1. ALIGN PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL
Make sure your physical and digital channels are aligned. Remember that customers are often doing research online before they head to your store to purchase. How can you marry the media and make the experience great? How about putting aside items your customer indicates online for them to review when they arrive? This is a great idea if they are purchasing clothing. Get the fitting room ready before they arrive. Pull what they have asked for and add on items and other options to increase the sale and up-sell. You could also consider offering a click and collect option, ie. the customer orders online and picks up in-store.
2. ENCOURAGE USE OF YOUR WEBSITE IN-STORE
This is particularly great if your stock is not in a single location. A customer in your store can browse all your offerings and order from another location for shipping or pick up.
3. MOBILE CHECK OUT
Take a page from the Apple Store and allow your staff to roam the floor and complete a purchase from anywhere using a smartphone or tablet. This frees up the cash wrap congestion and allows you to control the ebb and flow of customers.
Create interesting in-store events or activities to engage and delight your customer. In the 80's when I worked in the Junior Department at Blooomingdale's, we used to have "live mannequins", a d-jay, celebrity appearances and industry experts. Consider what and/or who would be of interest to your target markets and see how you can incorporate that into your calendar.
5. OFFER IMMERSIVE OPPORTUNITIES
Find ways to get get your customers physically involved in your product or industry. Ways to do this may include lecture or demo about horse care using a real horse and letting attendees practice. Another idea may be to host a party at a local show, event, race, or polo or at your store. Consider the value you can add to your customer in terms of this. For example, you might host a party at Devon Horse Show for the Grand Prix Open Jumper event and deconstruct the rides, discuss strategy, offer intimate time with a top rider, etc. for your group.
These services and experiences strengthen the relationship between you and your customer. Make 2017 a year to build in experience one step at a time.
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