Customers are a discerning group, with high expectations and the ability to literally pick and choose where they shop. With retail, first impressions always count - as well as all the ones that follow. Along with a great product or service, making sure a customer’s instore experience is memorable for the right reasons is one of the leading ways to ensure their continuing patronage.
Is your instore experience all that it could be? Here are some tips to consider.
Who’s the boss?
Make sure you and your customers are driving the workflow, not your POS system. These days the customer purchase path is complex, and they have so much more information at their fingertips.
A flexible and dynamic POS without a rigid workflow will enable you to drive the sales process in the direction the customer requires.
Choose your tech wisely
It’s essential to embrace technology that gives you the biggest bang for buck, and is the easiest for staff and customers to use. Don’t get caught up in tech that looks really cool, but in reality is just a distraction from what is really important - increasing your customer experience and profit.
Just because the technology is new and looks good, it doesn’t mean it is right for your stores. Strip away the flashy exterior, conduct some due diligence, and determine the technology’s return on investment for both customers and your business.
Knowledge base drives confidence
The POS needs to be so much more than ‘just POS’, with functionality that extends far beyond just scanning a barcode and realising a price. It needs to be a complete transaction and information platform.
In order for the sales process to flow, the POS needs to be simple and fast for the user to drive, while also quickly and reliably providing them with an increasing depth and spread of information.
Having a knowledgeable sales person or one who can find product information quickly through the POS system, will ensure customer confidence in the product and person they’re dealing with.
Move forward with feedback
Do provide the ability for your customers to provide feedback on their shopping experience. Listen to what they say, and then use the information to identify hot spots and improve the shopping experience for them.
It’s best to know what your customers are thinking, rather than guessing where you are getting things right or wrong.
Incentives can also be useful in gleaning the thoughts of your customers, and encouraging them to provide honest feedback. Infinity supports different ways of collecting and analysing your customer preferences to suit your specific environment.
Know what your customers know
It’s essential your staff are as well equipped with information as your customers are. It’s not really a good look to be caught out by a customer who knows more about your product than the staff member serving them!
The days where instore and online channels were different entities have well and truly gone. A customer can use their phone to look up your store’s website while they are shopping onsite, and so it’s imperative that staff are aware of what is happening online, while the online channel also needs to reflect what is happening instore.
A single source of data is the key to enabling this.
Watch and learn from other retail verticals
While most retailers feel they are unique – and in some respects they most certainly are – there are often more similarities than differences when comparing retailers within and across verticals.
With our years of experience, we can often relate a process from one seemingly completely different industry to another. We can draw similarities, offer improvements that we know have worked, or proceed with caution in more challenging areas.
For example, while telecommunications, agribusiness and furniture may all seem totally different on the surface, they all share a need for a complex order and item configuration mechanism and are fundamentally seeking the same solutions.
It’s a good idea to have a look around at other verticals and to see what works (or doesn’t work) there. Draw on the knowledge of people outside your niche for new and more efficient processes, and ways to improve the customer experience.
One size does not fit all in enterprise retail. Select a vendor and system to support the kind of experience your customers expect from your brand. Choose a flexible instore system, configured to fit your unique requirements. Choose an experienced vendor with the expertise to lead your transformation and inspire your vision.