While acquiring new business is important, holding onto existing customers should take precedence. By improving the in-store customer experience, brands can boost shopper retention which will, in turn, boost long term sales.
Loyal customers tend to make bigger purchases, consider new offerings, and refer others to a brand. Increased frequency and duration of interaction between a customer and a brand indicate greater favorability of brand impression, and greater perceived value by the consumer.
Here are four ways to improve the quality of your in-store customer experience to ultimately increase shopper retention.
How to Improve the In-Store Customer Experience and Boost Shopper Retention
- Manage Your Inventory
The optimal shopping environment is fresh and engaging enough to pique the customers’ wants, but reliable enough to meet their needs. You can achieve this balance through careful inventory management. Invest in a point of sale system that helps to input and track all of your inventory items, so you can ensure “First In, First Out” management, and receive alerts when a particular product is running dangerously low. Using SKU and UPC codes makes it easy to track a product’s journey from the warehouse all the way to the consumer’s hands. Additionally, Shopkick’s new parent company, Trax, offers an innovative solution for managing inventory and ensuring your products are stocked at-shelf. Trax simplifies store operations and maximizes productivity to deliver a consistent shopping experience free from preventable shelf issues like out of stocks or misplaced items.
- Integrate Online and Offline Worlds
In the past, brick-and-mortar stores seemed in competition with e-commerce. Today, we know that there is room for both shopping experiences, but that there must be seamless integration in order to meet customer expectations. For example, you’ll want to offer free online shipping for any items that are out-of-stock in your physical retail store. Alternately, you may consider offering free in-store pickup for customers making online purchases, but don’t want to pay for shipping.
- Leverage the Power of Third-Party Shopping Apps
Your brand doesn’t necessarily need to develop a proprietary app to engage shoppers in the aisle, though it can be a plus to have an app of your own. By partnering with a third-party shopping app like Shopkick, your brand can reach a unique and highly engaged audience. Shopkick is designed to enhance the customer shopping experience by rewarding and engaging shoppers throughout their purchase journey. By utilizing location-based technology to deliver real-time offers, greet users by name upon entry to the store, and reward them for product interaction at shelf, Shopkick creates a personalized and fun experience for users.
Shopkick drives consumers to products in the shopping aisle by inviting them to participate in a fun, interactive digital scavenger hunt where they seek out products in the aisle. This is a great way to get consumers to focus on a single product while avoiding distractions from competitors. When consumers use Shopkick, they physically engage with the product in-aisle in order to scan its UPC in exchange for kicks, or rewards points. The act of simply handling the product creates a sense of ownership that makes them more likely to purchase the product.
- Create a Unique Experience
Physical space has a unique advantage: it creates an actual experience for shoppers. With Shopkick, brands can leverage the app’s interactive features to create a unique immersive retail experience. Here’s an example of how Shopkick helps brands improve the in-store customer experience to deliver results:
- The Strategy: When Rimmel London wanted to drive awareness of their products and encourage shoppers to seek them out at shelf, they chose to contact Shopkick. One of the brand’s goals was to cut through the clutter of the beauty aisle to drive purchase and gain consumer insight. Shopkick first leveraged in-app content to build awareness of Rimmel London products and influence the perception of Rimmel as a top beauty brand. Next, proximity messaging kept Rimmel London products top of mind while consumers were out shopping and when they entered the store. Finally, Shopkick drove ‘trial-in-aisle’ direct product engagements with multiple Rimmel London products while shopping, driving proven incremental conversion through purchase validation. By sending customers on a virtual scavenger hunt, Rimmel drove shoppers right to their products on shelf, even in an aisle crowded by other beauty products.
- The Results: Rimmel London built awareness, drove users to its products in-store at crowded shelves, stayed top-of-mind and captured major share of wallet from other beauty brands. The brand was able to implement an in-store rewards program which encouraged consumers to scan product UPCs with their phones in exchange for kicks (rewards points). Overall, Rimmel reported pulling 14% market share from competitors in stores where this strategy was implemented.
With Shopkick, brands can leverage the app’s interactive features to create a unique, immersive retail experience.
In-store offerings should make life easier, more convenient, and more enjoyable for your consumers. By engaging consumers in a way that makes them view a product in a new light, brands can foster brand affinity and customer retention. By pairing such a strategy with a robust mobile marketing campaign, brands can pull the consumers’ attention away from competing products and increase their market share.
Shopkick helps our partners develop a successful in-store experience that increases brand awareness, cements trust, drives brand affinity, boosts sales, and assures a bright future. To learn how we have helped other companies like yours increase sales, contact us and check out our success stories.
Image courtesy of Mr. Yanukit