The impression customers get from your brand in-store and their retail experience can go a long way towards helping them to make a purchase. So how can you make sure they see you as fun?
Retail experience is important for everyone involved in the retail sales industry. On the most basic level, if consumers have a bad time shopping, they will not want to return to that location. However, in order to be at the top of your game, you will need to make sure people see your brand in a good light and associate it with a positive experience.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but a good option for many companies is to attempt to foster a sense of fun when it comes to the retail experience. Shopping is often seen as a chore by consumers, especially as it is so easy to order products online, so retailers must go above and beyond to provide their customers with an enjoyable time.
This is what provides brick-and-mortar retailers with a significant advantage over online shopping. By transforming your focus from what customers can buy to what they can do, you can create a value beyond that which the actual products provide.
So, how can you ensure that your customers have a fun retail experience? Here is our advice on how to improve customer experience, based on our experience and examples from top retailers around the world.
Embrace your customers’ identity
The House of Vans in London is a great example of a building that perfectly merges a brand’s identity with that of its customers. The company sells skating apparel, so it’s no surprise that the company’s HQ in the UK features a skatepark. However, the brand went one step further. Embracing its identity as part of an alternative culture, they included a live music space, bar, cafe and cinema.
This shows a keen understanding of Vans’ customers, allowing it to transform its HQ into a social, events-led space that the company knows will appeal to the right audience. Your brand might not have such a well-defined user base, but it is still a good idea to use your retail experience to appeal to the identity of the people who will be buying your products.
Create a retail experience WITH your products
So many products stay in their packaging until they’re purchased, but this doesn’t help your customers make an informed decision. It certainly doesn’t allow for any sense of fun or novelty. However, letting people experience them before they make a purchase - especially in an informal, no-pressure setting - is a good way to add some fun to a retail experience.
Take Lush, for example. Entering the store, you’ll be greeted by helpful assistants keen to guide you through product demos, where you can try the majority of their offerings without any pressure to buy. This works well with the company’s colourful bath bombs and exciting scents to make the retail experience as enjoyable as possible. Speaking of assistants…
Make sure your staff are on board
Good customer service is one of the main elements of a positive retail experience, and when it comes to making things fun, it has to start and end with your staff. In many ways, they have to go beyond service with a smile and embody the fun attitude you’re trying to promote to your customers.
This doesn’t have to be forced or too obvious. You don’t want to give your employees set jokes to tell or make them smile all the time. Just encourage them to have a good time with the customers and not worry too much about professionalism. Make sure they know they have a good level of support from managers, so they’re not worried about saying the wrong thing, and you’ll find you’re more able to foster a fun environment.
- Get your retail experience to reflect your customers and their passions.
- Encourage shoppers to play with your product and give them space to experience what you have to offer without pressure.
- You can throw money at a problem but if your staff are not on-board helping customers, your retail experience will fall flat. Empower your team to engage customers.
Want to learn how to get your customer enjoying your full retail experience offer? Learn how encouraging ‘play’ in-store creates loyal customers in our 'shopping experience' case study.