Every day, an average of 80% of people who walk into a store will walk out without spending anything. That’s just a fact of retail life.
It’s incredibly important that you know exactly how to care for those customers who have decided to make a purchase. Visitors who have a positive interaction with a store associate are more likely to convert. On any given day, as many as 25% of your serious prospects will leave if they have not received the level of attention or expertise they want.
So how do you know what these customers want? How can you offer the personalized service and expertise they need?
We’ve dedicated a good amount of space in this blog lately to looking at the in-store part of the total customer journey. This is both a very important phase and a very challenging one – 75% of purchasing decisions are made when a customer is in the store, so it’s hugely important to make your store a great shopper experience. But do you have the information you need to know where to start?
In the brick-and-mortar environment, it’s possible to track data points like walkouts, visits, and conversions. But understanding why prospects and customers have come into the store and why they behave in a certain way seems nearly impossible. Yet this is exactly the depth of insight that can increase your bottom line and give you a real competitive advantage.
Do you know the value of missed revenue? Do you know why prospects become sales or why they leave? Most importantly, do you know how to control it?
Too many retailers leave money on the table (often unknowingly) because they simply aren’t aware of the technologies available to help them. They also may lack the awareness of who those customers are, how they have found the brand or location, what brought them into the store, and what they need to accomplish. A well-integrated customer journey management solution can address the challenges of getting more customers into their store, keeping them there longer, and building productive engagements with the best employees.
Business intelligence and retail analytics is a key part of the omnichannel customer journey solution. Sales are more likely to happen when the experience is clear, efficient, and personalized. And sales are missed when the opposite is the case. Integrating data and gathering resources into the offline retail experience is necessary for pinpointing reasons why prospects become customers – and why they don’t.
Often, the analytics reveal three core issues driving – or plaguing – in-store sales:
Erasing Friction Points
Remove obstacles for your customers and make it easy for them to purchase from you. Regardless of whether it is high value goods or repeat purchases, your sales will go up and your customer will love you for it!
Shoppers, especially omnichannel-savvy ‘supershoppers,’ expect the in-store experience to be a complete reflection of what they’ve experienced online and on mobile. Almost half (40%) of those who use mobile as their ‘door to store’ expect the retailer to automatically bring up information relevant to their purchase, such as special deals and exactly where to find items. And while they expect to have every option available to find, research, and source products online or on mobile, most shoppers still prefer the in-store experience. In fact, 64% of GenZ shoppers say they would rather buy in-store than online.
The point is that a truly frictionless experience allows a shopper to move between mobile, online, and in-store with zero gaps in the look, feel, offerings, personalization, and level of clarity. This might mean translating an e-commerce site design that proposes items based on the shopper’s past activities and simplifies buying to a single click into an in-store environment where staff offers observant suggestions and the check out process is nearly free of lines.
Personalizing Each Interaction
Regardless of whether or not your customer is tech savvy or the extent to which they’re using all of your commerce channels, they are hoping for a warm, knowledgeable interaction with an in-store employee. They expect to be informed about products, locations, prices, deals – everything they need to make a confident buying decision.
If business intelligence capabilities are integrated into the omnichannel journey, that store employee is much more likely to have the analytics and insights they need to provide the right information. They may already know that this customer has come in to collect a purchase made online. They may have information about special promotions that would be interesting to this person, based on where they are in the store. And with the analytics and information provided via a mobile resource, the staff members are able to meet customers where they are, when needed, with useful information that will compel a buying decision and build a relationship.
The Value of Clarity
Continuing along that theme – a recent PwC retail report highlights that 40% of shoppers rate an in-store experience as great if they’ve talked with a member of the staff who can share deep product knowledge.
While a team member can be an incredibly valuable source of personalized information and answers, clarity can also be provided through things like iBeacon directions offered via a mobile phone or clear digital signage that helps someone know where to go or how long a line might be. Whatever the format, clear communication is an absolute necessity if you want to enable your potential customers to accomplish what they came into a store to do.
Think about it for a moment. A comfortable, easy, personally fulfilling experience is what we all seek, almost regardless of the environment. Retailers that can do that across virtual and physical touchpoints will have the opportunity to deliver remarkable buying experiences time and again.
Qmatic can help you uncover more information about what your prospects want so your team members can engage them in a way that’s more positive and profitable. Talk with us about how we can help you improve your in-store customer experience.
 Google Analytics Shopping category data, U.S., Nov. 1, 2015–Dec. 14, 2015
 How Retailers Can Engage Generation Z Shoppers, Retail Info Systems News, December 30, 2016