I was out indulging in some retail therapy and came across a very common disconnect consumers are facing today – a mismatch between expectations and experience.
We recently teamed up with RIS to sponsor the 26th Annual Retail Technology Study and while we don't mean to toot our own horns, there are some pretty neat findings in all of this data. This year's study was conducted in January and February and is based on input from over 100 respondents from national or large regional retail chains. We've gone through the study with a fine-tooth comb and decided to break it down into a bite-sized list covering key elements and discoveries in the study.
As the world of omnichannel retail closes in on us, a large focus has been around the technology behind retail transactions -- technology to ensure seamless integration across all touchpoints, technology to enable multi-channel options, technology to offer today's empowered shoppers infinite choice while saving them time, money and hassle.
Omnichannel retail is no longer a prediction; it's a foregone conclusion. Shoppers are demanding cross-channel conveniences and retailers are gearing up and reorganizing to meet the challenge.
Luxury service has been associated with a high degree of human touch for a long time. And rightfully so. Who better to take care of your evening plans in a new city than an experienced concierge at a luxury hotel?
A great customer education and engagement strategy will help your business immeasurably. Alas, refunds are an inescapable reality in the retail world, especially after the holidays are over.
The checkout process, the final stage of the in-store experience, can completely affect whether a consumer walks away satisfied and plans on returning or if a poor experience causes them to lean in another direction. Simply put, the retail checkout process cannot be fast enough for consumers today.
It’s no secret demand for headphones and other high-end technologies is growing. Last year, Futuresource forecasted worldwide shipment of headphones would grow to 381 million units. The headphone market alone will generate 10.7 billion dollars annually by 2019. That’s just headphones, this study doesn’t include other high-end accessories. Realistically, the potential is endless but unfortunately, shelf space is not.
While the so-called decline of the bricks-and-mortar store has been touted within circles for years; e-commerce giant, Amazon, has just opened its first physical store. As online and physical stores merge, the introduction of omnichannel retail solutions becomes crucial for physical retailers to create a seamless experience for the consumer.
As technology changes, so do the ways we interact with the world around us.
The entire retail industry is more than informed on the fact that their consumers and their respective consumer habits are changing. New shopping patterns have been evolving for the past 20 years as e-commerce has consistently accounted for more and more retail sales. In more recent years, m-commerce and ‘online in-store’ channels have become more and more prevalent as retailers strive to complete the sale at every possible touchpoint.
As a wireless retailer, you obviously train your staff on the devices and plans you offer. Salespeople are scripted on what to say in any in-store scenario.
But what about what they don't say?
Retail Minded's Nicole Reyhle recently wrote a blog post about the importance of salespeople's body language and non-verbal communication.
"We've all heard the expression 'She looks like a (fill in the blank here)' and in the case of retail, you want that blank only to pertain to positive attributes," she writes. "If it’s not, it’s time to do some role playing to help strengthen the 'appearance' of your actions."
These tips are a good refresher for any staff serving customers face-to-face.
Reyhle offers the following three tips:
- Stand Openly. "Get out from behind your cash wrap or desk, avoid crossing your arms or leaning on something, and stand up straight and tall."
- Use Positive Facial Expressions. Smiling and nodding in agreement go a long way in terms of establishing rapport and trust. They also help to reinforce the customer's conclusions when trying to choose a product or service.
- Avoid Dominant Gestures. "Anything too extreme in your body language can scare a customer off," she writes. Respect the customer's personal space. Let the customer finish speaking before you interject, to not appear rushed or scripted. And avoid staring. The key is to make the customer feel at ease.
While these may seem like common sense, a lot of people's natural body language is subconscious. They may not realize the way they stand inside the store is actually uninviting, or that they tend to scowl when bored, etc.
If anything, tips like these are a good refresher for any staff serving customers face-to-face. It's good to be aware that their non-verbal cues might be conveying mixed signals.