As we noted last week, the biggest thing you provide in-store that can't be provided online is experience. How do you create that? Let's start with the customer.
You are likely working with 4 key demographics. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are non-digital natives, so I will group them together. These are all customers born in 1981 and up. They grew up shopping bricks and mortar and they still view shopping as an entertainment activity. (By the way, shopping is the last FREE form of entertainment-you just have to make it entertaining.) I've been laughing about this mannequin meme on the internet. In the 1980s when I worked at Bloomingdale's we had live mannequins every weekend. Everything old is new again.
Millenials are tough. They are the first group of digital natives and they like an integrated online and in-store experience. Some of the things they like are shopping for a cause and customization. They also like to share their experience through social media. Something that may interest them are a portion of sales donated to charity. Each of you has the opportunity to provide a "custom" experience, for example, when you sell a bridle, there are parts that a customer can choose to put together a "custom" bridle. You can also consider a social sharing option that might be "take a photo with our mascot and instagram it with #whateverismeaningful" and for each post you get, you will donate a $ to a charity.
We are now on to Generation Z. These are true digital natives. The oldest are about 14 or 15. The good news is they like to physically shop. They also want a meaningfully integrated online and in-store experience. One of the best ways to get on board with Gen Z is to create a teen advisory board. This group can be invaluable in helping you shape a meaningful experience for your Gen Z end user and her Boomer or Xer or Millenial mom. Everything that happens in your store from merchandising to customer service creates the in-store experience. Attention to detail and a concerted and focused effort can help you create a space where your customer returns to and buys from frequently. Turn your customer into a fan and he or she will sell for you.
Need help with your in-store experience? Ask us how.