Let me repeat that the one thing a brick and mortar store can do that an online store can't is offer an Immersive Customer Experience. Let me also repeat that customers WILL pay for an experience and the FUTURE of the retail store is to BE the experience. That being said, most stores do not offer an experience, let alone an immersive experience.
Here are 5 Elements a store can DESIGN and control that will create a memorable immersive experience.
1. Engage all 5 senses: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. Our senses can create memories that last a lifetime. If your store does that you have gained a lifelong customer. Take a moment to ask yourself what word your store invokes for each of the senses. What sight, sound, smell, taste, touch do you see when you think of your store? For example, if you carry tack, your store may smell of new leather. How can this smell be used to engage your customer?
2. Be Unique. Use methods, language, processes or rituals that are different from your competition, yet are natural with your store. Customization is a big draw right now, particularly for millenials who want to be unique. Keeping on the tack theme for example. Incorporate the term "custom" into the way your store sells a new bridle.
3. Personalizing the shopping experience makes a customer feel valued. Making the experience of "customizing" the bridle with an "expert" and creating a bridle that is unique to your customer and their horse is highly personalized. The final bridle feels personally made for them. The bridle and the experience become a "special" memory.
4. Surprise! Provide something (an object or interaction) that is completely unexpected. It can be small, but it MUST be DELIGHTFUL. If you are on the mark, this will leave a lasting impression. In this example, maybe the "custom" bridle with a "toiletry" kit for cleaning and caring for the bridle in a very special "toiletry" bag.
5. Make it Repeatable. The process must be consistent across the store. Sales staff must understand how to implement it seamlessly and spontaneously and authentically.
Make it your goal to chip away at these 5 elements in 2017. Don't just sell product, become the experience. Need help? Ask us how.