Every retail business is unique. Shoppers are seeing an evolution within the retail shopping experience in 2021 in terms of product offerings and business strategies. Retailers and store owners face constant change, especially after a difficult year like 2020. It doesn't matter whether your business offers online courses or on-demand delivery; businesses are constantly discovering new ways to retain new customers, promote their brand and grow revenue.
Following COVID-19, savvy retail owners have pivoted their services, operations, and customer strategy to boost engagement and store traffic. Both online and in-store, there is a much greater emphasis on improving the user experience. We spoke to a few thriving business owners and they have some insights to share. These refreshing ideas will help you to kick off your business with a bang.
Let’s look at some new ways retailers and shop owners are enhancing customer experience in-store and online.
‘When we first started, we instantly noticed that reptile owners are some of the most caring and knowledgeable pet parents we've ever met. Because these pet parents are so caring and engaging, we wanted to give them a platform to share their knowledge about reptile care with new reptile owners. So we created CritterFam. This helps newbies get the basics about proper husbandry, feeding schedule, and cleaning schedules. This platform also gives pet parents a chance to share pictures of their bearded dragons and leopard geckos. To date, we have over 8000 members who share pictures and knowledge with other community members. And this growing community has helped grow our eCommerce store as well.’
Jeff Neal, Engagement Officer of The Critter Depot
‘Bring Your Fans Onboard: I run a tween girls clothing brand called Hayden Girls. We design chic fashions and accessories for young women with a focus on creating a fun environment for families to share in a love for shopping and looking great. Hayden Girls has added a new level to our customer experience by creating an influencer program where fans of our clothes can apply to be a Hayden Girls influencer in exchange for discounts or free merchandise. This has been super popular with our customers, as it has added a new level to the experience of buying and wearing our clothes. Now budding influencers can take pics and make video content with their parents in hopes of being featured by our brand, which has led to a much more engaged and excited customer base.’
Hosea Chang, Chief Operating Officer of Hayden Girls
‘‘Capitalize on your customer service! Customers want the best experience possible, adapt your marketing efforts to reflect how great your customer service is. Utilizing online reviews, genuine influencer content, and public relations efforts to highlight real reviews from real clients!’
Tirzah Shirai, CEO, and Founder of Blink Bar
‘Maximize your eCommerce customer service experience! Work with website designers to assist you in updating your website. You need to consider the accessibility of your website in regards to website navigation and clear, understandable information. Speaking with someone at your company is also very important; incorporate individuals who respond to chat boxes and social media queries!’
Lauren Bosworth, Founder & CEO of Love Wellness
‘Update your technology! Ensuring your customers have a seamless experience on your website and on your social media pages is important. Update your information and designs using certain marketing psychology tactics.’
Joe Parenteau, CEO & Co-Founder of Fablehome
‘‘Market your brand just as well as you market your product! Consumers want customer service to be an extension of the product or service they are purchasing. A positive experience with your brand is less stressful and encourages them to use your brand again.
Michael Waxman, CEO & Co-Founder of Sundays for Dogs
‘It’s no question that this past year has changed our lives and how we live beyond what we ever could have imagined. Post-pandemic life is brand new and still evolving into itself. As business owners, we have to adapt to every change. Consumers are sensitive to change, particularly about their products now; work with your customers to ensure you are maximizing their experience with you. Provide education and resources they need to feel happy for choosing your brand.’
Danielle Calabrese, COO of De La Calle
‘Similar to our economy and our new consumer habits, customer service (and business in general) is going to continue to change. Historically, it will take about another ten years for our economy to return to a state of equilibrium, until then we need to settle into the ebbs and flows to truly understand consumer trends. As business owners in an ever-evolving economy, you have to lean into this change and allow your consumers to dictate the market trends. Stay on top of your market research and be prepared to adjust accordingly.
Chris Vaughn, CEO of Saucey
‘Always follow up with your consumers! You always want to try to receive feedback from your consumers, especially if you worked with them one-on-one. This not only signals to your current consumers that you care about their experience with your company, but it also helps you improve in the future. Actually, take that feedback into consideration! A great way to incentivize your customers into sending in reviews is to provide them with a discount code for future purchases!
Brittany Dolin, Co-Founder of Pocketbook Agency
‘Utilize Client Journey Mapping. Customer journey mapping visually illustrates customers’ handling, needs, and attitudes throughout their cooperation and relationship with your brand. By cross-referencing route maps with core metrics, you can get a stronger understanding of your CX and where there are releases and opportunities. You can use journey maps to enhance customer practice now, visualize your future customer experience, or encourage organizational innovation.’
Shiv Gupta, CEO of Incrementors SEO Services
The reopening phase of the retail industry brings with it rapid changes that redefine the way store owners do business. We will continue our discussion with retail experts in Part 2 of new ways retailers and shop owners are enhancing customer experience in-store and online.
Reopening Checklist for Retail Stores
Retail products that will WOW your customers and keep them coming back for more! Get creative with your FREE Retail Reopening Checklist.