In a recent blog, we discussed top brick and mortar retail trends of 2017. Those trends represent response in the sector to shifting consumer behavior that’s changing the face of retail. Increasingly, retailers are challenged to present consumers with more in the way of experiential draw, making their effort to come and shop more worthwhile.
The rise of online commerce has prompted marketing experts to ask, “Is retail dead?”. That’s why this post will offer some helpful tips on how to keep your store from closing.
Meeting online commerce head on.
E-commerce’s rise continues apace, but it’s missing something traditional, brick and mortar retail will always have – the face-to-face human experience.
It’s convenient to be able to sit in your jammies and shop online. Let’s face it. Consumers love exactly that aspect of it. But they will make a point of 3D, real world, retail shopping when they have good reason to do so.
So, what constitutes good reason? Experience. A big part of that experience is interaction with a retail sales force that cares about them being in the store and wants to support their experience with customer service excellence.
Retail isn’t dead, or even on life support. The retail survivors in our era will respond to the e-commerce challenge by elevating the customer experience on the front lines. It’s outlets which embrace service as a key nutrient for feeding brick and mortar retail who will make it.
As discussed in our recent post about the 4 design elements shoppers value in a retail store, we talked about the 3 communication channels of your brand. See. Speak. Do. The “do” part is just as important as the other 2 channels. In fact, it’s what seals the deals for many people coming into your outlet.
Sales staff who are present to consumers, knowledgeable about your products and express your brand in their interactions, create a pleasant memory of superior service. That memory brings people back.
The converse is true when your sales staff is either thin on the ground, or unequal to the task of modelling customer service excellence. Training staff to be the best they can be as your frontline brand ambassadors creates branded interactions which cement customer loyalty.
If you’re going to be a brick and mortar retail survivor, it’s crucial that you do the work required. That means training and re-training staff to be finely-tuned sales-making machines who understand what customers want.
Customers want a personal experience. They also want autonomy. At the same time, they want to feel valued and special. You sales staff’s understanding of these key elements of customer need creates the conditions your store needs to weather the shifting sands of 21st Century retail.
Is retail dead? How to keep your store from closing demands that you gather to yourself the high quality people you need to create a customer experience that offers your shoppers personalization, branded interactions and outstanding service.
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