A recent MarketingWeek study has shown that over 1/3 of customers are dissatisfied with their in-store experience and go online to avoid the usual inconveniences of ‘brick and mortar’ like long queues or unfriendly staff. Furthermore they sometimes are so ‘disenchanted’ with a store’s image that they even avoid going into it for fear of being associated with it! You would never want this to happen to you so do something about it until it’s too late.
One unhappy customer is very likely to generate a bunch of negative comments about your store/ shop (that can spread online quickly). And because acquiring new customers costs more than retaining existing ones, why not invest in your in-store environment to boost customer satisfaction and retention rates. Offer your customers a positive and pleasant experience while in your locations to encourage them to stop by more often.
First make sure your staff is well informed and available (38% of the survey respondents claimed staff doesn’t live up to the store’s image) and then take the necessary measures to decrease perceived wait time. Use digital information displays to answer frequently asked questions and offer general information about the products and store (opening times etc.) as this British clothing brand does. People aren’t willing to wait for assistance or information any more, this is why digital media in-store is a necessity and not an option (see Digital Signage Today’s ”Are We There Yet?” article)
Experiment with technology
Tweet mirrors represent one of the newest gems in retail technology but you don’t have to go for things as complicated as that. Get yourself a screen (and everything that comes with it) and communicate information that makes shopping easier (content tip: do include photos of the produce as they’re more eye-catching than text). Over 46,000 stores in the UK are using some sort of digital media signage in their venues and half of those (interviewed) that aren’t say they’re planning to acquire a digital signage system in the next 12 months (according to a POPAI survey). This trend is just a response to consumers’ demand for instant, relevant, location- based information.
Leverage social media and new shopping behaviours
34% of the 3,000 interviewed shoppers agree that they share photos of themselves shopping for clothes with their friends on social networks so make your store picture- worthy (or maybe Facebook- worthy?) and have your customers advertise you for free! 15% of in-store shoppers use their phones to check for prices. Spare them of this effort and keep them in store and loyal by displaying your discounts and best deals when they’re most interested in them. Use digital signage at the point of purchase to display all this information (and more- such as opening times, your website’s details etc.) at the right time of day, according to the type of customers in your locations.
Don’t be disheartened by the fact that some customers shift online. Live & Breathe’s survey shows that the brick and mortar stores are still a very important part of the buying experience and if pleasant, they can foster loyalty and encourage purchasing. And that’s valid for any store whether big or small.
P.S. This post was updated on 19 September 2012.
We are one of the longest standing digital signage providers in the world, whose solutions are reaching over 30 million consumers every week, all around the globe. digitalsignage.NET, our cloud- based digital signage solution enables organisations from various sectors to disseminate timely and accurate information on interconnected screens installed in their locations.