It’s convenience galore when it comes to online shopping. The proposition of going down to the store and spending an evening on shopping does not excite everyone today. Why should it, when acquiring the favorite products are just a few clicks away? Yet, nobody can vouch that brick-and-mortar is dead. Well, there are many things that have kept it alive. They include the touch and feel factor that consumers crave, the customers’ love for real-life customer service, the obligation of purchasing expensive products at the store, etc. There is no point though in merely being alive. The physical existence should yield profits, much like e-commerce.
The point is, customers don’t spend as much time in physical stores as they used to. But, that doesn’t mean that they don’t visit the stores at all. Brick-and-Mortar retailers should capitalize on this opportunity. Retailers must understand that customers need to be consistently engaged in-store, throughout their shopping journey. Only then will it be an in-store experience of a kind for them. Let’s see how retailers can enhance the in-store engagement of customers in-store.
In-store personalization – The easiest way to keep customers engaged
The levels of personalization that a customer receives often determines the kind of in-store experience that he has. Shoppers today expect the online experience in offline. Every time they walk into a physical store, they are looking for a personalized shopping experience. Retailers can meet their expectations if they wish to. By analyzing data generated from various sources like customer past purchase history, loyalty card records, in-store beacons, in-store cameras, etc. retailers can easily provide customers with exactly what they are looking for.
For instance, beacons installed on the shelves and the store help in sending contextualized offers on the customers’ phone based on their proximity to a certain section in the store. Further, these beacons, along with the cameras installed easily identify the customer movements in-store, and helps in assessing the behavior exhibited by him. Based on his dwell time around a section, and behavior, personalized offers and recommendations can be sent to the customers’ mobile. This is bound to keep the customers engaged, and expedites the chances of scoring a conversion. Offering personalization is one of the easiest ways to enhance the in-store engagement of customers.
Leveraging the power of Modern Technology
The power of technology that is available to retailers today is immense, and can almost command attention. For instance, customers will not have any choice but be in complete awe if they step in and encounter robots instead of regular store associates. The robots powered by artificial intelligence potentially can interact with customers like humans, except for the fact that they are not humans. There is no debating the levels of in-store engagement that robots alone can provide among the customers.
Retailers should also concentrate on establishing their own smart store of the future. One way of enhancing customer engagement that has gained popularity is the concept of virtual mirrors. It’s a perfect example of the huge role that virtual reality plays in the retail sector. Virtual mirrors are a kind of digital mirror that allows customers to understand how they look in different clothes. They can be called virtual trial rooms. These mirrors easily engage the customers in-store. And if that’s not enough, the use of digital signages in-store will surely capture the customers’ imagination. Resorting to these modern-day technologies will help retailers provide a great customer experience to the shoppers.
Faster Checkouts – Keeping the in-store engagement intact
A retailer might be doing a lot of things right in keeping the shoppers engaged. But sometimes, all the arduous work can lead to no avail. Long queues at the checkout line almost instantly puts customers off, especially in today’s world of technology and automation. We are in the age of e-commerce, and customers are used to making one touch payments that barely last a minute. A long queue at the store can certainly hinder the overall customer experience.
To keep the in-store engagement of the customers intact, retailers will have to devise methods of reducing the checkout process. They can look to carry out payments online on the smartphone through mobile applications. Another way of reducing the long checkout queue is by making provision for the customer to make the purchase online, and then come and collect it at the store. Faster checkouts will not just provide a seamless shopping experience to customers, but also ensure that the retailers’ efforts don’t go waste.