With the meteoric rise of e-commerce, retailers are more focused than ever on creating the best possible in-store experience for shoppers. While e-commerce offers consumers unparalleled shop-from-home convenience, physical store locations provide a more tangible experience that enables shoppers to examine the physical products before making a purchase decision.
E-commerce offers more than convenience, however: website content and videos often provide significantly more detail about a product than what the manufacturer puts on the box. Every retailer should acknowledge that when the consumer has made an investment of their time and effort to visit a store, a positive experience doesn’t guarantee their return, but a negative experience significantly influences their decision to shop there again.
Retailers should invest in educating and informing shoppers about where to find products in the store, making it easy to compare similar products and ultimately finding the right product; don’t waste the customer’s time trying to find what they need. Stores can also entertain shoppers with videos, demonstrations, use-case vignettes, and a variety of other offerings to capture the shopper’s interest. Engage the shopper with compelling offers and attractive displays; leverage the biggest advantage of a physical store and get shoppers to engage with the products.
Finally, enable commerce – this may seem obvious, but long lines, limited payment options, and unnecessarily complex in-store procedures can spoil an otherwise rewarding in-store experience. In the omnichannel world of buy-online-pickup-in-store, or BOPIS, customers want clear direction on where to go in the store to pick up their item. Don’t leave the consumer guessing or make them ask how your store operates.
Overview by Don Apgar, Director, Merchant Services Advisory Practice at Mercator Advisory Group