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How Experience is Reshaping the Retail World

According to Theodore Levitt, Harvard marketing manager, “you sell the hole instead of the drill.”

Retail is no
longer defined by storefronts on Main Street. It straddles the physical and
online world with online shopping and physical stores.

They can find the
information with a click of a button online so retailers need to think about
guiding customers through an experience. Customers are much smarter and more
informed about which products to buy today because they often rely on a
strangers review or a friend’s recommendation before even visiting a store.
Given the revved-up research and purchasing power that online reviews help
propel consumers to faster buying decisions, it’s crucial that retailers also
leverage other important avenues that help influence and drive consumer’s.

Because we rely on others influence, even
if they’re strangers, it’s important to figure out your narrative and how it
fits into an ever-changing experiential world. Creating an immersive experience
with your audience using your brand is one way to tip the scales in your
favor.  Here’s some ideas on how you can
create a successful brand experiences:

Sell
convenience

It’s not enough
to have a killer product in hand. There are different variables that contribute
to products resulting in sales. Is it easy to order from your online store? Do
you have a physical store where people can just pick up their purchases instead
of waiting for their orders to arrive in the mail? Do you have a committed
customer support team to help people answer questions about your store?

A great example
of selling a convenient experience is
7-Eleven. Their earliest leaders praised customer service because they
understood the value of attracting customers and doing whatever they could to
keep them coming back. The founder Joe consistently preached “Give the customers what they want, when and
where they want it.” — Joe C. Thompson, Jr., 7-Eleven founder.

Messaging
Everywhere?

Therefore, your stores should make potential customers feel comfortable and convenient with your product and brand. For instance, even with e-commerce sites that are initially impersonal are now driving more engagement and conversions with customers through the use of chatbots. This is being done by companies like Staples, and Pizza Hut to quicken the response time when addressing inquiries from customers. One other company that stood out is Sephora, their chatbot actually allows for customers to talk and help each other!C

Give
customers complete control

Customers already
are in control of the market. Every store bends to the will of consumers by
appealing to their needs, wants, and sensibilities. Again, we’re not just
talking about products, but how brands present them to customers in creative
and personal ways.

Your customer support
doesn’t only sell convenience but also what your brand is all about. It’s not a
good look for your business if they fail to reply to a customer’s query for
days or even a couple of hours. People want to feel important and a quick
response from your customer support is a good indication of that.

Engagement with
customers starts with engagement from the top. Develop an employee engagement strategy to
help you identify people who are engaged with your company. You then find ways
to keep them engaged the whole time they’re employed so you can maximize the
growth of your business with their enthusiasm.

By taking control
of your business, it will be much easier for you to hand the reins to
customers. Therefore, you let customers interact with the best employees you
have to make them feel at home.

Harness a
unified brand across different platforms

Approach brand
experience from a holistic point of view. Instead of just focusing on your
online store, diversify reach by building a brick-and-mortar shop. While you’re
at it, you need to establish your brand’s presence on social media and grow
your fans and followers there.

People can
interact from your brand in different places. Therefore, you shouldn’t just
stick to one channel. If you dedicate yourself on a single platform (a website,
for example), then you ignore the potential sales you can generate from other
channels you’re not using. This omnichannel consumer shopping
allows your brand to extend its reach from various platforms to make your
business flourish.

Omnichannel helps provide a better experience to customers in engaging with your brand. Brands must learn to sell products on multiple channels. Want to get in on the action? Brands such as Disney and Ben & Jerry use Jumper.ai to allow them to accept online purchases via social media.

Providing clients
with a premium experience online and offline helps keep your brands top of mind
which leads to more purchases. Seek to advocate for your customers. When
challenged by a decision going forward ask yourself would you do it to your
mom? That means generating experiences that make customers feel valued and
special. If done correctly, you can expect higher sales and profit over time
especially if you follow the tips above.

Kevin
Payne is the Demand Generation Lead at Branch,
the schedule and financial flexibility app for hourly workers.

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