What Is Retail Experience? A Comprehensive Analysis
If you’ve ever been to a store and had a great experience, you know what retail experience is. But how do you define what is retail experience? Well, It’s the feeling you get when everything comes together perfectly, and you leave with exactly what you needed. For businesses, providing an excellent retail experience is essential for success.
In today’s competitive landscape, customers have more choices than ever before. If they don’t have a good experience at your store, they’ll simply take their business elsewhere. That’s why it’s so important to understand what is retail experience and how to create one that will keep your customers coming back again and again.
Luckily, there are now tools available that can help retail businesses manage all aspects of the customer journey from start to finish – ensuring each interaction is positive and memorable.
What is Retail Experience?
Before we take an inside look, let’s talk about what exactly we mean by “retail”.
What is retail experience? It’s the result of all the interactions a customer has with a business, from start to finish. This includes everything from browsing products online to filling up their shopping cart and checking out. Retail experience is seen through the customer’s eyes and can be positive or negative depending on how they feel about the process.
Let’s imagine you’re shopping for your weekly grocery haul. You begin on a supermarket’s site or mobile app, browsing products, adding them to your online cart, and checking out.
When a customer buys something online, they select a delivery date. On the selected date, the courier comes and picks up the item and delivers it to the customer.
If a customer contacts you to let you know that something is missing, you should respond as soon as possible. Apologize and offer some sort of compensation, such as a discount or free points for their next purchase.
This retail customer experience contains many touch points that can make a great or poor experience. Both digital and in-person interactions play a role in the overall customer experience. Therefore, it is important to plan and execute the customer journey with care.
At each consumer touchpoint, your business has the opportunity to make or break the experience. Positive emotions can be sparked by a great performance, while negative emotions can result from a poor showing. Because of this, it’s important that you plan and execute your customer experience journey with care.
The consumer experience is the sum of all of the interactions a customer has with your business, from their first point of contact with you to their last.
The sum of many small shopping experiences creates an overall impression of a company.
For success in all these areas, retail businesses need to get almost everything just right.
Why is retail customer experience so important?
To stand out from the crowd, retail companies need to offer more value than their competitors.
The retail experience you offer your customers can be the determining factor between your business and others. With more competition than ever, providing a great shopping experience will help you stand out and bring in more customers.
When you focus on providing a better overall experience, you’re not only differentiating yourself from the competition on practical factors such as price and location.
You are building a relationship based on positive emotions.
Satisfied customers are the bread and butter of any business. After all, they’re the ones who will keep coming back.
A positive experience is so valuable because 86% of consumers are willing to spend more for it. So, if you want to retain your customers and have them come back, you need to provide them a positive experience.
8 in 10 consumers would spend more money with a business if they provided a better overall experience. This just shows how important customer service is!
There is a significant gap between how most large retailers believe they are doing at customer experience, and how customers really view them. According to research by consulting firm, Capgemini, while three-quarters of all corporations (75%) consider themselves to be customer-focused, only 30% of shoppers agree with that sentiment. This highlights the fact that many brands still have a long way to go when it comes to providing a truly exceptional shopping experience.
While more and more companies are realizing the potential that lies in using experience-based marketing strategies, a lot of work needs to be done before it becomes a widespread practice.
How to Improve In-Store Retail Experience
The coronavirus has forced us to change our traditional ways of shopping for clothes.
What was once a leisurely activity of browsing in-store may now be seen as a more focused experience where customers can find what they need, pay, and exit the store quickly.
In-store experiences are becoming increasingly digital as customers use their own smartphones and tablets, as well as those provided by retailers, to check prices and reviews before making a purchase. This trend is likely to continue in the future, with customers using apps to check stock levels and reserve goods, and using digital tools to navigate to their nearest store and check opening hours and safety precautions.
As more consumers turn to their smartphones and computers to research products, check inventory, and plan their shopping trips, it’s important for brick-and-mortar stores to make sure their online information matches their in-person policies. By highlighting their safety measures and emergency procedures on their websites and mobile apps, they can show their customers that they prioritize their well-being.
Digitally highlighting your stores safe practices online can let your customers know that you value their safety and comfort. This can make the customer feel more at ease while shopping at your store.
Ensuring customers feel safe in your store is a great way to improve their experience. One way to do so is by offering them alternative payment methods, such as Apple Pay, and by making sure your stores are kept clean.
Businesses might have to open in new store designs to comply with safety protocols and ensure that the customer experience is good.
When designing your Consumer Experience Strategy, it’s important to keep in mind that spreading yourself too thin can negatively impact your customer satisfaction. Happy customers are more likely to recommend you to others, so keep this in mind when planning your strategy for multiple locations.
In-store retail is an important part of the omnichannel experience, and should be given the attention it deserves when you’re designing your CX strategy.
Instead of thinking of physical retail stores as completely separate from online, think of them as just one part of the overall customer journey.
Improving Digital Retail Experience
It’s easy to forget that online shopping and smartphone use are relatively new habits, so ingrained have they become in our everyday lives.
Creating a great online experience for customers is crucial for your retail business. In the last 18 months, online sales have grown exponentially, so having a strong digital presence is vital.
Focusing more of your budget on online marketing can be the fastest way to get in front of more potential customers. Investing in other digital marketing strategies like pay-per-click advertising can help you increase your customer base and enhance your customer experience.
Providing customers with what they’re asking for is incredibly important. If you don’t, they’ll likely go elsewhere.
The user experience of your website is crucial to ensuring customers find what they want and are able to complete their purchases. By following the best practices for UX, you can prevent any roadblocks that could prevent a purchase.
Ensuring that your website loading speeds are high is crucial for providing a seamless online experience. Payment options should be simple and easy to use, and product pages should be optimized for online purchases. By following these best practices, you can create a digital retail experience that is user-friendly and enjoyable.
As you create your digital presence, keep customer experience top of mind to ensure that your retail experience online matches what you’ve promised. By doing so, you’ll be able to provide a cohesive and satisfying experience for all of your customers.
—Digital retail experiences should be just as convenient as in-store experiences, if not more. They should also reflect the feeling one gets from shopping in-store. This can be done by offering chat functions to sales associates and videoconferencing options for purchase advice, among other personalized touchpoints.
If you’re looking to improve your digital retail experience, consider adding chat functions for sales staff and videoconferencing options for purchase advice. Personalized touchpoints can help make the experience more inviting for customers.
Digital retail environments provide an opportunity to collect customer experience data. This data can be used to improve the digital retail experience for future customers.
Customer analytics such as bounce, drop off, and shopping cart abandon rates can be used to identify where customers are having trouble. This can help to improve the overall user experience. Surveys and customer feedback tools can also help to gather more qualitative insights.
Using your customer data alongside your CX metrics, you can gain a better understanding of your “what” and “why”.
This data can be used to predict customer behavior and improve experiences.
Plan, Evaluate, And Then Act
It can be tempting for retailers to immediately begin improving their customer experience, but it is better to wait until they have a full picture of the situation. That way, they can create an effective plan of action before implementing any changes.
The first stage of your retail business’ customer experience enhancement plan is to gather data on customer behavior. This data is then analyzed to identify ways to improve the shopper’s experience.
Pilot programs testing various customer touchpoints can help you understand what works and doesn’t work for your visitors. This data can then be used to improve the overall shopping experience by reducing friction points, providing a more seamless omnichannel journey, and increasing the likelihood of customers returning and recommending your store.
What can you do with this information? You can use it to figure out why people are abandoning their online purchases, and then plan further touchpoints to evaluate.
If you’re looking to improve your retail business, understanding what is retail experience is key. A single integrated CX management platform can help you manage all aspects of the customer experience journey, from first contact to post-purchase follow-up. By providing an excellent retail experience at every touchpoint, you’ll keep your customers coming back again and again.