Despite the growth of online shopping, there’s still value in the in-store shopping experience.
And if your business depends on actual foot traffic more than online sales, it’s important to attract customers to your physical store location.
After the COVID-19 pandemic (when online was the predominant way to shop), about 65 percent of consumers still prefer the in-store retail experience when shopping. In fact, impulse buying is more likely to occur in physical stores.
Because online shopping offers an easy, fast and often personalized experience, your in-store experience has to go above and beyond for consumers to see value in brick-and-mortar shopping. It’s about taking the opportunity to offer real-life, touch-and-feel experiences that build deeper relationships with your customers.
This need might feel overwhelming. The following are six ways to attract customers to in-store shopping rather than online shopping with you.
Invest (or reinvest) in-store design
Every store is different, but investing in thoughtful, memorable store design pays off. Of course, how you approach a redesign can range from hiring an interior designer to displaying visually engaging merchandise.
The key is that you’re elevating the in-store experience visually. Effective store design can lead to about a 40 percent increase in sales.
Even your lighting can make an impact on how your customers feel and the overall in-store shopping experience. One study cites a 12 percent increase in sales for one retailer in Germany that installed a new lighting scheme.
And it never hurts to think about which areas could be photo worthy for your customers, where if done right, your store easily could get posted and shared on Instagram and other social media networks. (You can then leverage this user-generated content on your own channels.)
Take a look around your physical store with fresh eyes. What do you see? You can even distribute a customer survey to find out what your customers think would improve your store design if you’re not sure where to start.
Become a community hub
Building a community out of your target audience isn’t just for social media. It can be done in your physical store as well.
If you can, create a space within your store that can host meetings, gatherings and so on, both formally scheduled and informal happenings.
This gives you the opportunity to engage with new audiences (and bring in new customers) by hosting in-store events with various groups. And depending on how open and accessible the area is, customers may feel compelled to sit down and hang around longer as they talk with friends or work on their laptop.
Make sure that your community space is comfortable and accessible. It should be a space where people would want to spend some time. Of course, free WiFi never hurts either.
To take this idea even further, consider a dual purpose retail space. For example, this could be a cafe within your retail store. This does take considerable more work but could deliver bigger results if it’s right for your brand.
Offer customization, personalization services
About 62 percent of American consumers prefer gifts that feel more personal. By adding gift customization and personalization services in-store for customers, you may attract consumers who are looking for that something special for their loved ones.
What this looks like depends on the type of retailer you are and the products you’re selling. For example, a store with skincare products could offer the opportunity (and materials) for customers to put together their own gift baskets with whatever products they choose, walking out with a complete gift ready for giving.
Embrace all the senses
If you’re only focusing on what customers see while in-store shopping, you’re missing out on all the other senses that could compel them to not only stay longer but to return more often. And both actions can result in more in-store sales.
Creating a multi-sensory atmosphere specifically could encourage shoppers to spend an extra six minutes in your store and increase your sales by about 10 percent.
Consider the five sense:
Again, just like gift customization, how you embrace multiple senses depends on what makes sense for your brand, your store and your products.
What music are you playing? Does it create a positive atmosphere? Is there a comforting or invigorating scent to your store? Can customers taste samples of your products? Or, do you offer free mints at the door, for example? What is the seating like, or is there any seating at all? Can they touch your products?
Remember, you want to deliver a memorable experience that any customer entering your store would want to repeat. Start scanning your physical space for those opportunities.
Interact one-to-one with customers
Clearly, whether online or in-store shopping, the customer experience can make or break your business.
About 93 percent of customers are more likely to purchase from a brand again if they offer excellent customer service. And when it comes to in-store shopping, this is your opportunity to interact one-on-one with your customers. It’s inherently different than any online shopping experience. It’s all about that human interaction.
Customers feel special with undivided attention and personalized advice as they’re shopping. About 49 percent of consumers have made impulse purchases after getting a more personalized experience.
Think about how you can deliver a more personal one-on-one experience for your customers without being overwhelming.
Make your store pet-friendly
If it’s right for your brand, welcoming your customers’ pets into your in-store shopping experience can build a loyal and trusting connection with your customers.
Whether it’s a pet-friendly area or having some water bowls out, as well as treats available, for animals, it’s up to you.
Just keep in mind that you may have some legal limitations when it comes to allowing animals into your store. Check with your local health and safety boards to ensure that everything is on the up and up.
Technology will always be a factor for businesses, whether you have a physical store location or not. But with a store, you have the opportunity to level up the in-store shopping experience that your customers crave. You’ll build deeper connections and ultimately grow your sales.
While you’re evaluating how to best attract customers to in-store shopping, consider leveling up your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.