Tailoring to customer needs and providing memorable shopping experiences are crucial to the success of a retail business. Retailers must constantly stay on top of current trends in technologies and seek innovative ways to make an impression with their brands.
Here are seven ways to keep customers coming back:
- Try before you buy
One of the best ways for retailers to improve the shopping experience is to let customers try a product before expecting them to purchase it. Many stores no longer allow this, which can detract from a customers’ experience. The more opportunities a customer has to try products and experience them firsthand, the more likely they will want to invest in the product.
- Be there to assist
People are becoming less and less socially connected. We live fast-paced, stress-filled lives. The more retailers lean on passing on the opportunity to communicate to chatbots and automation, the less our customer service is perceived as genuine. Retailers should be there personally for their customers, have people readily available to answer questions and point customers in the right direction. Increasing connection, whether it’s a brick-and-mortar or an e-commerce store, has more likelihood of having repeat customers.
- Offer convenience
Whether a business is online or in-person, convenience is essential. An increasing number of retail stores are beginning to offer products for purchase via vending machines, offering easy returns and grab-and-go options. Retailers with an e-commerce presence should offer fast, free shipping or other rewards. Consumers thrive on convenience and easy shopping options. Retailers must get creative to set themselves apart from the competition.
- Tie together the in-store and online experience
Brick-and-mortar retailers without an option for their customers to purchase online should give thought to doing so. Activities integrating the online and in-store experiences can increase foot traffic and enhance customer satisfaction. Whether offering a crafting class or flash sale specials, have a calendar on the website and keep it up to date. Retailers should include add-on items during the online checkout process just as they do in their physical stores. Online stores also provide an opportunity to build a brand’s identity and clarify values and image to stand out from the competition.
- Change the checkout experience
People don’t like waiting. The longer the line and checkout experience, the more likely customers will simply opt to walk out of the store. Multiple options help boost sales to keep customers coming back. Whether a retailer chooses to use self-checkout, hire more associates, offer in-app checkout, or even use vending machines, of the more purchasing options that work the best for the store, the better it will be in the long run.
- Provide entertainment
If a retailer can invest in entertainment systems for their customers, they will find that customers will end up sticking around and browsing a bit longer than not. Have a sports store? Keep seasonal games on. Adding a blog to a retailer’s website helps keep customers interested and increases the time they spend interacting with the website. Branch out and get creative by providing activities such as in-store gaming, hiring real-life models instead of mannequins, offering virtual try-ons of makeup or clothing, or the ability to search through items via a web-connected catalog kiosk in the store. If a retailer can get creative by providing entertainment for their customers, encouraging them to browse longer, they are likely to buy more products.
- Be community-focused
The more a retailer gets involved in its community, the more likely it will connect with its customers. Whether the business donates money or time, they give a face to the company and demonstrate they genuinely care about the community and its people. Put up signs and displays that show people where their money is going thanks to the store and take pride in the fact that they are giving back to those around them. This is one of the best ways to gain momentum for a business and feel good doing it.