The Brick and Mortar Survival Kit, Part 4 – Engaging with customers once they have left the store
The image of someone buying a simple pair of shoes doesn’t normally conjure a picture of internal chaos or neuroticism. A customer enters a store, looks over the merchandise and eventually selects something that is packaged at the cash in a few simple steps. However, this simplified view of the transaction belies the potential roller coaster of emotion and anxiety that can arise within a shopper. Purchases are emotionally driven; this, combined with the potential for buyer’s remorse, are issues that retailers must be sensitive to. Along with superior customer service, retailers need to treat their customers the way they want to be treated: as unique individuals with their own tastes and buying patterns. Once a customer has exited the store, there’s no telling how he or she might be feeling, or what they might tell their peers about the experience. Building a relationship is essential, and personalized direct marketing can help.
Email blasts have nearly become a standard procedure, but are still effective ways to remind customers about new sales and promotions. While this channel can boost repeat purchases, it can also be an annoying deterrent. Imagine getting a barrage of e-mails about products that have nothing to do with your particular interests. Ensuring that your email campaigns are personalized to their recipients will make your messages less intrusive, in the same way that a handwritten note with a package adds a sense of sincerity. As we learned in Survival Kit Series Part 2, Clusier uses LightSpeed to leverage data — allowing them to better understand their customers. By using data-driven direct marketing to reach their existing clients, they send a message that says more than just “come spend more”; it tells the customer, “we know what you love”.
By keeping this post-purchase channel open, there is also more of an opportunity to encourage the customer to visit a brick-and-mortar shop’s online store. Promotions such as discounts on the next purchase also help build incentive to re-visit the store and build loyalty. As relationships are key, it’s important to unobtrusively inform customers about various retail channels and promotions, but the effectiveness depends on the retailer’s ability to reach them on a personal and tactful level. A store can be a soft place to land for even the most anxiety-prone shoppers; using technology to help a retailer reach out to shoppers, and letting them know they care, will surely elevate relationships and abate some post-purchase anxiety.
This post concludes our Survival Kit Series. We love when our theories about technology’s influence on sales and customer relations are supported by real-life testimonials, and sharing these stories is a great way to help inspire stores to remain competitive in the ever-evolving landscape of retail. Let us know LightSpeed technology is improving your business by emailing us at [email protected].