In Stores, Retailers Get Personal to Fight E-Commerce
It’s no secret that brick-n-mortar retailers are having a tough time. Stores are battling against online giants like Amazon, H&M and many others. Icons like Macy’s are closing dozens of stores and laying off thousands of employees.
To stop the flood of dollars to e-commerce, retailers are developing more personalized in-store customer experiences that put shoppers in the mood to buy. Here are eight tips to keep shoppers perusing the racks:
Be savvy with social Leverage social media channels and website assets to help cross-promote in-store specials. Drive awareness and incentives around in-store events and loyalty programs. Roll out social contests to drive people to visit the store. Keep the look and feel of branding and messaging consistent across all their channels for a seamless customer experience from one platform to the next.
- Deliver added value via mobile Studies show that 75% of shoppers use their mobile devices while shopping in stores. Holograms, RFID and location-based marketing technology are among the tools to help retailers send personalized promotions, exclusive coupons and discounts and useful tips directly to customers’ phones while they shop.
- Engage through sensorial experience It’s all about creating what cannot be achieved online; stimulate the senses using music, brand-specific scents and visual content to engage and connect with consumers. For example, shoppers tend to stay an average 15 minutes longer in locations using a scent solution.
- Utilize visuals to bring your brand story to life This is particularly valuable when running special sales and deals, arming retailers with real-time information regarding current inventory levels and other data. Digital signage also allows for incredible flexibility and dynamic, animated content that’s more engaging, helping to reduce perceived wait-times for impatient shoppers.
- Store-in-a-Store More and more retailers are leveraging a “store-within-a-store” adding a competitive edge to attract shoppers. Recently, Macy’s opened its first Apple Store-within-a-store at its flagship Herald Square location in New York City.
- Pop-Ups Pop-up shops create a sense of urgency with shoppers since the stores are, by nature, temporary. Not only do consumers feel more compelled toward purchase, but these stores offer retailers a great way to provide a unique experience and test out new store features. As an example, the Vintage Twin pop-up shop moves between a few locations in downtown Manhattan, offering a memorable and personal experience that can’t be had with online shopping. Recognizing that finding the perfect pair of jeans can seem impossible, the store offers a Jeanius bar with denim experts to help customers find the perfect size, wash and fit from a vast assortment of vintage Levi’s and Wranglers. According to a PopUp Republic survey, 61% of consumers look to pop-ups for more specialized shopping.
- Focus on corporate responsibility Millennials expect their favorite brands to commit to social responsibility. Retailers should take advantage of multiple avenues in which they can put philanthropy front and center inside the store, such as using displays to arm consumers with the information they need to make socially responsible purchases, or communicating specific ways in which each location contributes to its local community, not just as a job provider, but as a corporate citizen that can be counted on to improve the local quality of life. This helps show a philanthropic, more emotional side of brands and reinforces their dedication to corporate ethics.
- Christmas every day During the holiday season, retailers pull out all the stops when it comes to elevating the customer experience. But why should that stop after the tinsel comes down? The most successful retailers are those who take an intentional and more strategic approach to the total customer experience every single day of the year.
Jaime Bettencourt is senior vice president of business development and account management for Mood Media. She can be reached at [email protected].