Despite the popularity of online shopping, the in-store customer experience is more important than ever. While today’s shoppers can have many digital touch points throughout their path to purchase, they still place a high value on the immersive experience of a physical store. 94% of purchases are made in brick-and-mortar stores where shoppers can see, touch and demo a product in real life.
Shoppers expect a seamless, well-planned, on-brand experience.
Since shoppers have instant access to the information they need, they have become much pickier about where they actually purchase. A store makes an impression in the first few moments a customer enters through the doors. Well-stocked merchandise, accurate signage, and on-brand campaigns all drive better customer relationships, repeat customer visits and better store performance. So it is critical that every store executes with excellence, and yet, not every store can. What’s holding them back?
In many cases, stores are required to follow instructions from massive, cumbersome printed binders that become quickly out of date, making the execution process confusing.
Retailers haven’t considered each store’s individual attributes such as size and layout specifications, customer demographics and neighborhood culture. Stores can’t give customers an authentic and valuable experience, and customers can’t connect with the brand.
When merchandising plans don’t fit, store employees are forced to make judgment calls. Store teams end up spending more time on store setups than they do on the floor engaging customers.
There is little to no communication between the stores and headquarters. Stores don’t get the chance to give feedback or report on compliance, making retail execution inaccurate, wasteful, messy and immeasurable.
It is critical that retailers focus on the store experience.
Achieving a unique and consistent experience strengthens the customer’s brand perception and the retailer’s position amongst the competition. The physical store has a big impact on the customer’s connection to a brand and service. The brick-and-mortar store still holds the power to a retailer’s brand, because It can engage customers in a way online can’t. It is more than a place to buy products, it provides an experience that enriches customers’ lives.
To achieve a superior store experience, retailers must track, measure, and optimize store performance, as well as stay ahead of shopping trends. Also, stores and headquarters need to be on the same page. Daily brand ‘micro-decisions’ should flow from strategy teams all the way to individual stores.
Achieving this all boils down to a digital approach. Retailers can improve store execution, deliver a better retail experience, and drive higher customer satisfaction while also lowering merchandising execution costs, all through a single application.
Learn more in the white paper from RBM Technologies, Transforming Retail Experience with Merchandising Cloud.