As we lead up to NRF 2015, this week Supply Chain Nation turns its focus to trends impacting digital retail. Follow along each day this week as we explore a new topic related to retailing in the digital age.
According to happiness gurus, there are three proven ways to create happiness:
- Practice gratitude
- Be of service
- And make the world a better place
What better place to create happiness than in a retail store? Why should a customer choose to shop with you, rather than your competitor or by completing their purchase on line? Your store can be a place that your customers go to just for the sheer joy of shopping with you. If you see showrooming as a threat to your business, then let me tell you a secret. The secret to embracing showrooming is to turn your showroom, or store, into a place that creates happiness. Seventy-five percent of all purchases are still made in the retail store. Rather than worrying about showrooming eroding your bottom line, it is time to embrace it as a way to draw customers into the store and connect to them.
Do not underestimate the power of the human connection. Showrooming can be regarded as a threat, but if you change your perception of the needs of this shopper, you can capitalize on the phenomenon and create a continuing relationship with your new customers, many of whom you would not have met had they not found your product on the internet. Your business is at risk if you do not evolve. You are being given an opportunity to convert them to loyal repeat customers.
The three steps toward creating happiness can be applied to this situation. If the customer experiences pleasure while in your store, a connection will be created in the pre-frontal cortex that associates you and your brand with pleasure. Give them a pleasurable experience that they will want to repeat.
Pleasurable experience can be created by practicing the three ways we noted above. First, encourage your sales associates to practice gratitude with every interaction with the customer. Does that mean they need to end each sentence with “thank you?” No, but it does mean that a customer should feel the appreciation from the associate for coming into the store. Communicate to your associates how much you value the customer and how to show them your appreciation.
Next, be of service. Anticipate their needs – do they need information, guidance, help down the aisle, sizing or style advice? If you ask “can I help you?” you will invariably get “no” as the response, right? Instead of asking what they need, anticipate the need, and deliver. The number one reason that customers decide to buy in the store rather than online is that they want the product right away, followed closely by the desire to buy locally and to get great customer service. You can deliver each of these, through great customer service.
Last, make the world a better place, starting within your four precious brick-and-mortar walls. Serve your community, serve your customers, be of good cheer, make their day better. Do all of this simply because you are grateful that they came to see you.
You will make a difference, and you will create happiness which will lead to profit, guaranteed.