The growth of e-commerce has been considered a threat to many brick-and-mortar retailers. They’re afraid of losing visitors since consumers nowadays tend to choose to buy online. But on the contrary, a study conducted by TimeTrade shows that 85% of consumers prefer to shop at physical stores rather than online. They usually look for product prices online, but then end up buying the products offline.
The result of the study shows that physical stores are still relevant. Even some of the largest online retailers like Google, Amazon, Bonobos, and The Arrivals have decided to open their physical stores in several countries. They know that consumers still like to shop offline. Therefore, the e-commerce phenomenon shouldn’t be considered an obstacle that prevents you from attracting visitors to your store. Check out these useful tips to help you create in-store experiences that boost traffic and sales!
1. Upgrade the role of your front-line employees
Your front-line employees are the ones that have to deal directly with customers every day. You customers’ purchase decision can be influenced by your employees, so they must know your products really well. Therefore, you shouldn’t just make them your salespeople, but also consultants or experts who can explain the benefits and value of your products to the prospective customers.
Teach your employees how to greet visitors, answer their inquiries, and help them when they face difficulties finding the products. Make sure your employees know how to deal with customers complaints. Having friendly and professional employees can help you attract more visitors and keep them coming back to your store.
2. Allow your customers to try your products
The attractive designs and various advanced features in your store can certainly draw the attention of those who see them. However, customers need more than that. They come to your store, hoping to be able to directly try your products. Therefore, make it easier for them to feel the experience of using your products before buying them.
This method doesn’t only work on clothing or shoe stores, but also on any types of retail stores. For example, if you sell beauty products, then you can provide free makeup testing so that your visitors can try them on. Likewise, if you sell kitchen utensils, then you can provide a showroom to show the visitors how the tools work.
3. Make them feel like home
You certainly want to make your visitors fall in love with your store so they come back again and again. But, that’s unlikely if you can’t make them comfortable while spending time (and money) at your store. This is why in-store atmosphere matters.
Piece of advice:
Turn on some cheerful music softly throughout the store. Choose the songs carefully. Make sure they don’t make your visitors feel bored and sleepy. Research shows that music influences one’s shopping desires. Cheerful yet slow music tends to make people want to shop more.
Besides music, you also need to pay attention to the layout of your store. Make sure your items are easily found and accessed by visitors. Put your items based on the categories, for example, put the accessory shelf in a separate area, same goes for the the clothes and shoe racks. Don’t forget to provide some comfortable seats for tired visitors or those who bring children.
4. Merge digital and physical store strategies
Remember that your customers most likely use multiple channels when shopping. They may look for certain products online even when they are at the mall. Therefore, combining your e-commerce with your offline store will be a great idea.
Allow your customers to place orders online through your website and pick them up at your physical location. According to the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), 69 percent of buyers who pick up their orders at stores usually end up purchasing additional items. You can also present an online shopping experience at your physical store by providing a self-service kiosk so that your customers can browse any products they want by themselves. This can be a great strategy, especially if you have a lot of stores and warehouses, yet you don’t store all your stock in one location.
One of the largest retailers that presents e-commerce to their physical store is Nike. The American sportswear manufacturer provides large-sized touch screens in some of their physical stores to allow visitors to search for products on their website.
You can integrate your physical store and online store very easily when you use an automated retail solution. This software allows you to manage sales, orders, and customers through a single system.
5. Speed up your checkout lines
Customers can lose their buying desire when they see long lines at the checkout. To avoid this possibility, prepare several cashiers and registers to handle multiple customer payments at once. Queues can get very long due to the inadequate cash registers and cashiers.
The most effective way to speed up the checkout process is to implement a retail POS system. Not only does it work on cash registers, but also on smartphones and tablets, so that your cashiers are able to handle customer payment even when the cash registers aren’t working or the electricity is out. By using this system, your staff can also easily find products that customers are looking for in just a matter of seconds, thus increasing customer satisfaction.