What is it about Walt Disney World that captures the enjoyment, adoration and attention of young and old alike, appealing to people with all different tastes, preferences and life philosophies?
It’s the experience.
But that experience doesn’t simply result from a few decorations and one big showstopper presentation. The lure of Disney comes from an intentional strategy that utilizes every touchpoint a customer will have with their brand, from the bathroom decor to the parking lot traffic flow. Disney understands that even the most minute, subconscious details work together to form an essence – a feeling – about their brand.
As a retail store competing against the ease and allure of online shopping, your in-store experience becomes your greatest asset and ally in the battle for customers.
Practicing commercial property management in the Mid Ohio Valley has provided PMC the opportunity to partner with a variety of retail stores in the MOV, gaining us a few lessons in “the retail experience” through the years.
4 Tips for Creating a Retail Experience
Sell on something other than price
The validity of this one may be hard to accept; however, think about it. Will you ever be able to beat out online drop-shipping and Amazon Prime on price? Rarely.
So when your employees highlight price point while assisting customers, it does little to help the customer make a purchasing decision with you. It’s true that your prices need be within a competitive range, but don’t make that your most distinguishing factor.
Instead, sell on customer service, quality, material sourcing, etc. Train your employees to focus their efforts and conversation on these factors. We buy on emotion and justify with logic. Get the emotions to believe in your brand, and the logic will figure out why it’s important.
Give them what they can’t get online
This is certainly a no-brainer, but still necessary to relate. Make your store a multi-sensory experience. If it helps, actually go through all 5 senses and determine what you’re doing to appeal to each of these in multiple ways.
Regardless of size, make sure your store offers the ability to touch, handle and “try” your product. This is your biggest advantage over online shopping.
Also, make sure you are providing pleasant sounds, smells and sights that are chosen to enhance your brand and the customer’s experience.
While perhaps not every retail store will have the capacity to provide “taste” to each customer, small boutiques have a unique opportunity to offer this experience through such things as coffee, cucumber water or other special treats.
Promote your employees’ passions
When hiring, don’t neglect the importance of passion for your product (or at least the industry you serve). Customers are much more likely to buy something an employee advocates for personally than something that is described through a memorized list of “qualities”. In this vein, you should budget for providing your employees the opportunity to use and experience your product when initially on-boarded.
Additionally, if your retail store has a variety of departments, attempt to place employees in the one for which they have the most interest. Allow their passion to shine, and in return, your product will shine right alongside it.
Do sweat the details
Again, part of why Disney World is so loved, inadvertently comes through the small details that one would probably have a hard time identifying. However, the subconscious realization that every single sight, sound, smell, interaction, etc. that one encounters throughout the trip was crafted to add to the enjoyment creates a sense of happiness and rest. This place is taking care of me. This place knows my needs. This place fits me well.
Small details deliver big results.
How about you? What are some other important aspects you have experienced in a retail store that make you a loyal customer? As a retailer, what are some things you currently do to enhance the in-store experience?
At PMC, we want to see our tenants succeed and love to help enhance the customer experience in any way possible. When you look at our available properties in the MOV, you’re not just getting a blank, sterile space. You’re getting a partner that is dedicated to growing your business and promoting your brand.
Call us today to see what’s available!