3 Tips for Personalizing the Retail Shopping Experience
Building strong personal connections with shoppers is more challenging than ever before. Consumers are smarter, more distracted and have a wealth of information instantly available on their smartphones. Here are three simple ways retailers of all sizes can design a powerful retail experience that engages shoppers, establishes meaningful relationships and fosters customer loyalty, the often elusive quality that builds brand success.
1. Experience design: Designing a retail experience with strategy and conscious intent must account for all aspects of the customer experience in order to build something that's cohesive and consistent. Identifying how your store can capitalize on the in-store access to all touchpoints is the first step to designing a successful retail environment.
Where do you start when considering the design of your retail experience? Asking the following three questions will generate some great ideas and help you bring your design together: (1.) What do consumers see, hear, feel, smell and taste when they walk into your store? (2.) Are there clear connections? (3.) Is the experience consistent?
Below are some targeted strategies for the different media and sensory elements of your in-store experience.
- What do your customers see? Look around and you'll see that the best retail brands invest in design to ensure their stores are inviting to their target audience. Many brands are investing in new visual solutions to get a shopper's attention and build connections. If you're still spending money on ineffective, static signage, you're behind the curve. Consider investing in digital signage that enables you to create dynamic content, which demands attention and gives you the flexibility to control and change content instantly depending on promotions, time of day or season.
- What do your customers hear? Selecting the right mix of music for your store is crucial. Make sure you place the brand and customers first (not employees) when deciding what music fits your store. In addition, consider supplementing your custom music selection with professional audio messaging to replace paging or to amplify your marketing message.
- How do your customers feel? It's important to recognize that the feel of a store isn't just the tactile components of your space (e.g., flooring, seating, the ability to actually touch and hold products, etc.). Feeling is about creating a space that flows well, provides ample room and even directs traffic. Make sure shoppers don't feel crowded; consider their comfort everywhere, from the floor space to the dressing room and even the restroom.
- What do your customers smell? A person's sense of smell has the most significant tie to memory. Ensuring your store's scent leaves a positive impression is key. While you obviously want your store to smell clean, consider how scent can tie back to your brand. Today's solutions allow you to create customized scents that connect with your customers and brand message. Do you want your space to smell like freshly baked cookies, a day at the beach, a warm leathery lounge?
- What do your customers taste? Even if you're not in the restaurant business, retailers can capitalize on this sense and reap benefits. Providing customers with snacks and beverages truly enhances the shopping experience. When selecting your offering, make sure to connect it back with your scent strategy. For example, if your store smells like freshly baked cookies, offer chocolate chip cookies.
2. Socialize: If your brand is challenged with limited time and budget, a small investment of time in learning the fundamentals of social media goes a long way. There's no shortage of free webinars and whitepapers with tips for success. Here's one of our favorites.