Spring is right around the corner. It’s the season that signifies new life and inspires many to shake off winter by dusting off their homes in a fury of spring cleaning. It is also the time many retailers will have marked down their winter stock to make room for the spring season.
With an expected rise of 3.9% in retail sales for 2017, there’s no better time to refresh your in-store experience. Here are three ways to breathe new life in your stores:
1. Offer more with the illusion of less
It’s time to declutter in a big way. Consumers today are overwhelmed by choice. When you walk into a store that’s bursting with merchandise it can be intimidating as well as aesthetically unappealing. There’s a definite trend towards minimalism, clean lines, natural elements and open space but you’re also expected to offer the depth of product assortment shoppers can find online. No easy task. By blending digital elements into your physical store such as digital signage and endless aisle solutions, you now have the freedom to improve your store environment by carrying only what you need to while still showcasing your entire product catalog through strategically placed touchscreens. Offer more than you ever have while freeing up precious space.
2. Create emotionally engaging experiences
Now that you’ve got all this space, what should you do with it? The world of retail is fiercely competitive, and the expectations of shoppers seem to be rising by the day. It’s no longer enough to simply offer a great product. Consumers today want an experience. They want to support brands they feel are an extension of their lifestyle and that they can connect to emotionally. What can shoppers experience in your stores? Look for ways to connect to the local community. Bookstores have been doing this for years by hosting book signings and readings. Lululemon does this with in-store yoga classes. We’ve also seen stores bring in DJs, teach workshops and do demonstrations. Challenge yourself to think outside the retail box.
3. Re-energize your store associates
The above two tips will only be successful if your front-line team is fully on board. Bringing in new technology can often require a shift in your associates’ mindset when it comes to serving customers. And certainly, if your goal is to create engaging experiences, you must have engaging store associates. Give them the tools they need to succeed in the changing retail environment. Many retailers are moving to mobile POS solutions to free their teams from behind the terminal but make sure you equip them with much more than just the ability to process a sale. Mobile tools and endless aisle screens can be valuable sales assist resources packed with detailed product specs, inventory information, and pricing. Your customers are walking into your store armed with a ton of information. Level the playing field for your staff so they can deliver great experiences every time.
Get even more ideas for redefining your store experience by downloading our whitepaper, Five Steps Toward Reimagining the Physical Store.