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Creating a scalable framework for outstanding in-store retail experiences

shopper in-store

Not even pandemic conditions have stymied customers’ desire for the traditional, in-store retail experience.

While nearly half of shoppers want to visit your stores, they have a threshold for poor retail experiences. If you don’t deliver outstanding in-store retail experiences at scale, then your customer base will find somewhere else to shop—whether online or with a brick-and-mortar competitor.

A step-by-step process for winning retail experiences
Impressing your customers happens one step at a time:

Step 1: Identify the type of in-location experience you want to deliver
From the moment that a customer enters your store’s front doors (or even the parking lot), they interact with countless retail experiences. Each individual experience in your store—from digital signage to checkout, promotions, customer service, and beyond—should have a rhyme and reason behind it.

Raydiant has identified eight types of in-location experiences your organization should be deploying:

  1. Self-service experiences.
  2. Click-and-collect experiences.
  3. Immersive experiences.
  4. Brand-building experiences.
  5. Revenue-focused experiences.
  6. Personalized virtual support experiences.
  7. Informational experiences.
  8. Self-checkout experiences.

Effective in-store retail experiences generally influence the shopper towards some desirable behavior. The type of experience you deploy will determine the behavior you hope to elicit from the customer.

Step 2: Determine the customer behavior you want to encourage through a specific retail experience
When you’re brainstorming revenue-focused customer experiences, the goal will almost always be to increase revenues. Brand-building experiences, meanwhile, generally encourage the shopper to interact with your brand in some meaningful way.

With each specific type of experience, you will identify a corresponding goal. The most elemental goal for each experience is to enact a specific type of behavior in the customer.

Examples of target behavioral changes:

  • Increase use of self-service options.
  • Spend more money per visit.
  • Purchase specific products.
  • Enroll in customer loyalty programs.

Once you identify the behavioral changes that you seek, you must pinpoint your overarching goals for those behaviors and the metrics by which you’ll measure success.

Step 3: Identify target objectives and key results
A customer’s behavioral change (such as purchasing a specific product) will generally fit into a larger objective (like increasing overall revenues in your stores). Here are some examples of objectives related to customer behaviors and some key results by which you may measure your organization’s progress:

Objective 1: Increase in-location revenue
Key results:

  • Customer spend per location visit.
  • Customer conversion (% that purchase after entering).
  • Cost per acquisition (new customers acquired).

Objective 2: Promote new products, services, and offers
Key results:

  • Total number of sales/revenue generated from a specific offer, product, or service (ex. QR code only shown on screens in physical locations.

Objective 3: Deliver a more streamlined customer journey.
Key results:

  • Average time spent to get customers through the door (from entry to checkout).

Objective 4: Decrease staff costs
Key results:

  • In-location revenue divided by the number of workers on-site.

Objective 5: Align online and offline marketing efforts
Key results:

  • Average lifetime value of customers (combining online and offline customer spend).

Objective 6: Support brand values.
Key results:

  • Average customers spend within 30 days of visiting your physical locations.
  • Customer Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Key results are a critical piece of this framework. Without these metrics, you’ll be hard-pressed to determine whether you are progressing towards your target objectives.

Step 4: Test the experience, then deliver the experience at scale
You may first test the efficacy of an in-store experience in a controlled environment—say, one or a couple of your stores. Once you determine that you are effectively incentivizing the customer behavioral changes that you seek, you may then deploy the experience at scale.

Best Practices for Scalable Retail Experiences
Brick-and-mortar retailers would also be wise to follow these best practices:

Best Practice #1: Set small goals, larger goals, and metrics by which to measure your progress. In other words, align your target behavioral changes, larger objectives, and key results.

Best Practice #2: Personalize your in-store experiences to the greatest possible extent while honoring the shopper’s expectation of privacy.

Best Practice #3: Rely on technology to free up your staffers and deliver greater convenience for your shoppers.

Best Practice #4: Empower your employees to engage with customers, as customer service remains a vital asset of the in-store retail experience.

Best Practice #5: Provide multiple checkout options, display products in an easy-to-find manner, and take other steps that make it easier for your customers to do business with you.

Every in-store experience that a customer has can shape their future shopping habits. Per the Raydiant “State of the In-Store Experience” (2021) report, 82% of shoppers will return to your stores after a positive in-store experience. A poor in-store experience may have the opposite effect.

Therefore, inconsistency between your retail locations is always a hazard to your business. A single poor experience—even if that experience is a complete anomaly—could create a negative brand association and cost you a customer’s business for good.

It is critical that retailers have consistent frameworks that govern their in-store experiences. With consistent, scalable criteria, your organization may achieve maximum consistency and customer satisfaction in your in-store experiences.

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