Part I: Why Providing an Exceptional Retail Customer Experience Is Critical to Modern Retail

retail-customer-experienceWhat are you doing to help your physical store rise to the top? There are a number of little things you can do to offer a great retail customer experience, from keeping your store neat, tidy and fresh, to hosting events that attract local personalities. But consider these three ways to provide a modern retail experience and draw foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar store.


One smart way to get shoppers through your doors is to offer customer-friendly services such as “Buy Online, Pickup In-Store” (BOPIS). This smart strategy is the best of both worlds in a sense; it gives shoppers the convenience of purchasing online and the speed of retrieving their purchases at no additional charge and more quickly than waiting for a package in the mail.

What’s more, BOPIS is a retail customer experience that drives additional sales beyond the products your customer purchased online. A Forrester report revealed that 46 percent of shoppers are enticed to spend above and beyond the original BOPIS purchase if they receive a personalized discount or deal when retrieving their purchases in store.

To take advantage of moments when your BOPIS customers are primed to purchase, think about how to set up your BOPIS store center to encourage additional impulse buying. Stock popular items in or around the area in which customers pick up their orders, and train employees to cross-sell products that often are purchased in tandem with the ones your customers have already bought.

Your Store: The “Show Me” Place

Customers who choose to spend their valuable time shopping in store often want (or even demand!) a high-touch retail customer experience. Deliver on their expectations by training your staff to be engaged and attentive in addressing customer needs. Let customers know they’re in good hands with your knowledgeable employees.

Customers sometimes don’t know what they want until they find it. Encourage your staff to enhance the retail customer experience by cross-selling whenever appropriate, showing the customer interesting items that coordinate with or complement the other products they already plan to buy. For example, a shopper who has already committed to a pair of Victorian end tables might also want to see that new set of ornate table lamps that just came in. Or the aunt-to-be who has gathered an armful of pastel onesies probably can be enticed to top off a baby shower gift with an adorable stuffed animal or the perfect little baby booties.

The retail customer experience should surprise and delight your shopper. Cross-selling can help your customer discover wonderful new products that will have them all smiles as they’re leaving the store and nearly guarantee a return visit.

Speaking of Smiling

Be as selective as you can with the people you hire in your stores. Your employees are on the front lines of your retail brand and often create the customer’s first impression of what your business is all about. While it may be tempting to do as little employee training as possible (i.e., as long as they can operate the POS…), you’re missing out on opportunities to leverage your valuable human assets to provide a top-notch retail customer experience for the shoppers who choose to visit your stores.

Attitude is everything. Be sure to instill in your workers the values that your retail brand wants to convey. Remind sales assistants to greet shoppers with a smile and a friendly welcome as they come through your doors. Like it or not, customers are highly attuned to how your staff treats them. They can tell if a worker is rushed or less attentive than they should be and that behavior can make or break a sale.

On the other hand, encourage your staff to try to evaluate what each shopper needs. Some just want to browse on their own, while others want close side-by-side assistance. Smothering the former certainly won’t help and neither will abandoning the latter. Understanding how to approach shoppers will improve the opportunity to provide a great retail customer experience for each and every guest in your store.

Are you doing your best to offer added value in your retail customer experience? Customers have more choices than ever, so it’s critically important to use every tool in your box to help your store stand out in a crowded retail environment.

Stay tuned for Part II to discover how people counting can help improve the retail customer experience.