Retail Experience, It's Not Just Business, It's Personal

Retail Experience. It’s Not Business, It’s Just Personal.

People are driven by emotions. So, is it any wonder shoppers buy based on how they feel?

Think about the powerful emotional connections Apple and Nike have made. These brands go beyond selling the newest, most innovative products within their markets.

What drives people to wait in line for days for the new iPhone? Why do they pay a premium price for the latest pair of athletic shoes? These brands create memorable experiences, enrich their customers’ everyday lives, and in turn, continue to build loyal followings. Customers sense the creative passion of the late Steve Jobs, and they feel empowered every time they head to the gym.

More brands are recognizing the need for this emotional connection. Intel’s newest video campaign shifts the focus away from its actual products, and instead, emphasizes the “amazing human experiences” its products make possible. Helping X-Games athletes go bigger and higher, blending gorgeous visual design with dance, or working with NASA to power the Space Shuttle, Intel’s experiences leave people feeling inspired and in awe.

A retailer must take into account the unique characteristics of each of its stores

For a retailer with multiple stores, it’s not necessarily about producing a larger-than-life campaign that speaks to customers’ feelings. The personal connection must reach customers at the individual brick-and-mortar store level. If a customer’s in-store experience is bad, that exciting brand campaign becomes worthless.

Retail Experience is About Personalization
Shoppers look for a personal connection when they enter a store.

Store employee knowledge, easy store navigation, merchandise availability, checkout wait time, and a personal understanding of the customer base are some of the top factors that contribute to how shoppers feel about their shopping and brand experience. Therefore, to pursue and strengthen the connection with customers, it is critical that retailers focus on store optimization.

A retailer must take into account the unique characteristics of each of its stores, from aisle spacing to the surrounding local culture. Understanding and catering to individual store attributes will help a retailer deliver the most relevant, personalized and authentic experience possible. It will also simplify the process for store employees. Knowing the specific details of each store means accurate production quantities and sizes, allowing store teams to set up with efficiency and ease. Store employees then have more time on the floor to interact with customers. Lastly, it means compliance. When stores are set up accurately, performance is easy to track and measure. Retailers can react in real time when something isn’t working. Responding to customers’ needs quickly leads to higher customer satisfaction and repeat purchases.

Now is the time for retailers to evaluate their connection with their customers. How do customers feel about their store experience? Are they engaged? Are they satisfied? If the answer is yes, they will gladly return. Otherwise, their next shopping trip may be through a competitor’s doors.

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