The Epos Now retail POS can help your business process transactions, integrate with e-commerce sites, and encourage customer loyalty. 

Speak with a consultant today to learn more.