In-store experience has become crucial for businesses as the way we shop has changed over time. As online shopping has taken over, in-store shopping experience is what customers are looking for in physical stores. But what exactly is in-store experience? In-store experience is anything to do with how your customers encounter your brand, store, and products.
Why Is In-Store Experience Important?
The store experience is important because customers are more informed compared to before. Due to the internet customers can do their own research on products and see reviews which means they already have product knowledge. Personalisation has also become more important to customers. People want something that’s tailored to their own needs and the best way to find out what customers want is through face-to-face conversation, something you cannot do online. So a way businesses can keep customers coming back is by offering store experience. If consumers enjoy interacting with your brand and products or services, they’ll most likely return.
7 Ways To Create In-Store Experience
1. Checkout Experience
The checkout experience is extremely important, nobody likes to wait in long queues and customers will most likely leave stores empty-handed just because checkouts are too long. This creates a negative experience for your customers and can cause them to not come back. You can create a good checkout experience by introducing self-checkouts, or more of them if your business already has them. Self-checkouts is said to be the new future of shopping as it benefits both the customer and the business. Customers love self-checkouts because they are fast and convenient as well as benefiting your business by labour costs being significantly reduced.
2. In-Store Entertainment
In-Store entertainment also known as Retailtainment is the fusion of retail and entertainment. Retailers do this to provide customers with fun and unique experiences that elevate the customers shopping experience. It is also a technique to get customers interested in the merchandise and in a mood to buy. In-store entertainment can improve your businesses footfall, enhance your brand loyalty, increase sales and make your business stand out from the competition.
3. Create a Community
You can provide customers with value beyond your products or services by creating a community. Customers love being part of a community, they love being able to connect and express their opinions with like-minded people. You can build a community for your customers by holding events, classes, or special shopping events that attract and celebrate your customers. If you only have an online store you can encourage your customers to connect through a loyalty scheme or through social media such as Instagram or Tiktok. This will help you identify your most loyal customers and potential brand ambassadors that could provide positive feedback about your shopping experience to other potential customers.
4. Social Media Components
Customers, especially gen z customers are very big on in-store experiences that involve social media components. Social media is a huge part of peoples day-to-day life, people love sharing their experiences on social platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Just by adding cool aesthetically pleasing decor, having a Photo Booth or a wall or seating area where people can take photos and share them on their social media will makes your business more ‘instagramble’ and improve customers store experience.
5. Creative Displays/Decor
Your store window is your brand. It is very important to catch the attention and engage with potential customers as your store displays are the first things customers see when they are walking by. Creating store displays that are unique, artistic and that stand out can bring in new customers that will cause your sales to increase. It can also strengthen the image and personality of your business which will separate you from other competition.
6. Customer Reward Systems
Customer reward schemes create a community that will help emotionally connect customers to your business. It also drives sales and increases customers lifetime value. One of your most powerful marketing tools is a satisfied customer! When customers are satisfied and have positive experiences with your business they will most likely tell everyone about it (word-of-mouth) and that is essential to attracting new customers. Reward systems are a successful customer engagement strategy. Customers love discounts and offers that are personalised to their needs and for your business, you will get lower churn rates and more sales.
Technology is used to improve customer engagement and experience. It benefits both online and physical stores. When it comes to online stores you can use technology such as google ads, SEO, and analytics to retain customers or draw customers to your website. With physical stores technologies such as VR for virtual tours or AR experiences for example virtual fitting rooms would be a great use of technology to get customers to engage and give customers experience.
Improving the store experience for your business is the key to long-term success. As the rise of online retail is becoming more and more popular, physical stores need to create memorable and engaging in-store experiences to make the customers trip worthwhile. Customers value experience, they want a reason to come into stores and have a good time, if you can do this for your customers they will most likely spend more, spread a good word about your business and become loyal customers.