According to a new study, most retailers say they must improve their in-store experience for the customer in the next 5 years. What does that mean for the 12 volt specialist?
The study found that 75 percent of retailers believe they must improve the in-store experience for the customer in 5 years:
Marcel Newell of Avidworx: “Our stores should be the place where consumers go to find out what the latest and coolest vehicle technologies and sound system are. Our stores should be an engaging, exciting and fun learning experience. If this is done well, then our stores will not only develop more sales, but perhaps more importantly, RAVING FANS! A raving fan is an advocate for your business.”
“A simple update for a car audio specialist, says Newell, involves 4 steps: Update the showroom flooring, wall paint and lighting. Then start keeping an accurate record of each customer’s email and home address.”
Ray Windsor of German Maestro says retailers should update their product training. “It’s crucial to provide consumers with a reason to visit the brick & mortar store and then make a purchase.” To pull this off, the consumer must A. learn something new from you, the expert, about a product or service and B. he must be made to feel the store is a good environment (welcoming, with business integrity).
51 percent of retailers will be investing in new technology in the next 5 years to try to keep up their customer service.
Windsor says: ‘The word ‘investing’ often frightens a smaller retailer. In this case the investment does not have to be so heavy on the financial side, it can be in product training. Become a better expert in the products and services you sell. Then the brick & mortar retailer will become much better at communicating this expertise to the consumer… What we do. Why what we do is better. ‘
Newell: ‘What do you think the chances would be that you would eat at a restaurant that looked the same as it did 20 years ago? A restaurant with the same worn out carpet, burnt out lighting and scratched tableware?…Last year Lance Putnam was awarded free demo showcases from our Pay-It-Forward program. Lance owns two stores,’ so you can compare outcomes with and without the showcases. The store with a new “Driving Safely” showcase has double the profits on the Driving Safely products ($150 in profit for each sale) compared to the sister location.’
According to the Motorola Solutions survey, 2 in 5 retailers believe that the inability to find the item they came to purchase is a major source of customer dissatisfaction, second only to out-of-stock items.
Windsor says: The consumer must be given a reason to buy something better than what he already knew about when he came in…A specialty retailer who can educate a consumer about something new (and available) has great advantage over a knucklehead clerk who simply checks stock and price, to see if we have what some other retailer told the consumer to buy at some lower price than is good for us.
Retailers believe that 42% of sales will come from online, mobile, and social commerce sites in the next 5 years. So many retailers plan to adapt by providing “personalized product details” based on previous sales or behavior to a shopper’s smartphone.
Windsor says: ‘ Such a large portion of the products mobile electronics retailers offer to consumers are available to these consumers from other than brick & mortar sources that I believe these alternative sources for our products will grow to larger than 42% of such sales. Consumers are, and will become more, comfortable with purchasing online, and from social sites using their mobile devices. It is critical therefore that the brick & mortar retailer has a significant presence in the online places where consumers are likely research and purchase. There are a number of installing brick & mortar specialty retailers who have developed such a presence and have done so with little financial effort but significant mental effort. Call me at 949-600-8195 and I can help you find these retailers who are happy to help their peers who are serious about getting it done.
Here are some other findings from the study:
- Although just 9% of surveyed retailers currently offer associate-manned mobile or portable POS, 18% expect to do so in the next 5 years. While only 4% currently offer self-checkout on the customer’s own mobile device, 12% plan to offer this option in the next 5 years
- 37% of respondents do not currently have wireless available in-store. Half expect that to be the situation in 2017
- 39% of retailers offer consumers the option to buy on mobile and ship to home, while 59% expect to do so by 2017. The proportion planning to offer the option buying on mobile and picking up in-store is double those currently offering that option (58% vs. 29%).
Windsor: It is critical to make your store “wireless and on-line” friendly. Your consumers are all comfortable in this world NOW. Use this familiarity to make your consumers realize the value in making AND executing their purchase decisions with your brick & mortar business. Of course in addition to the necessary ”virtual world” skills, a brick & mortar retailer must be in a position to communicate successfully in the old fashioned methods… Eye to Eye. Face to Face. Hand to Hand.