The battle for customers in the retail sector is strong, so if you want to set yourself apart from the competition and keep your sales growing, you’ve got to pay close attention to the customer experience in your store.
The customer experience is made up of many different factors and there are a number of strategies you can use to improve it and boost sales.
Here are a few key strategies to get you started:
1. Loyalty programs
According to the 2019 report, For Love or Money*, 22% of respondents indicated they have purchased things they didn’t really need in order to earn rewards or maintain program benefits, and 64% of New Zealand loyalty program members said they actively take advantage of most of the benefits and rewards associated with the program.
This is a good indicator that loyalty programs are highly effective at making customers feel like they’re getting a good experience as well as boosting sales.
Offering a reward system that encourages repeat purchases, like the classic coffee card, is a simple and great way to build loyalty.
64% of New Zealand loyalty program members said they actively take advantage of most of the benefits and rewards associated with the program.
When customers feel valued, they are more likely to become return customers; loyalty programs make customers feel appreciated. Whether it’s knowing the customer’s birthday and giving them a discount or delighting them with a special gift for their loyalty, customers are likely to be thrilled and excited if you can seamlessly integrate these features into their customer experience.
Hubspot has a great Beginners Guide to Building Customer Loyalty – read it here
Your Point of Sale System is an excellent place to manage your loyalty program. When integrated, information from your customer’s card is transferred from your EFTPOS terminal to your POS, allowing any loyalty program information to be logged and easily viewable by you, which can be relayed to your customers as desired.
Our terminals integrate with a wide range of POS systems, including our free Till2Go POS.
Contact your POS provider to see if they support loyalty programs.
2. Community Connectivity
Creating and maintaining an online community is no small task, but it can add significantly to the customer experience. Building a space where customers can engage with your brand and each other is an excellent opportunity to showcase positive customer experiences – great for driving new business! It also helps keep your existing customers in the loop regarding your products and/or service offerings.
Having an online community shows you are interested in customer service beyond the usual customer-vendor transaction and are keen and willing to build actual relationships with your customers. Managed well, creating connectivity among your customers will grow a community which could turn into one of your greatest assets.
Shopify has a great guide on Creating Community: How Retailers Can Build an Engaged Customer Base – read it here
Here are some Smartpay customers who we think are really getting their online communities right! Check out their social media and see what we mean:
3. Marketing in the moment
Leveraging current events can create a really relevant experience for customers. From writing something topical and relevant on your store window, to letting customers know what your store is doing during Covid-19, marketing in the moment is a great way to connect with your customers and more importantly – it makes them feel connected to you!
Marketing in the moment means the amount of foot traffic coming through your store could vary considerably depending on what’s going on. To keep your customers flowing and the lines short, it may be worth asking your bank to enable contactless payments, if you haven’t already. This will help prevent your store from becoming overwhelmingly busy to the point of putting customers off and you missing out on their sales.
Using public holidays and current events in your marketing is a great way to market in the moment.
These are a few strategies for how the customer experience can be improved, but retailers should always be on the lookout for ways to finetune! Staying connected with and listening to your customers is a great way to do this. The customer isn’t always right, but when it comes to providing a great customer experience, their perspectives are invaluable and should be given plenty of attention!
* For Love or Money, 2019