Half of all shoppers have had problems with retailers during the holidays - primarily with shipping and inventory management. Our latest consumer survey uncovered this and more of their pet peeves, as well as what they want most from retailers during this busy shopping season.
Great in-store experiences keep the customer coming back for more. The real question is, can better in-store shopping practices increase dollar spend and brand loyalty?
After visiting dozens of stores across the country, I wanted to share my favorite in-store experiences with you. Below is a list of the criterion I used to measure each:
- Is the store Instagrammable?
- Does the brand offer an interactive experience?
- Is merchandise organized and easily shoppable with little clutter?
- Are the store associates attentive and helpful but not overly salesy?
- Is the store inventory and décor unique?
- Does the retailer allow customers to test out or sample products?
- Is their great cell reception in-store? If not, does the store offer Wi-Fi?
- If the retailer or brand has an app, do they offer in-store mode or utilize personalized geofence push notifications?
- Is the checkout process seamless?
Off-price retailers are projected to increase profits by 5.4% this year, and it’s no coincidence that this growth comes when e-commerce is finally a commonplace in the sector.
Five years ago, when the broader universe of apparel, home and accessories brands had perfected online and were venturing into mobile commerce, off-price retailers were struggling to accurately reflect inventory available for purchase beyond the store. But as supply chains and real-time inventory technologies have become more efficient in recent years, offering customers an omni-channel shopping experience has become a no-brainer for off-price retailers like T.J. Maxx.
It’s no secret that today’s society is addicted to social media. With the average person spending nearly two hours per day on social channels, there’s an immense opportunity for retailers to increase sales and brand awareness. Below is a list of 10 social media marketing best practices to consider and implement as you continue to invest in additional ad spend and resources for your social strategy.1. Keep the human element alive.
Let’s face it - we all crave human interaction. When you have a problem, question, or even just a comment, you want to feel heard. Yes, chatbots can be useful in certain circumstances, but only 9% of consumers look positively on chatbots in the shopping experience. Customers want to communicate with a real person. They want to know the retailers they’re loyal to genuinely care about their satisfaction, and if they’re frustrated, empathize.
If you’re anything like me, you don’t have $2,000 to drop on a new outfit. However, there are many well-made duplicates at a fraction of the price…it’s just a matter of finding them. In the past, I’d see someone on my Instagram feed wearing a beautiful dress and wonder where they purchased it. In most cases, if the person isn’t a fashion or affiliate blogger, the brand can be tough to identify. That is, until now.
With most online shopping beginning with search, it’s no wonder why retailers like Asos, Express, Urban Outfitters and Neiman Marcus have implemented visual image search in-app.
Visual search removes roadblocks and decreases friction in the shopping experience, taking shoppers directly from inspiration to satisfaction. Because taking a photo of a product is the #1 most popular in-store mobile shopping activity, more and more retailers are implementing visual search as a way to engage customers and drive sales.
Here are a few examples of retailers that have implemented the technology well.
Screenshop’s app leverages artificial intelligence to identify shoppable items in a user’s screenshots. Once fashion-related photos are detected, the app will generate an assortment of clothing, footwear or accessory options. In addition to finding the same outfit, their custom catalogue will also offer up similar styles by many different brands at a wide range of price points.