Retail shopping has been permanently changed by internet culture. This combined with the presence of giant ecommerce corporations like Amazon and AliExpress has forced retailers to understand that shopping is no longer a simple errand but rather an experience for consumers.
Is this leading to a retail-apocalypse? Many investors are dumping retail stocks as the bankruptcies of retail stores continue to rise. Today’s climate forces retail entrepreneurs and incumbents to create more than simple stores that sell goods. Undifferentiated, boring, and irrelevant stores are surely dead or dying.
The key survival factor for retail success is customer experience. These 7 factors are playing a big role in physical retail’s survival in 2019 and looking forward to 2020.
1. Strive to Become the Best Option in a (Relatively) Small Niche
If you’re starting from scratch, gaining recognition while scaling can be nearly impossible with today’s challenges. Niching down is the best way to create a competitive advantage and stand out from the crowds with your products and services.
With giants like Amazon and Alibaba, brands aren’t likely to be able to compete on price and selection, but by highlighting unique differences such as brand mission or craftmanship of product, retailers stand to benefit.
2. Provide Amazing Customer Service
Make your customers feel at home, or better than at home. An amazing customer service experience is related both to the environment and to the interaction with your salespeople. If you deliver goods at home, it also involves the simplicity of the return process.
Your employees should properly engage with the customers, offering them good options, providing wisdom and reliable comparison of similar products, but also knowing when to back off and leave the customer alone are few of the elements of exceptional customer service.
3. Focus on Gathering Feedback and Reward it Appropriately
Smart brands understand that their data and suppositions aren’t the only factors that constitute an accurate knowledge of the customer.
Feedback is key to defining the expectations and opinions of your prospects and customers. For that reason, to thrive and outstand the competition, focus on gathering feedback from your shoppers. Feedback can come in the form of UGC. If customers are resonating with your products, they’re likely to share it on social media; listen to their mentions of your brand and respond appropriately when customers are providing feedback. Remember, its a conversation!
4. Sell Experiences
Many customers will come into your store because your brand makes them feel good, not necessarily because of your brand’s name, salespeople, or products’ prices.
To design and sell an experience, look to Airbnb’s recent release of experiences with animals. They’re able to offer value-added experiences for travelers who are already booking accommodations through Airbnb.
Retailers can create similar experiences by hosting in-store events and creating community events around new product launches.
5. Optimize the Environment
When customers shop online, they’re one click away from ditching the buying process. While they’re in a retail store, the atmosphere and the environment will make it harder to leave without buying something.
To survive in the retail market, tune your store’s environment, aesthetics, and atmosphere. Use digital displays in-store to help connect the online experience with the offline experience. Nothing kills a good in-store experience quite like an outdated look and feel to the store.
6. Don’t Neglect Digital Marketing
Digital marketing is now more important than ever, especially for retail brands. Many retail store entrepreneurs neglect it because they mostly count on their store’s position in town and on the word-of-mouth.
Nevertheless, improving your brand’s awareness using the digital environment can skyrocket your brand recognition and sales performance. Here are some tips:
- Develop a strong social media presence. That means you should create professional business pages on more social networks that fit your brand’s style.
- Post consistent and relevant content that not only sells products but also brings value through education.
- Inspire your prospects to dare more.
- Leverage influencers to improve the reputation of your brand and draw attention to your products.
- Develop a local SEO strategy to make your store visible in the search engines. Nowadays, it is very wise to optimize your SEO strategy for voice assistants.
Michael Gorman is a professional digital marketer and assignment help expert who works as a marketing consultant for Superior Papers and Resumewriters. Not too long ago, he has developed an intriguing thesis on how essay-writing services can be excellent content providers for physical retail brands while working as an intern for EduBirdie Review and TopResume.