The in-store experience is an important part of your marketing efforts. While your advertising and promotional materials may bring people into your brick-and-mortar location, your in-store experience will win them over. A good experience can convince your customers to spend more than they were planning to, or it can convince them to return and buy from you again.
Quality in-store marketing starts with the various touch-points that customers hit. These are the various interactions that a customer has with your store, staff, and inventory.
Let’s look at a few in-store marketing touchpoints to see how they affect the customer experience.
1. Your Storefront
The first touchpoint customers have with your physical location is the visual cues that come from your storefront. Is your location easy to get to and easy to find? Do you present a clean and welcoming exterior, or do your customers see a dirty and run down shopping area?
Roughly 95% of shoppers say the exterior of a store influences where they decide to shop.
If you have an unwelcoming exterior, then your customers are likely driving away without ever entering your store. In fact, more than 2/3 of customers have decided not to enter a particular business because of how it looked from the outside, and half of customers avoided businesses because of dirty storefronts.
Make sure the first touchpoint your customers have with your business is a good one. Otherwise, you won’t have a second chance to win them over.
2. Your Showroom
If customers make it inside your store, they will judge your products based on how they are presented. Is your showroom clean and organized? Are your products placed with care? Store owners need to decide how they want to engage with customers, down to minor details like whether customers will turn right or left when they step inside.
Many stores implement grid systems or a loop to guide their purchase process. These layouts are intentional and meant to help customers see all of the products.
Taking these small interactions into consideration (with the help of touchpoint mapping) can extend the average time spent on your showroom floor, increasing the odds that your customers find something they want to buy.
3. Your Employees
Your employees are one of the most conscious touchpoints that customers interact with. Customers notice bad customers service and will remember their interactions with staff. It’s crucial for business owners to train their staff and make sure their team members are treating customers with respect and care.
To get an idea for how shoppers see your customers, the Retail Doc shared a list of 50 pet peeves that customers have with your staff. These range from ignoring customers to talking with other employees to not checking to make sure customers have all their items. It is a helpful list to review to see if your staff is guilty of any of these behaviors.
4. Your Bathrooms
Not all customers will use your bathroom, in fact, the vast majority probably won’t. However, it is still one of the most important in-store marketing touchpoints that you have control over.
Almost half of all customers (45%) said they would avoid a retail location if they encountered a dirty bathroom.
Of course, the lost business doesn’t just stop there. A dirty bathroom can have far-reaching consequences if customers share the experience with their friends and online followers. About 50% of people who encounter a dirty restroom said they would discuss it with friends and family.
Not only will a dirty bathroom drive your existing customers away, it will also keep new customers from testing your brand out for themselves.
5. Your Signage
In-store signage serves multiple purposes. It guides customers to various parts of the store (like bathrooms and the checkout) and also provides information about your business, sales, and products.
Not only should your in-store signage be clean and up-to-date (meaning no Christmas signage in February), it should also reflect your brand. For example, more modern companies are opting for digital signage to communicate with customers. This helps brands reach younger or more tech-savvy audiences while conveying professionalism and care.
6. Your Checkout Lines
The checkout line is actually an important aspect of your in-store marketing touchpoints. You can use your checkout line to increase the average ticket and gently push customers to add a few additional items to their carts.
When your customer is standing in line, you already have a commitment from them to buy something. They have already said yes once, which makes it easy to say yes again.
Plus, customers don’t like idly waiting. They want to take action and do something while standing in line. This leads them to look at additional products and add small items (like snacks, accessories, or other treats) to their carts.
Use your checkout lines to upsell customers and grow your sales. Even a few extra dollars per transaction can have a significant impact on your business.
7. Your Point of Sale Systems
When your customers are finally ready to make a purchase, they encounter your checkout process. Most people know that a friendly greeting from a cashier can improve the customer experience, but there are other factors that business need to take into consideration.
For example, self-checkout systems have become controversial in the world of retail. Some retailers like Walmart want to condition people to use the self-checkout systems, while many customers push back because of the clunky software and preference of working with cashiers. Millennial customers don’t want to make small talk, but older shoppers tend to prefer waiting in line to get help from a real person.
The type of POS systems that you implement and how you complete transactions in your store reflects your brand and is often the last touch that customers have in your store. Make sure they end on a good note that makes them want to return.
Improve Your Important In-Store Marketing Touchpoints Today
Your customers collect information and perceptions about your brand each time they visit your store. It’s time that you look at your storefront with a critical eye and take steps to improve various customer touch points.
To learn more about how you can improve your in-store marketing touchpoints, download our retail store audit checklist. It walks you through the most important touchpoints in your store to make sure each customer interaction provides an amazing, professional, and personal experience.