There is a lot that affects purchasing decisions, some we have control over and some we don’t. Obviously, we want to talk about what you can control, your store! The in-store experience is a major piece of the overall brand. Are you fostering that brand, or diluting it?
The in-store experience is more important than you probably know. Studies reveal that between 40-70% of consumers make their purchase decision when they are physically in the store. The success of each location relies heavily on the consistency and attention to detail that goes into creating a clean, attractive in-store environment.
We’ve all heard about a very basic principle of design called white space. The spaces not filled with images, text or texture. It’s breathing room for the eyes and highlights the designer’s intended focal point. The same principle works in stores. When there is too much clutter, the customer can’t focus on what you want them to.
Never overlook lighting. It should be on a daily checklist to do a really simple scan of every light bulb. Customers like to be able to asses the quality of what they’re looking at, which they can’t do in a dimly lit store. It’s just not an inviting or exciting environment to be in either.
Especially in high traffic stores like convenient stores, which also offer food and drinks, it’s really important to keep things clean and organized. Cleanliness is very often the deal breaker for c-store customers. They have a lot of options on any one of their usual routes. They’ll stick with you if your floors aren’t sticky.
We have found that the best way to deliver on what your customer wants, is to ask them what they want. Crazy, right? Your organization is already likely collecting this information, but are they using it wisely? If customer feedback translates to nothing more than KPI metrics, then this information isn’t being used optimally.
Be sure all customers are greeted with a smile and a warm welcome. Do you have regulars? Makes sure everyone knows their name and what products they come to you for. Let’s say Dave always comes in for a medium French Roast coffee at around 7:30am. Everyone who works that shift should know that, whether they’ve met Dave or not. Remember, your brand is the customer experience.
Speaking of which, what do you know about your customers’ experience? It’s one thing to gather feedback, it’s quite another to walk in their shoes. Secret shoppers and field visits are a great way to collect important information about the customer experience you’re offering.
Alright, we have our checklist, let’s do this! For approximately four days and then revert back to dusty shelves and hollow greetings. We get it, all of this is actually really tough to keep up with when you have the day to day of business and leadership flying at you at warp speed. However, consistency is the key to all of this. Customer loyalty is encouraged by your consistency.
What is your current system or process for holding your team accountable for the customer in-store experience? By optimizing the field visit process with Action Card, you can seamlessly take control of everything on your checklist.