If you do a lot of shopping, you’ve no doubt strolled past some examples of innovative retailing. Pop up retail is the most obvious, it’s especially prominent near the holiday season. And heavily themed gift, candy, and toy stores are learning to get interactive with customers.
It wasn’t long ago that Chapters stores with reading rooms and inhouse Starbucks coffee shops was considered leading edge customer experience. Everyone’s looking for it. That means more brands and small businesses alike are discovering customer experience marketing as a way get seen amidst the clutter of competition.
Is customer experience just an aggressive play to skip the queue and dominate the customer’s impulse? Maybe. It also might be the best way to focus branding and promotional activities together for maximum impact.
Audit Your Customer Experience
A great Retail Council Guide article by Joanne Balles on dynamic retail offers up a 4 point customer experience audit to help you create a more remarkable retail experience.
The way Joanne Balles describes CEM:
Successful retailers reinvent their physical spaces. Heightened product engagement and educational opportunities, more intimate customer service moments, ever changing, theatrical merchandising displays geared to engage, inspire and delight customers—these are what deepen customer relationships, build loyalty and drive sales.
Flexible, frequently changing visual displays create interest, and keep the brand stories vivid, fresh and current.
Try writing down what you think are the top 4 factors in how you’re currently providing a great customer experience. It helps you understand where you are now versus what the Balles believes is optimal. The differences might give you insight into how your retail experience is lacking, something you might be blind to right now.
The key drivers to consider when creating dynamic retail experiences include creating more reasons for customers to visit the store, a brilliant narrative, and a savvy sense of technology.
Let’s Begin Your Audit
1. Conduct a retail top-to-top: Balles suggests doing a walk through of the store’s exterior and interior, assessing how the store greets the customer and how signage and displays invite and inspire them.
2. Watch your customers: Watch customers as they progress through the store and discover when they’re wowed and where they give up.
3. Go beyond the transaction: study the store as a place to visit without reference to the customer buying anything. how does the store help customers discover something new out of it, and invite their questions?
4. Discover the stories you’re telling: how you display your merchandise, the displays you use, and of course your print promotions displayed. If there was an ideal customer story, what it be?
Check out more about Balles guide to better customer experiences at http://www.retailcouncil.org/sites/default/files/retailerguides/what-the-customer-experiences.pdf
How is the new year shaping up for you to improve retail sales? Looking for ideas on innovative retail displays?
How is NFL merchandising something to consider when planning your own retail promotion and packaging strategy? Sometimes packaging and distribution tell the whole story.
Improve your packaging, by considering the advantages of shrink sleeve labels, clamshells, blister packs, and eco-friendly sustainable resources. See all our packaging tips here on the packaging blog, then optimize your retail strategy by improving shelf presence, discovering what drives instore decisions and then capitalize on impulse buying behaviour.