In an increasingly competitive retail environment, stores must offer added value to their customers to make it worth it to visit the store multiple times and make purchases. In the e-commerce age, physical stores are more important than ever because people still like to touch, feel and interact with products before buying them. To offer added value, which is very important for potential customers, keep in mind the following:
–Excellent customer service from the staff, which includes treating customers politely as well as extensive knowledge of the products on sale. This improves the customer’s assessment of their purchase and overall experience. Technology is an ally because elements like digital signage make it possible to provide visual information about products, complementing what the staff have to offer.
–Store layout. Customers follow a path within the store and tend to focus on certain zones when choosing products. It is important to analyze the most visited zones to decide whether to promote the products located there more, or if you should put the products you want to sell more of in that zone.
–Decoration, music and fragrance should be carefully selected to improve the customer experience and create a brand image. Customers will remember how they felt in the store and relate that back to the brand. This will improve engagement and give customers an unforgettable experience.
To achieve this unforgettable experience, new store models are developing, like flagship stores. The objective of flagship stores is for brands to transmit their image and values through a physical space. Since these stores serve as a reference point for the brand, they usually contain creative and innovative designs. They also offer added value by providing recreational areas where customers can rest during a day of shopping, create community and make shopping more enjoyable.
Digitization in the retail sector offers businesses new tools to give life to flagship stores, surprise Smart Customers and improve loyalty. Retailers need support from new technologies in the omnichannel smartphone era. They must also incorporate artificial intelligence into their physical stores. To apply new technologies towards building a better customer experience, Beabloo recommends the following:
-Fostering an omnichannel approach, knowing that customers these days make purchases online and in stores. They expect a fluid and coherent experience where they can navigate between different channels and be identified as the same customer. A more comfortable multichannel buying experience leads to greater loyalty.
-Customers expect a level of personalization when communicating with the brand. They want to receive relevant information and not be bothered by content that doesn’t interest them. The more personalized it is, the more customers will feel valued by the brand. New digital tools installed in stores make this possible by collecting and analyzing customer data anonymously and in real time.
-The possibility of communicating with customers’ smartphones in stores using tools like beacons creates better experiences and improves customer loyalty. Customers can receive relevant information, such as promotions and sales, on the store app or by scanning QR codes.
-Modern customers value immediacy, so retailers need to act in real time. Artificial intelligence can analyze large amounts of data collected by cameras and sensors anonymously and while respecting privacy. This allows it to provide automated responses in real time according to the company strategy. These quick responses that improve the customer experience can be in the form of:
-Digital Signage: This is the best tool to engage customers inside the store since it invites them to interact with the brand. To improve the customer experience even more, it can be combined with artificial intelligence solutions in development, like Beabloo’s Minerva. This prototype learns from the people viewing a campaign shown on digital signage screens and optimizes the content it displays. It can also be linked to the inventory management system so that it only displays items in stock.
-Virtual Assistants: AI is also present in solutions like Halo, Beabloo’s digital signage virtual assistant. It talks with customers in a personalized, friendly way to help them find products, stores, events, restaurants and activities.
Interactive digital solutions, integrated with artificial intelligence, are brands’ inevitable response to the challenge of creating unique experiences for customers at a time when the line between the online and offline worlds is blurring. The objective remains the same: making the customer the protagonist of the shopping experience and bringing the added value they are looking for.