With question marks over the future of the UK’s relationship with the EU and the potential effects that ongoing negotiations may have on our economy, Brits are being more careful with their money than ever before.
The knock-on effect of this is that the retail sector has become one of the most competitive markets out there, with retailers vying to grab the biggest share of an ever-decreasing purse. The Guardian recently reported that year-on-year retail sales had taken a tumble for the first time since 2013.
With over ninety per cent of retail sales still taking place in-store rather than online, it’s crucial that retailers understand the behaviour of their customers when they visit a store and take steps to provide the right atmosphere and environment.
Creating an Emotional Connection
It has been long known that if a store can create the right mood and gain an emotional connection with customers, they are more likely to buy. So appealing to the five senses is really important.
Clever use of in store music, graphic design and store layout and the ability to touch and feel products are all worth considering. If you’re not sure where to start, try contacting companies such as Mood Media, who have extensive experience and can help you get some of these areas right for your business.
Think about how the lighting in your store might affect a customer’s mood and consider changing it if necessary. Advances in modern technology mean that you can pinpoint areas you want to highlight or even create the illusion of separate areas within the store with clever use of lighting.
In some stores taste and scent can be important too, depending on the products you sell. Sampling food products is a sure way to get customers buying
Merging the Online and Offline Experiences
It’s also worth considering how you can blend your in-store and online channels to create a seamless experience for your customers. What service elements do they get online that they don’t currently receive in-store? Examples include their buying history and recommendations based on recent purchases. And what about any preferences they may have stored online?
Research suggests that those retailers who can successfully merge the two environments to create a fully rounded experience are set to be the most successful.