Not the solid, vote of confidence you were looking for? You’re not alone.
Today’s consumer is an ever-evolving ball of challenges for retailers to overcome. And your target consumer has additional complexities that are specific to your brand’s demographics. Fun, right?
Today’s Consumer (we’ll call him/her “TC” for short) has the following characteristics:
-Is always connected; are information driven and price conscious.
-Expects his or her needs to be instantly met, and is easily turned off by mistakes.
-Desires consistency across all brand aesthetics and requires that the store environment provides them with an experience.
So how can today’s brick and mortar retailers not only compete, but compete and win? Well, the way we see it, retailers have only limited control over the first two items.
First, your stores will not always have the best product at the lowest price. To overcome this obstacle a retailer needs to work towards making the products less of a commodity in the eyes of a consumer (even if you are selling a literal commodity). How is that done?
Since there are no more second chances with TC, and we all know that things happen, machines break, and lines form. What is a retailer to do? Humans are imperfect and issues with speed of service, out of stocks, or lack of product knowledge can easily become customer frustrations that can be outside of management control. What will keep your frustrated customer from walking away and never returning?
Since TC requires an experience in your store, retailers can use this as a mitigating factor for the other two demands. Think about it. An in-store experience is meant to, among other things, help customers enjoy their visit, linger longer, and explore new or different product offerings [read: spend more].
If you create a pleasing environment for your customers, a higher priced item may no longer be a turn off. TC becomes willing to pay a bit more for the relaxed or comforting feeling they get when shopping the store. Similarly the customer frustrations that can occur on a typical day in retail are no longer deal breakers for your brand. TC may try something new and will plan on checking back for the out of stock item, for example.
So we say ALL of this to say, that providing an in-store experience for your customers is not solely to attract them to shop your store over a competitor. A retail environment and in-store experience serves to make what you sell less of a commodity and also softens the impact of any customer frustrations that will inevitably occur. An in-store experience helps to create loyalty.