Friday, August 22, 2008

The Shopping Experience, Part 3

The customer is inside the store and has been looking around a bit and now has questions. Will it be easy for them to get someone to answer them?

As they look around at your product displays, will they find things easily? Will they find dust on the products or will they be cleaned daily? Will there be good organization or clutter?

If they needed to use the restroom, would it be clean and presentable? You know, your store could be very nicely displayed and products clean, neat and well organized. You can have an attentive staff that is well trained and knowledgeable. You can be a 10 out of 10. But, when they go to the restroom, will it still be a 10 when they come back out? There is one thing that we have seen time and again, that many businesses just do not think about their bathrooms. The worst are some restaurants. If anything they should be better in restaurants for cleanliness, but frankly, I think they are the worst except for gas stations which are pathetic and actually scary sometimes. The clean bathroom, with soap and with towels in place is a very important thing. Spend some time to make sure it is and you will reap the rewards of this.

Is your staff well trained? Do they know the products that you sell? They should be able to answer almost any question a customer might ask about them. The second thing that we notice at a great number of businesses is poorly trained personnel or people with poor attitudes which is also poor training. Make sure that you know how your employees are doing. Watch them, get feedback on them. Train them well.

How is your store laid out? Is it merchandised well? Do you have a lot of sales tags? Too many is a problem. Do you have the products in sufficient quantity of what you have advertised? Do your displays make sense with the rest of your stores layout? If you are promoting certain things, are they displayed in a way that will get peoples attention? There is a lot of things that people can do with merchandising in their stores. Mix it up a bit for fun and interest. Change is good.

If you have a store where people need more time to look at things make sure and have some seating available. This is especially important for clothing. Make it comfortable for the shopper and their companion. The longer they are in your store, the better for you, so make them as comfortable as you can.

Hopefully your customer is getting to see things that interest them and hopefully find things that they need and some things that they didn't know they needed until they came in because of how you have your displays so nicely done. They are getting all their questions answered fully and they are enjoying the experience of shopping in your store.

Don't forget that check out needs to be a pleasant experience too. In many stores, everything might be good until it comes to the check out process. Ensure that your store bucks that trend and make your check out efficient, speedy and a pleasant experience.

Congratulations! From start to finish, you saw your store from the eyes of the customer and you have designed everything to be attractive, inviting and comfortable. You have pleasant music playing, you've thought about the decor, colors, your displays and your merchandising. You've trained your staff to be effective with every customer and you've ensured the check out process matches all the rest. Awesome job. Your sales are going to reflect your efforts!

The next post in the shopping experience will be after the sale.

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