Are you fulfilling shopper expectations in your store?

By: Gabrielle Winant

We’ve seen it now more than ever, shopping experiences are being shared on social media. The latte with an intricate foam design isn’t just a coffee anymore, it’s an experience. Now more than ever consumers are driven to buy products they can interact with and show off. Recent studies have shown in this economy, consumers are more likely to splurge on tickets rather than a sweater, but for retailers, this poses a problem. How do you engage a consumer where experience is what matters? Retailers can’t rely on overstocking shelves and hope that consumers will bite, they need to create an emotional sale.

Social media is pervasive in this society and to ignore social media’s presence in your store is detrimental. Retailers need to find a way to integrate social media such as Instagram and Snapchat, effectively creating a community within their store. It may seem like a stretch for big box retailers to promote social sharing in their stores because the emphasis has been placed on sell, sell, sell for so long, but adapting will drive foot traffic into their locations. We know Millennials are more apt to trust a friend’s product recommendation over an advertisement and we live in an age of Instagram ‘influencers’ who make a business off of promoting the newest and coolest products. So, you drive the consumer to the store, with shareable displays and interactive shopping experiences but what happens when they get there?

Consumers have high expectations for shopping at B&M locations. Their desire for a total experience is mixed with the need for the seamless path to purchase of e-commerce. Having a clean a cohesive store floor plan and knowledgeable employees will increase the feeling of community inside stores. Maintaining a well-trained staff will equip them with the confidence to interact with consumers and bring them the complete shopping experience they desire.