No matter how many other things have changed over the last century, giving customers what they want has remained the primary key to success. Modern customers, it seems, want to have it all. They want to choose how and when they interact with businesses. They want to shop online when it is more convenient for them, but they also want to visit a physical store when they want to touch or see an item up close.
In other words, customers want an engaging multi-channel experience. Delivering such a customer experience can help you turn browsers into buyers and buyers into lifelong customers. The following tips can help you create a great customer experience that spans all channels.
Use In-store Kiosks or Mobile Devices
You need to make it easy for customers to find a reason to purchase an item from you and you alone. Using in-store kiosks or tablets lets them conduct additional research on a product or place an online order for an item that is out of stock in the store. It also gives your associates access to the information they may need to answer questions from customers. All this adds up to a higher conversion rate and additional revenue for you.
Give Additional Help to Your Online Customers
Online customers cannot touch your product before buying. They cannot feel its weight, examine it from every angle, or see it in operation. Therefore, they are likely to have more questions than an in-store shopper. This typically translates to a greater reluctance to finalize the purchase. Give them the additional help they need to make the decision. Offer online chat, a frequently asked questions section, or a forum where they can post questions for others who have purchased the particular item. Provide as much detail as possible about the item, such as 360-degree views, a list of what is included with the product, or the manufacturer's instructions for use.
Provide Internet Access in Your Store
Whether you like it or not, some of your customers are going to use their smartphones while they are in your store to compare prices at online shopping sites as well as the competition across the street. Give them a way to do it easily. Enable Wi-Fi and set up a guest account for your shoppers to use. Combine this with a price-match guarantee to help clinch the sale.
Embrace the Latest Technology
There are a number of options available to leverage technology in your stores. Kiosks are just one possibility. Digital signage, QR codes, and iBeacons are other options to consider. Borrow elements from Gucci's immersive experience to combine technologies and create a personalized in-store experience your customers will not soon forget.
Integrate Online and In-store Activities
Imagine that a customer arrives at your store to purchase a specific item. However, the item is currently out of stock at your location. Now suppose that you could offer to have the item delivered to your customer's home at no charge. You could not only save the sale, but you could also create a favorable impression with the customer. Another example would be to display comments from customers, such as online reviews, on digital signs or kiosks in your store.
Key Points to Remember
Creating a successful multi-channel experience for your customers is not merely about recycling elements from one channel for use in other channels. It involves creating a seamless, consistent flow of information between all of the channels. Smooth the bumps in the customer's path and make it easy to buy from you, whether they shop in your store or online. If you give them sufficient justification to choose you for their purchases, they will respond.
If you would like help with creating your company's multi-channel customer experience, feel free to contact EX2 Solutions for more information.