14 Ways You Can Transform Your In-Store Experience

How to Transform Your In-Store Experience

As online and mobile shopping become ever more prevalent, many brick-and-mortar stores are seeking to offer a truly unique, stand-out experience in order to entice shoppers to make their purchase in-store, as well as ensure they stay satisfied and loyal. To help highlight some of the approaches you can use, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council the following question:

“What is one way a company can transform their in-store experience? Why does doing this help?”

How to Transform Your In-Store Experience

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. AR/VR Experiences

“Adding an AR/VR experience wherever possible can be a powerful way to improve customer in-store experience. You can use these technologies to educate customers, entertain them or show them how your product works. You’ll create a memorable experience and help them in their purchasing decisions at the same time.” ~ Blair Williams, MemberPress

2. Loyalty Programs

“Loyalty programs are used by virtually every industry across the board. Depending on the price and products you’re offering, there are several approaches to this strategy. If you sell small-ticket items, consider offering a buy four items, get one free on your loyalty card. If your products are on the high-end, you may want to consider a cashback program per dollar spent.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

3. A Navigable Layout

“You use design to enhance your online visitors’ user experience on your website, so why not do the same for your physical store? Knowing what your customers want and will look for once they enter your store is likelier to lead them where they want to go to increase sales. You can look at your current high sales and place those products at the front of the store, for example.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

4. Personalized Interactions

“If you’ve visited a Starbucks enough number of times, you’ll find that the baristas remember your name and your frequent orders. This makes for a memorable experience and you can apply this to your own store experience. Train your staff to personalize their interactions with a customer and to remember their preferences. Doing so will make for great in-store experiences.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

5. An Integrated Online And Offline Experience

“Most retail customers research businesses online before stopping in. For some businesses, they book appointments or reservations using an app or visiting the website. Do everything possible to make the online and offline experience seamless. One example is letting people buy an item online and then pick it up in person. This saves time for the customer as well as the business and in-store staff.” ~ Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

6. Prioritizing Customer Service

“Keep your employees happy. It’s absolutely wonderful to enter a store and be welcomed by people smiling and ready to help you. The energy of people changes the mood of any place completely. In order to achieve this, you must be monitoring your employee satisfaction closely. If they’re happy coming to work, then they will show it and portray it to your customers.” ~ Alfredo Atanacio, Uassist.ME

7. ‘Retailtainment’

“Retailtainment is just what it sounds like: the combination of retail and entertainment. Offering retailtainment to your in-store customers is a great way to bring more excitement to the shopping experience. For example, book stores can bring in authors to sign autographs and talk to readers. Or, a clothing store can hold a live in-store fashion show for shoppers.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

8. Online Coupon Clipping

“Online coupons are great for e-commerce storefronts, but they are just as effective for in-store customers. For instance, Bath & Body Works employees encourage customers that walk into their store to check out their app for some great coupons they can use in-store today. If you want to ensure this strategy, offer first-time customers to download the app for a free gift at checkout.” ~ John Turner, SeedProd LLC

9. Incentives To Keep Coming In

“The coffee shops I frequent all have loyalty programs, the typical buy 10, get one free. It seems so insignificant, but I find myself pleasantly surprised when my drink is on the house. This same approach can be put into other retail settings. For your die-hard regulars give them an incentive to continue coming in by offering them discounts, special events or a birthday reward.” ~ Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy

10. Being Personable

“One benefit in-store shopping will always have over online shopping is representatives who can help customers. Make sure your employees are personable and helpful when working with customers. If you have regulars, make sure you learn their names and their needs if possible. Customers will come back if they can build trust in your employees.” ~ Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings

11. Adding Offline-Only Value

“Online shopping is becoming more popular and more convenient than ever. One way to enhance your in-store experience is to offer things that cannot be delivered online. If you have a supplement store, offer related services for free in the store such as a free body scan or a dietary consultation. A clothing store may offer free alterations and tailoring. Get creative.” ~ Karl Kangur, Above House

12. Speedy Service

“Thanks to e-commerce and the demand it has created for increasingly fast shipping and services, speed is everything. To make sure your in-store experience can keep up with online shopping, focus on offering fast service. In many cases, making a sale and losing the customer comes down to speed. Designing your store and services around speed is the first step in improving customer service.” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

13. A Shareable, Tech-Driven Experience

“People can now go online and buy products cheaper and with more options than you can have in-store. In an age of endless options, people are starved for unique experiences. If you design a compelling (and shareable) experience of walking into your store and interacting with your products via technology or service design, you’ll have people coming back and bringing their friends.” ~ Tony Scherba, Yeti

14. In-Store-Only Promotional Deals And Demos

“Offer a product or service that is only available in stores. In order to pull people away from online shopping exclusively, you must provide the value they can’t get anywhere else. Look at having promotional deals in stores only or offer a service or demo that comes with each product sold. When you make a product and experience, you expand its value and memory with the customer.” ~ Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
Image: Depositphotos.com

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.