The growth of online retail has been unstoppable in the past 10 years. This has caused a shift in people’s shopping habits. That’s the reason why a lot of brick and mortar stores losing customers and money.
The others enhance their customer experience to stay competitive with online retailers. They offer a unique shopping experience that you can’t find when shopping online. However, this method requires strategies to be executed properly. Here are some of the strategies:
Create an immersive shopping experience
We all know how easy it is to shopping online compared to buy your stuff on retail stores. With a few clicks, your purchase will be shipped directly to your home. But sometimes customers want more than that. They want to spend more time shopping, not the other way around.
Brands that understand this will certainly win the competition. For example, Sephora uses augmented reality so customers can “try” the make-up they want to buy using an app on their phone. Now customers can find out the best color for their lipstick before purchasing them.
IKEA is also doing the same thing. They developed an augmented reality app that allows customers to check whether the sofa they want to buy matches the paint color of their living room, from their home.
Unique merchandise specialist
Some customers call themselves treasure hunters. They have one goal when shopping, finding unexpected items, beautiful, rare or have a high value.
The retail stores that successfully running this strategy are Costco, eBay, and Miniso. When you visit Miniso, you will likely purchase items that you don’t necessarily need, but you buy them on impulse.
Not only that, they refresh their merchandise list within a certain time. This urges you to buy the item because it’s possible you won’t see it on your next visit to the store.
Inspire your customers
This method is usually effective for specialty retailers, such as North Face. In some of their stores, North Face provides virtual reality (VR) equipment so visitors can experience what does it feels like hiking in Yosemite National Park. This method is effective to inspire visitors to start adventuring right away.
Patagonia does a different way to inspire their customers. They run a campaign to protect the environment from destruction. Article and video contents are effective to inspire their customers and establish an emotional connection between customers and the retailer.
If you find a unique shopping experience, you’ll want to share that experience with your family and friends. Like when a retail store offers you a free drink or greeted warmly by customer service staff when browsing for clothes.
Chicago’s Nordstrom has the best example of a shareable shopping experience. They added a bar in the men’s clothing section, making it more fun to browse those ties and shirts.
Another example is installing a smart mirror in fitting rooms. Not only makes it helps your customers choosing the best wardrobe for them but it also able to sends pictures from the fitting room to their friends or family and ask for their opinions.
Save your customer’s time
The main advantage of shopping online is saving time. You don’t need to come to the store, you can buy your desired items using your cellphone and it will be delivered directly to your home. You can’t experience this when shopping in a brick and mortar store.
But that does not mean retail stores can’t save their customer’s time. Some retail stores inventing “order online and pick up in-store” to save their customers time when shopping.
Staying competitive amid the online shop boom requires an extra effort from brick and mortar retailers. The success achieved by Walmart or IKEA is a clear example that people still have a high interest in shopping at stores. Now it’s your turn to make your business successful.