24 Jul 2019

How to: Create a Customer Centric Retail Experience

Consumers are constantly evolving, and the pace of change of their wants and needs can be hard for retailers to keep up with. Customers want to feel special, they value the bond they have with the retail stores they shop in. They expect a customised experience that matches their expectations.

Customers are unwilling to change for retailers, and instead assume that retailers will change to meet their needs. If retailers want to continue to grow, it’s essential that they take a customer centric approach. These methods will help set the foundation for a successful customer experience.

Understand your customers

The first step to developing a customer centric business is getting to know your customers. Data about your customers is all around you. If you haven’t been collecting it so far, gather what you can and expand from there. Use your social media accounts, your website analytics, send out emails, talk to people that come in-store, and build out your data from there. Look at demographics, their lifestyles, their buying behaviours, and engagement.

Collecting data should be constant and consistent, it’s not something that you can have enough of. Once it’s segmented and analysed you’ll start to see different trends appearing and you can build out strategies from there.

customer centric approach

Emotional connections over promotional

Nowadays, consumers don’t respond well to overly promotional marketing. They don’t want to feel pressured or pushed into buying products. Instead, they want to feel a personal connection to the products they’re buying and the retail store they are in.

While a lot of consumers still make impulsive buying decisions, having an emotional connection to a brand or a product leaves a much more positive mindset with the consumer. This will result in positive associations with the retail store and repeat purchases. Personalised products, marketing, and experiences are a few ways of doing this.

Be agile

Innovation and agility is key to any successful retail store looking to have a customer centric approach. Retailers who are stuck in the past and too weary of change will not progress into the future. If the data you’ve collected is telling you something about your customers or potential customers, use it to your advantage. There’s no point in getting to know your customers if you don’t plan on using that information to match your offering and your store to their expectations.

If you’re unsure of whether something will work, but the data is backing up your decision, don’t be afraid to test the idea. If you think your customers might be interested in a certain product, order limited stock and see how it does. If you think a certain area might be the perfect place to open your next store, test it out in the form of a pop up shop.

customer experience

Social media is a must

Having social media accounts is a must for any business, but especially for retailers looking to have a customer centric approach. It’s the place where you can talk to and connect with your customers in real time. As the vast majority of consumers have a social media platform of some sort, it is no longer a question of whether or not your retail business is on social media, it is a question of whether or not you have an account and are able to monitor the situation. Consumers will take to the internet to rave or rant about your products, so it’s crucial you are monitoring and responding to the situation. 

Looking for more retail insights and business tips? Visit Autumn Fair this September and take part in our free workshops and seminars, and browse the many products our stunning retail suppliers have on offer.

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