Larger retailers are beginning to inject a lot of money and resources into complete store overhauls and community programs attributed to their brand. Lululemon holds ‘sweat nights’ that encourage the public to practice varying exercises from yoga to running with staff and ambassadors. They not only sell a product that enables exercise, but live the lifestyle with their customers through their programs.
So why the personalization?
It's all for for the benefit of their visitors in-store experience. Not the padding on a resume, but the short and long-term experience a person feels when they enter your store, interact with your front-line staff, technology, products & services, and brand.
Amazon has recently identified a negative experience many feel at grocery stores and addressed it to deliver a new in-store experience. With Amazon Go, they are making a major move into brick-and-mortar by chasing the IMPACT of addressing the experience a shopper has, specifically the time and issues when leaving a store. “Walk out tech” allows shoppers to leave without having to stop and ‘check-out.’ Making grocery shopping quick makes it easy for; the busy parent not looking to make a scene with a toddler, the dinner host looking to get the forgotten ingredients for their supper, the student who needs a quick bite, etc. This is addressing experience on a large scale, but the story remains true and an impact can still be made when looking at a customer’s experience through technology and addressing positive and negative experiences.
“If you chase the money, you probably won’t get it. If you chase impact, you can monetize that.” Hamed Shahbazi - TIO CEO
The experience is not easy to control, but through some first steps, you can begin to develop a story around your brand and translate this into tangible changes in technology and staff. Here are some tips to begin thinking about how and why you should make these changes.
Tip 1: Retail technology
How do we migrate experience with technology? Make it easy for your customers right from the start; from entering the store, to shopping, choosing, and checking out. This doesn’t just mean trained staff but what staff are using, and what customers can use and interact with on their own. Amazon was able to make the able to identify a better grocery shopping experience and making it happen with technology.
Interactive solutions like Endless Aisle technology can help retailers make a customer experience seamless. Instead of waiting for a busy associate, customers can browse multiple products quickly and checkout in that same interaction.
On a larger scale look at integrating your entire system to a seamless experience through omnichannel technology. You can read how best to begin this path in this whitepaper.
Tip 2: Align brand goals with frontline staff/initiatives
- Align your brand goals with the in-store experience and find ways to bridge them and create an impactful story that resonates with your customers.
- Encourage staff to be involved in your brand story. Use their feedback to understand what customers are needing/talking about. Then make appropriate changes as needed.
- Invest in and promote community initiatives that are important and meaningful to your customers. Personalize your product or store; like a café named after a street. Or on a larger scale, create a gym like Under Armour:
Why has Under Armour opened a high-performance gym, retail area, and healthy eating shop all in one newly renovated old bank? They understand their customer is a dynamic person, interested in healthy living, high/low impact workouts, and stylish but functional gear. Their sales associates want to work at UA because of this lifestyle. They want to offer the complete package their customers are generally interested in; this grows their brand impression and experience in a controlled environment.
Want more insights on how technology can contribute to a memorable customer experience? Book a tour of our NRF showcase, and we'll take you through the interactive retail experience and unique stories of multiple retailers.