What is Retail Customer Experience?
The modern consumer has a plethora of purchase options at their fingertips. Choice is an understatement in an increasingly mobile-first landscape. So, how do you differentiate yourself?
Beyond your assortment, pricing, and promotions, it’s about how you speak to, engage with, convey value to, and delight your customers — from the moment they walk into your physical store, or visit your website, through to after a retail sale is made. This is what is collectively referred to as the retail customer experience.
It’s through this process that you can create an emotional hook, curiosity, and connectivity with your customers — a dynamic and multi-faceted brand-customer relationship. This is the great customer experience you want to deliver.
Key Elements of a Retail Customer Experience Strategy
Products and advertisements are often easy to forget, but what’s memorable is the way a brand makes you feel or the curiosity you have exploring various retail stores. Creating that type of impact is essential to standing out in today’s marketplace. To achieve a strong retail customer experience strategy, it’s important to analyze three key areas of your business: your brand storytelling capabilities, your people, and your approach to personalization.
1. Brand Storytelling
Simply put, brand storytelling is the narrative you craft around your business. This can cut across your products, purpose, or positioning in the market. Think of it both in terms of the value you provide your target customer and, more abstractly, the inspiration you offer.
A number of elements such as merchandising, employee training, activations, and marketing messaging serve to reinforce the story you want to tell. When you find this centering point as a brand, your marketing and customer service cut through the noise and deliver a cohesive, collective, and curated customer experience.
Once you’ve honed in on your ideal narrative, you need a human touch to make it stick. This means hiring the right people and training them to convey your messaging and values in a way that drives meaningful customer engagement. These are associates who put relationships first. They are motivated by getting to know customers, understanding their lifestyle, likes and dislikes, travel plans, birthdays and upcoming anniversaries. Do not undervalue the importance of these front-line employees, and make sure you invest in the right tools and resources to help them be successful.
Personalized messaging and an easy-to-navigate CRM system like Endear put the power of relationship-building and tracking in your associates’ hands, freeing up more time for you to work on your larger strategic vision for your retail experience and customer journey.
In this increasingly crowded landscape, offering tailored service, discerning expertise, and customized selections is an essential part of an elevated shopping experience. If you want to convert first-time customers to brand loyalists, or even brand evangelists, start here. Fortunately, technology makes it easier than ever to track your customers' purchase patterns across channels, providing you with the perfect lens for what promotions, product suggestions, or loyalty programs to offer them.
And tying back to having the right people, offer your customers expert advice that suits their tastes and lifestyle. Whether this means connecting your online customers through social media with a unique store experience, or by developing a personal styling program, the possibilities can have a powerful impact on your small business.
3 Examples of Retail Customer Experience Strategies at Work
Now that you understand the importance of a strong and immersive customer experience, let’s look to a few examples of what this might look like as part of a broader marketing strategy.
Looking for non-toxic and sustainable household goods? Look no further than Grove Collaborative. Thoughtfully curated, Grove also offers VIP members a dedicated Grove Guide to answer any questions and make product recommendations via text. They have frequent bonus gifts and you may even get a thoughtful handwritten message along with your delivery.
After making quite the splash in the beauty space, custom haircare purveyor Prose has upped the ante again with their personalized membership service called The Salon. In addition to their signature custom hair formulas, customers will get flexible subscription service, loyalty points towards free products, and access to virtual 1:1 appointments with hair care experts.
Personalized nutrition recommendations, compelling subscribe and save discounts, and easy to read product descriptions are just some of the aspects that make shopping with Hum great. Colorful packaging, upbeat messaging, and relevant promotional partnerships convey a strong and cohesive message. Vitamins and supplements, long thought of as purely medicinal, are now bright, cheerful, and inspired by a mantra of self-care.
Whether you currently operate an e-commerce store, have brick-and-mortar stores, or a combination of both, there are great insights to be gained from how these businesses engage their customers, offer personalized service, and stay connected digitally. Be sure to check out our website for more information on how Endear’s omnichannel tracking, personalized messaging, and unified CRM can help simplify your move toward an increasingly elevated retail customer experience.