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How Retailers Can Bounce Back From COVID-19 by Creating an Unforgettable Customer Experience

Handsome young man trying necklace for his gorgeous wife at jewelry store. Jeweler in gloves holding mirror for buyer. Brunette woman with wavy hair, wearing black dress estimating looking at mirror.

With so many businesses competing for the same market, modern customers have a lot of freedom to make well-informed choices when looking for goods, services or information. For the entrepreneur, this means constant innovation and reinvention to ensure the best customer experience to bring traffic back to your store.

The process involves researching you’re your competition is doing, identifying voids you can fill, taking advantage of technology and using customer feedback to polish the retail experience. Marketing experts recommend customer-centric models that focus on meeting unique needs carving future expectations, which will later become needs to satisfy.

Over the past few years, entrepreneurs have had the chance to have both online and brick-and-mortar businesses. Most startups with physical premises that customers can visit also offer online platforms. Creating harmony between the multiple channels is a priority for business owners.

From hosting community events to offering customers the chance to experience the product, brick-and-mortar companies have unique strength to build incredible experiences that no other business can replicate. It can also create authority and strong brand presence both locally and abroad.  If you are looking to attract loyal customers that can keep engaging with your brand and business, here are five insights to help you create a memorable experience.

1.     Face to face customer service

Online presence is essential for any modern business and many offline stores have completed their transition to accommodate the ever-expanding online customer base. Several benefits and conveniences merit taking your business online. However, face to face customer service is an area that no e-commerce can provide without a physical premise.

This is one area offline stores can take full advantage to create memorable retail shopping experiences for their customers, while still observing health safety precautions. If you own a storefront, you can employ sales assistants that are well-informed about the store, its inventory, popular sells, promotions, and more. Face-to-face customer service offers a unique experience, unlike messaging and browsing the FAQ section.

For example, Sydney jeweller Moi Moi Fine Jewellery puts a strong emphasis on their retail service. By placing their flagship store in the heart of Sydney they can showcase their range of lab grown diamonds to potential customers who can experience the rings in person.

Furthermore, sales personnel can provide any necessary assistance and explain the products to the customers, helping them to make informed choices. The experience also forges unique bonds between the business and the customer, especially if the customer service personnel are friendly and helpful.

Read more on in-store demos

2.     Community

Several successful businesses are known for their active communities, whether online or offline. For owners of offline stores, a unique opportunity exists to bring the community together by offering an experience beyond checking out products in a cart.

Many companies are already reinventing their spaces to accommodate communal shopping experiences. This can be something as simple as integrating coffee seats or providing a library section where people can meet, chat and interact while shopping. Some businesses make their messaging to become more relatable their audience, like how a mobile repair company focuses on how repairing your phone can help reduce the growing e-waste issue.

The goal is to bring the community together, selling an experience beyond physical products or services. There are several ways to build a strong community around your retail business. You should also explore online communities and networks. The modern customer uses multiple channels at the same time, so you should be active both online and offline.

3.     Let your customers experience the product

Allowing the customer to experience the product is a great strategy to keep high turnover in your retail. It is common among mattress sellers, the hospitality industry and gaming stores that allow customers to have the first-hand experience with the product before making the purchase decision.

There are several ways to let your customer experience your products. This includes coming up with efficient presentations and packaging that allows customers to touch, feel and inspect the products before adding them to their cart. Letting customers experience the product is one way to boost confidence in your products and services. You can optimize the experience to trigger sales decisions and encourage return visits.

However, a lot is involved in organizing the store to accommodate real customer experiences without compromising the quality, safety or state of the product. It also depends on the unique items at your retail store. You can integrate live demos and invest in marketing and exhibition screens.

4.     Make sure your physical and digital stores work

You need to have working retail fronts to offer an experience that keeps people back. This means opening your physical storefronts as well as maintaining your online websites and platforms. Since it is the same business, customers should be able to transition seamlessly across the different channels you offer. A popular experience is an order-and-collect method, where customers make orders online and collect the goods at the local storefront or designated location. If your retail offers deliveries for online orders, customers on vacation can visit your physical store and purchase products, which will be shipped to their home address.

In our Moi Moi Fine Jewellery example, they know that even though their store is in the heart of Sydney, they still have the potential to reach customers in rural areas and other cities. Hence, they have introduced services such as sending out free ring sizers and offering to send sample rings so people can receive a personalized experience even when they can’t visit the store.

Having such fluidity is one of the best ways to keep customers coming back to your store as they have access to more conveniences lacking in most businesses. The websites and social platforms should flourish with user-friendly interfaces, original media and refreshing content as well as security systems for order processing. Offline premises should also stay clean, well-organized and attractive.

5.     Host VIP events

Hosting events is one of the ways to increase brand awareness and bring traffic to your store. However, a memorable experience that is tailored towards treating the customer as VIP is unforgettable. Even if the event only occurs once a year, on their birthday or special milestones for the retail, it will create a unique experience that can earn you loyalty many years to come.

Not many retail stores organize events in their buildings to bring communities together and expose them to some of the best services offered by the business. The most popular trend involves hosting VIP packages that include breakfast, lunch, dinner, gift hampers or giveaways. You can also integrate contests where customers earn points to qualify for trademark VIP treatment offered by the retail. This often involves giving membership cards or establishing a way to calculate credits. Event hosting also attracts the community and allows the customer to experience your products.

Published: May 12, 2020

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christina elroy

Christina Elroy

Christina Elroy is a proud wife, mother, entrepreneur, author, and world traveler. Previously a successful businesswoman who gave it all up to raise children, Christina spent a lot of her free time during those years flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics. She hopes her books will inspire and motivate others to do what makes them happy and to achieve their goals.

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