Establishing The Best Online and Offline Customer Experience in Retail

If you own or manage a retail business of any kind, you have likely already transitioned into offering an online shopping option for your customers. Whether you began as a brick-and-mortar location and then started operating online, or you initially found enough success online that you were able to open a physical location, offering an online experience to your customers is imperative. However, providing the most excellent customer experience can be a challenge. It requires recognizing the elements that made your business successful initially, may not always be the best strategy. As in-store shopping and online shopping are so fundamentally different, the experiences associated with them are bound to be different as well.

One of most obvious ways in which these two different experiences differ is the societal aspect. In-store shopping requires interaction with employees and the product in the store. As such, store designs should be made to encourage browsing the products all throughout the store. In addition to this, employees and representatives should be open and available to any customer requiring assistance while browsing the store. Online shopping, on the other hand, requires next to no interaction with employees or any other shoppers. Typically people find themselves shopping online if they’re in a hurry or already have what they need in mind. As such, website design should prioritize efficiency and ease of use.

However, all of what would be considered normal in regards to in-person shopping has changed recently due to the pandemic. Even despite restrictions in different parts of the world, some customers continue to visit brick-and-mortar locations because they have no other option. Businesses then have the obligation of creating an experience that is safe for each and every one of its customers visiting their stores. This means utilizing contactless payment solutions, enforcing a strict social distancing policy, and any other techniques needed to keep customers healthy. Online retail, on the other hand, hasn’t had to adjust much at all as a result of the pandemic. Most changes made to websites throughout the pandemic have been to enhance the photos and videos that detail specific products as a result of customers being unable to view them prior to purchase.

A number of retailers have overcome the challenges brought about by the pandemic by opting into a third-party expert to perfect their physical retail locations. In some cases, this can be as simple as implementing a BOPIS (buying online, picking up in store) system in all physical locations for those customers still willing to visit any store’s location. In other cases, these third-party experts can provide a complete makeover to all physical retail locations. This can include the decor or the interior design, but the end goal is always improving the customer experience while they’re shopping in store.

The infographic featured with this post details more of the ways to address the issues between the social versus solitary experience for your customers. It also includes a number of suggestions meant to improve the retail experience – whether that be online or offline. It is an excellent resource for retailers hoping to prioritize the improvements they need to make in order to continue retaining their current customers in addition to attracting new customers to their business. Courtesy of Moss

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