There are a number of ways to create a customer experience in your bricks and mortar store that will not only encourage them to buy, but will also have them coming back for more. It will of course depend on the kind of business you run and the items you sell, but there is almost always some way to connect with your target audience and help them start to view you as a business worth paying attention to and shopping at regularly.
1. Make Them Feel Special
From the moment they walk in the door, make them feel special. Consider how you treat people when you invite them into your home, and make sure not to act like a pushy used car salesman. Everyone who works in your store should be trained well and have a good knowledge of each of the products you stock.
2. A Customer Loyalty Program
A customer loyalty program is easy to start and can pay off due to them feeling special and taking advantage of the discounts you are offering through the program. “Buy 2 and get the 3rd free” (of lesser value) works well, but you could assign it any number depending on the price points of what you are selling.
3. Make the Displays Easy to Use
Again, it depends on what you are selling but in general, make the displays easy to use for your customers, and yourselves as well. For example, if you own a bookstore, don’t cram the books on the shelf to the point where they can’t take them out or put them back without damaging them.
In terms of clothing, make sure they can take the hangers on and off the rail without snagging other items because the racks are stuffed too tightly. If you have displays on counters or cubes, consider leaving out a couple of each size and color rather than stacking them up and have them falling all over the place, getting pulls or stains – or worst of all, getting stolen if you don’t have security tags.
4. Group Like with Like
Group things together in a way that makes sense for your products. For books, you would have a romance section, mystery, science fiction, and so on. For clothing, you might have blouses, sweaters, t-shirts, pants and so on.
5. Offer Interesting Information
One way to get people into the store is to offer interesting information. For example, you could invite local writers to talk about their work. Even top authors are willing to come to do a talk and book signing if they know you will promote the event in-store.
If any of your colleagues (or you) do things like fashion consultations or color therapy, ask them if they would be willing to give a talk.
6. Food and Drink
Food and drink can be a good idea or a really bad one, depending on what you sell in your store. For example, it might be suitable if you own a kitchen supply store or café, and want to offer free samples and suggestions about what to buy. However, you would not want people eating and drinking near the books or a pile of white cashmere sweaters.
7. Host Live Events Regularly
These kinds of live events will usually get people in to have a look around. Scheduling them regularly, such as the first Tuesday of every month, can help people look forward to it and remember to attend.