Kate Milner http://londonwithatoddler.com 2m 530
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In this competitive age of retailing, stores are having to try harder than ever to get customers through the doors and buying their product. After all, it’s much easier for customers to shop online, from home or on their smartphone out and about. How can stores hope to compete with the big online retailers? The answer is by offering an experience something you can’t get by pushing a button.
Adding Value to the Customer Experience
How to enhance the customer experience then? Firstly, stores offer a level of interaction that you just don’t get online. Say you’re looking for a pair of shoes you can click through pages of pictures, but it gives you no idea whether a particular pair will fit properly, or whether they will hurt your feet when you wear them. You can’t tell whether the calf of a boot will fit smoothly or whether it’ll wrinkle in all the wrong places. There’s nothing online that replaces the experience of going into a store, trying the boots on for yourself and getting feedback from the shoe experts who are working there.
So, as a retailer, it’s important to think – what if you were to go one step further, and offer something that not only found your customer a pair of shoes that fitted, but that actually helped their feet? Wouldn’t that add an extra edge of value to their experience?
New and Innovative Ideas
That’s where the Dr. Scholl’s Custom Fit Orthotic Kiosk comes in. Designed and developed by Mechtronics, it contains a unique foot-mapping technology that identifies orthotic problems and comes up with solutions. Customers can then buy the appropriate orthotics in-store and leave with a pair of shoes that fits and supports their feet in all the right places.
Using New Technology Wisely
But that’s not the full extent of Mechtronics capabilities. Once you harness the new technology, there is endless scope for what you can do. Another innovative idea is to use iPad-like devices in-store that provide more information about the products offered and allows the customer to interact as they choose what to buy. It’s a smart use of technology that enhances the customer experience.
Don’t Forget the Power of VM
On top of this, it’s important not to forget the impact of traditional visual merchandising techniques. A well-stocked stand, with eye-catching Point of Sale can entice customers to buy, even if they weren’t intending to. Putting best-sellers at their eye level will tempt them to try something on, just to see how it looks and once it’s on, all you need is a neat piece of customer service and selling to help them make the transition from trying to buying. If you can make the product look appealing, then those sales will just come naturally.
So, that’s how to beat the online retailers a combination of new ideas, and traditional ones. A happy mix of technology and personal service, and you can make customers that you’ll retain for life.
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Kate Milner is a blogger, freelance writer, and mother of two. Before having children, she worked as Store Manager for a leading UK footwear chain.