5 Ways to Add Interactivity into the In-Store Retail Experience - Dispatch Weekly

December 22, 2016 - Reading time: 8 minutes

With a continuous rise in online sales, getting shoppers’ in-store often poses a challenge for retailers. With next-day delivery and online deals, shopping in-store is not always the most favorable option for modern day consumers. With the online world booming, it is vital for retailers to offer a more personalised shopping experience.

This is where digital in-store advisors come in. By offering personalised and specific information, this takes pressure off of the staff, whilst giving customers the answers they need.

The role of an in-store advisor is drastically changing. Deloitte found that 36 percent of in-store sales were influenced by digital technology and by the end of this year it will reach over 50 percent.

The digital revolution is changing the way we communicate, consume and digest information. Here is why interactivity matters and how it can boost the in-store retail experience.

#1 Engage the Senses and Make Shopping Fun

Pay attention to retail space
Pay attention to retail space by providing: relaxing music, comfortable chairs and a coffee area

Shopping online is quicker and easier, so why should consumers go to retail stores? This question should be at the forefront of every retailer.

People need a reason to go out into the rain, contending with crowds and long queues. Therefore, make the experience as pleasurable as possible by creating sensational shop windows and displays.

Other ideas are: providing relaxing music, comfortable chairs, a nearby coffee area, taster sessions or offering free personal shopping advice at set times.

Know your audience and provide a special service. For example, if you are a bookstore cater for children and mothers, providing a reading session or an activity where mothers and children interact. This can help build up the community of the brand, which can be posted on social media.

To stay competitive, retailers need to offer a special and personalised experience that directly relates to their customer.

#2 Be Supportive of Consumers Who Shop By Mobile

Payment services such as Apple Pay allow shoppers to pay for the mobile web goods seamlessly.

Jaime Toplin, a research associate with BI Intelligence said:

“Millennials use their phones as their primary device, and as they make more, they’ll spend more. And on the retailers’ end, they are going to create more opportunities for people to buy.”

Mobiles allow for an array of functions: paying, product reviews and price comparison.

By collecting data on how shoppers are consuming, researching and paying for products online and in-store, retailers can integrate both online and offline shopping experiences.

Retailers should advertise through Google and main search engines, adding GPS technology and a direct messaging service to consumers if they choose to add themselves to the list. Also, advertising discounts and deals online could entice shoppers if they are surfing for relevant shops nearby.

Ravi Shah, product director for IBM Commerce’s mobile solutions said, “We’re in a period of time where location and analytics has become a big deal when it comes to understanding what users are doing.”

#3 Enhanced Self-Service

Technology and phones have empowered shoppers to ask questions and find immediate answers to questions rather than rely on retail assistants.

According to management consulting firm McKinsey and Company, e-care is the future of customer service as one of their surveys found that customer satisfaction could be raised by 33 per cent and costs cut by 25-35 per cent by digitizing customer care.

Self-service is one example of digitalising and fastening the process of paying for goods. Also, shops that have a tablet or interactive virtual assistants to answer common questions can increase engagement for a streamlined shopping experience.

#4 Optimised Service

The advantage of shopping online is 24-hour service, done when it’s convenient to the customer. It is now less important for shoppers to be present in-store.

The role of an in-store advisor is drastically changing.

Deloitte found that 36 percent of in-store sales were influenced by digital technology and by the end of this year it will reach over 50 percent

Therefore retailers need to be more easily accessible, providing valuable information around the clock, product reviews, video tutorials and an easy purchasing experience.

Retailers need to understand the intent (why a customer is shopping) and context (where) in order to provide the best service. Different purchases could result in different behaviours.

For example, Target found that 98 percent of its guests shopped digitally, 75 percent starting on mobile. But categories like patio furniture had variable results.

#5 Social Media Friendly Stores

Why is social media important to in-store shopping? Brand knowledge, customer interactivity and marketing, work seamlessly together to increase the brand, shaping it whilst offering free feed back from consumers.

This improves dialogue between brand and consumer. Helplines, online product reviews and online chat can help improve the dialogue and communication channels between both parties.

Also, social media can solve many problems and answer queries directly outside shopping times.

Retailers are now seeing the power of influencers and social media as a tool to drive sales. Bloggers such as Zoella and Tanya Burr now have beauty ranges at Superdrug, UK.

Using social media to identify trends to engage with an active audience is also vital for businesses to thrive.

Hashtags such as #primania for Primark encourages customers to share their outfits and finds, building a community. This helps break down barriers between consumer and creative directors, listening to feedback, integrating ideas into business.

According to Retail Team, UK, in 2014, the top 500 retailers earned £3.3 billion from social sales. Furthermore, 46 percent of web users look towards social media when making a purchase.

Find out how we can help your shoppers to make more informed and confident purchase decisions in-store or online by here.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.