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The saturated retail industry provides customers endless options when shopping around. Retailers have to step up their game and provide a seamless in-store customer experience to convince people to shop in-store instead of online.
These three problems discourage customers from leaving their couches to visit retail stores: dysfunctional technology meant to deliver exceptional in-store experience, negative or minimal interaction with sales associates, and lack of a personalized experience.
Dysfunctional technology meant to deliver exceptional in-store experience
It isn’t uncommon for technology to fail to deliver expected results. Often times, companies bandwagon onto the latest tech hype too fast. Before investing, you should analyze whether a technology is essential for company growth.
For example, a recent trend in the retail industry benefiting brands are apps. The trend has been around long enough to show positive results while also becoming more accessible and prevalent. Still, creating an app is no easy feat. It can be timely and costly to find the right developers at the right price, and not all developers are created equally.
“26% of UK smartphone users would think less of a retailer if its app was poorly designed.” (Apadmi)
According to Apadmi’s Retail App Report, 71% of UK smartphone users “think there is a gap in the market for more improved retail apps,” citing numerous reasons such as slow speed and poor functionality. These customer complaints stood out the most:
- (34%) apps don’t provide enough offers or a loyalty scheme
- (27%) apps could offer better information and advice
- (44%) apps could be better tailored to my needs
Customers want a tailored app experience benefiting them. The key is to giving app users control of the content they receive and keeping the app relevant for the target audience.
Negative/minimal interaction with sales associates
Negative: Customers only share their “kind of” bad and exceptionally good experiences online. Negative word of mouth is far more powerful and prevalent than positive word of mouth. So now, retailers are going above and beyond for customers, even those in the wrong.
Remember: The customer has the buying power when the market is saturated.
Minimal: A customer may only interact with a sales associate at the checkout counter– which is no way to drive sales and customer loyalty.
The new trend is to mix technology with some human interaction. Customers expect a friendly greeting when entering a store and help only when they want it. Using proximity advertising such as Appadia, retailers can push out “surprise and delight” notifications to push sales and nurture customer loyalty.
- A jewelry store sends a notification to grab a free glass of champagne while shopping around their store.
- A fast food joint can send a free drink coupon to those who didn’t make a purchase while briefly located in the food court.
- An electronics store can send a 10% off coupon after a customer has been shopping around for 10 minutes to keep them interested.
The possibilities are endless, and these tailored notifications will build brand loyalty with customers who feel special for exclusively receiving a coupon.
Lack of a personalized experience
According to the eMarketer report “Personalization in Retail,” consumer opinions of personalization and revenue data conflict.
Most consumers are skeptical that personalization makes a difference. 15.6% of consumers say they are less likely to buy because of personalization. Consumers believe this due to privacy concerns.
However, data shows that companies who implemented personalization have seen a lift in revenue– many as much as 10% and up. Only 11% reported no lift.
Consumers may not be aware that personalization benefits them; however, retailers still miss out on sales by not personalizing the customer experience.
“The goal of personalization is to put the right products, offers and experiences in front of the right person at the right time.” (eMarketer)
Technology must be implemented into the in-store sales process. Phil Granof, CMO of shopping platform NewStore, believes that mobile devices have the ability to satisfy these needs in the moment.
The Appadia Proximity Marketing Solution
- Full proximity marketing campaign solution
- Content management on a user-friendly dashboard
- Subscription-based solution with no commitment