The customer experience is no longer restricted to bricks and mortar stores and it's become necessary for retailers to exist across all channels at all times. There are a number of low cost, low effort ways to offer your customers more, both in-store and online. Here are some examples of how you can create a memorable experience your customers will love, driving sales through service.
Consumers will pay a premium for convenience. A gift-wrap service is an easy, low-cost offer which can really add value to your customers, taking any additional stress out of their shopping experience, particularly for those 12.6 million shoppers who hit the high streets on the last weekend before Christmas.
Having a range of papers, boxes, bags and bows affords your customers a choice and gives them the opportunity to choose premium wrapping at an additional cost. Get your wrap station set up near your EPOS, as it’s the perfect place to upsell this service when they pay for their items.
Festive themed gift guides allow retailers the opportunity to showcase their stock, with the ability to upsell complementary products alongside them. It’s essential the guide is mobile friendly, has clear pricing and shipping information and a link to your online store. If you don’t have the time or the capacity to build an interactive guide, it can just as well in an email. Mailchimp is a great feature that allows you to build professional newsletters and email templates, fully integrated with your Epos Now system.
Categorising products into types, price ranges, gender and age preferences will allow customers to filter by criteria. The key to creating an engaging online gift guide is eye-catching visuals paired with bold creative text that explains why the product would be a great gift for that chosen demographic.
Speaking at the international retail conference, retail expert Mary Portas said, “By 2020, experience will take over product and price; people will be spending on experiences and using their time creatively.” What better way to create an enjoyable and memorable experience than offering personal shopping.
Offering a personal shopping experience needn’t be a formal event like one the ones associated with high-end retailers. Friendly staff building rapport with customers and reaffirming purchase choices helps build a psychological connection. Fashion retailer Monsoon are a great example of utilising technology to improve the consumer's experience. The floor staff are each provided with ipads with access to live stock information and product pages allowing them to promote complementary or alternative items. Retail Week report this initiative has boosted the average order value by 133%.
Consumers are always eager to get a good deal, so promotions are a popular way to encourage footfall. Don’t be tempted to consistently go all out black Friday style as this will unnecessarily eat into margins. Why not reward your loyal customers with targeted offers and personalised promotions, as this incentivises repeat customer and encourages consumers to spend more, as they believe they’ve already made a saving which justifies the increased spend.
Epos Now offers a number of loyalty modules which afford SMEs a range of integrated marketing materials. This could be push offers which are sent to consumers in your immediate area as they pass your business, the opportunity to earn points for money of purchases, or personalised promotions based on their past purchases. LoyaltyDog, Swipii and Loyalzoo are just some of Epos Now’s award-winning partners.
It may seem counter-intuitive to give your stock away for free, but trying products often translates to buying products. By giving your customers the opportunity to try your stock they can see if they enjoy the products and help them envisage how it would fit in their daily lives. Whether it’s food samples, cosmetics or swatches of material, you open a dialogue with the customer. This means they can learn more about the products while subconsciously being primed to buy it.
If your products don’t lend themselves well to a free samples format, why not offer a free consultation? Offering a sample of your expertise promotes your brand and services as an industry expert. This can apply to any trade, from hairdressing to hardware stores. Behavioural economist, Dan Ariely from Duke University says “Reciprocity is a very, very strong instinct. If somebody does something for you, you really feel a rather surprisingly strong obligation to do something back for them.”
Christmas is the perfect time to give a little back to your customer. Like any relationship, it’s nurtured when a two-way dialogue is encouraged. By creating a memorable in-store experience, or tempting customers in from your online offering, you can increase your spend per head and the opportunity to improve your customer retention rates, setting you up for a profitable new year!