Retailers have continued to shovel coal into the oven for years. Finally, the retail train shows a sustained forward momentum. By the end of May, retail and food service sales in the US had exceeded 2019 levels.
Shoppers, tired of the hassle, have raided retail stores. As time goes on, retailers will need to continuously and consistently deliver a compelling location experience. This is the only way to prolong the retail revival.
Retail growth is encouraging, plain and simple. However, we know from our 2021 report on consumer behavior that the average shopper is fickle. While 48% of consumers say they prefer an on-site retail experience, how do you ensure they choose your on-site retail experience?
From TJX’s corporate treasure hunts to Canada Goose’s store window conversions into museums, there’s no shortage of inspiring on-location experiences. To keep up with these innovators, it’s more important than ever that you stay inspired as you design your location experience.
Make sure you tick all the boxes, from top-notch customer service to a logical store layout and everything in between.
Consumers lack loyalty significantly. Don’t give them a reason to stray.
Customers are the lifeblood of any retail organization. Don’t take them for granted as they will switch to your competitor without a second thought. Indeed, they will.
25% of consumers told us they switch brands more today than ever before. By providing an unforgettable and headache-free on-site experience, you have the opportunity to win the coveted “return customer”.
Your competitors provide excellent customer service. You should be too.
Consumers are always attentive to customer service. Knowing how easily a shopper will switch brands, you need to make an elite customer service center a pillar of your location experience. If you provide excellent customer service, 13.8% of respondents said you will earn their undying loyalty.
The fact is, customer service is non-negotiable.
29.8% of respondents indicated that customer service has improved in person over the past year. This means that a significant number of your competitors provide friendly assistance, efficient in-store and curbside pickup, and other key elements of quality customer service. And they do it constantly.
You must provide customer service that is as good or better than your competition or risk losing important business. And if your customer service falls into the “bad” realm? You are almost guaranteed to lose affected customers forever.
Understand the basics of the location experience
26% of consumers said they shop in-store primarily because they “enjoy the experience.” Retailers who believe they can just throw paint on the wall, stock quality products on the shelves and stay competitive are missing the point of shopping in-person—not to mention that 26% of consumers.
Not only are consumers more likely to shop at stores with memorable experiences, they will also spend more. 60.3% of consumers said they would spend more money at a store with a positive customer experience.
Start with the basics. Based on our findings, the main determinants of where consumers choose to shop were price (32.7%), convenience (25.5%) and product availability (22.5%). Provide reasonable prices, offer self-service checkout and other conveniences, and ensure your products are in stock. Once you’ve ticked these boxes, you can get creative.
Local experiences are getting more creative. Are you following along?
We know that 33% of consumers prefer to shop in person because of the feel. That is, they literally prefer to feel and interact with products.
Use the client’s natural gravitation to dip. Don’t just provide products that the consumer wants to touch or try on. Deliver an experience that drives (or drives) them to the sale while providing a lasting memory.
I can’t cite Canada Goose’s cold rooms enough as an example of what can happen when retailers embrace intelligent eccentricity. In these spaces, shoppers were offered the chance to try on Canada Goose coats in a room filled with ice sculptures in a sub-zero store temperature. One journalist called the cold room “the best retail experience of the year”.
With one experience, Canada Goose managed to:
● Convince customers of the effectiveness of its products.
● Drive the buyer to the sale by removing the “what if it doesn’t work” excuse
. ● Provide an unforgettable, unique retail experience.
Let Canada Goose be your inspiration for what’s possible when you truly embrace the limitless potential of an on-the-ground experience.
With e-commerce enabling faster delivery times and brick-and-mortar retailers introducing new consumer-centric innovations seemingly every day, consumers will shop where:
● The experience is comfortable
● The experience is memorable
● They feel valued
An unforgettable experience is not always unique. Large retail chains such as Walmart continue to capture market share despite having an articulated approach to the location experience. Apparently the formula works. In a way, Walmart’s popularity underscores that consumers see a consistent experience as a positive one.
While this consistency should be a staple of your location experience, don’t be afraid to be different. Build a unique customer experience based on good customer service, efficient checkout, quality products, etc. and your organization will reap the rewards of a retail renaissance.