Lifestyle,  News

5 Ways to Enhance the Retail Customer Experience

The saying goes, “the customer is always right.” If you work in the retail industry you find that that isn’t always true, but a happy customer is what drives the success of any company—even if that means telling customers they’re right. According to a study done by American Express, a positive experience is so valued by customers that 68% of them are more than willing to shell out more just for a better customer experience.

But how can you enhance the customer experience? From using accounting software to improve sales to venturing into automation, we’ve put together a number of ways to help you keep your customers happy.

  1. Anticipate Your Customer’s Needs

Understanding your customer’s needs is a time-tested path to success. Putting consumer needs first before trends is important in making decisions. Using SAP to enhance your business is also helpful since it offers analytics that predict the demands of customers and lets retailers adapt to them quickly. SAP collects real-time data to understand customer habits, as well as purchasing history to understand which products fulfill customer needs.

  1. Be More Immersive and Engaging

Online shopping has the potential of upending the retail industry, but there are things that can’t simply be bought online. Some products—such as quality bras and clothing—require an in-store presence. Some customers also relish the entire process of physical shopping. Keeping your stores engaging could mean using augmented reality (something makeup giants such as Sephora has implemented, allowing customers to experiment with makeup and false eyelashes without having to actually put them on), analyzers such as treadmills and basketball courts in sports stores, and personalized services.

  1. Reward Your Customers

Many shoppers enjoy shopping out of the thrill of the hunt, so giving them little rewards is a guaranteed win—both for you and your customer. Brands such as Costco and Target constantly rewards shoppers by showcasing exclusive and limited edition merchandise and content. Target, for example, has started featuring two entrances for their stores for specific customers.

  1. Inspire Your Customers

Inspiration is another driving factor to make your store relevant and successful. This can be achieved through meaningful content creation and an engaging and strategic social media presence. You can follow Lowe’s example by creating educational how-to videos or promoting advocacies like Patagonia. Content doesn’t just fill your websites; it also has great potential for telling stories and creating emotional connections with your customers.

  1. Value Your Customers’ Time

The retail industry has buckled under the pressure of time—meaning customers have made the leap towards online shopping as a means to save more time and money. Just because you have a physical store doesn’t mean you can’t compete with online retailers in saving people’s time. Retail giants such as Walmart have found effective ways to value their customers’ time by creating an “order online, pick up in-store” process, as well as optimizing even the simplest shopping experiences such as digitally ordering in the deli then continuing to shop as the deli fills their orders.

Valuing time doesn’t mean cutting shopping time in half, though. Simply ask yourself how you can enhance your customer’s shopping experience and make it worth their time. Sure, they won’t waste their time leaving their house to buy something available online, but customers will make time with the right environment and reward.

While customers can be wrong, data simply can’t. And the data says that the rightcustomer analytics can change the way retailers operate and conducttheir businesses. You don’t need to keep guessing to make yourcustomers happy if you have a great in-store experience. You cansimply collect the data in order to adapt, redefine, and optimizeyour processes to achieve the best possible customer experience.

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