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 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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