Retail Guide to Success: In-Store Betterment

June 12, 2018

Making the most of visits

In Retail Guide to Success: Ease and Speed we looked at examples of how convenience drives brick-and-mortar business. Building on that piece—and drawing from our 101 Ways to Rock Your Retail Customer’s World — we present some examples for how stores are adding value for those customers making the trip to their local business. Enhancing the customer experience is rewarding for all parties, and here we look at eight examples of those brands finding new ways to thrive.

Breaking through the digital divide

Kohl’s and Amazon have partnered on a new concept designed to drive foot-traffic and seamlessly integrate Amazon customer service. At 10 Kohl’s pilot locations in Chicago and Los Angeles, the company created a space for an “Amazon Smart Home Experience” giving customers the simplicity of returning unwanted Amazon purchases without shipping, and offering up the online retailer’s branded products such as Echo. Those digital customers return items, and simultaneously see what Kohl’s offers in brick-and-mortar stores. Kohl’s gains new exposure to potential customers and more frequent visits, while Amazon benefits from having a physical presence and experience beyond their online platform.

Mini workshops and product demos

Sephora gives customers the opportunity to learn a specific beauty application through complimentary classes. After signing up online for a specific session of interest, customers make a trip to their local shop where Sephora staff teaches classes with the purpose of helping customers find a product that best fits their needs. The lessons help build a relationship based on trust between customer and Sephora, leading students to make in-store purchases of products used in class. Those classes include false lashes, age-defying skincare, contour & highlight and others to showcase a wide range of products.

Appealing to physical senses

LUSH develops their fresh handmade cosmetics to appeal to their customers’ five primary senses inside their footprint. Upon entering the retailer’s stores, customers smell heavenly scents of bath soaps, facial masks and galore. Their eyes are drawn into the colorful products and different designs on the soaps and bath bombs, and LUSH encourages patrons to feel the texture and quality of the products. The brand offers multiple lip products from lip balms to lip scrubs, which LUSH creates in a variety of flavors that leave taste buds happy. Finally, customers listen in on excited chatter of fellow shoppers testing products and asking helpful sales ambassadors questions about the items available for purchase.

Inviting consumers in for special occasions

A Kendra Scott offers a Color Bar Party wherein loyal and potential customers register a group of friends to shop on premise while nibbling on sweet treats and enjoying BYO wine and champagne. The party invites receptive consumers and their close circle to spend personal time inside the store, in a relaxed environment while shopping for fabulous jewelry. The Color Bar allows visitors to create their perfect piece by choosing a preferred style of jewelry, color of metal and stone incorporated by Kendra Scott staff into a piece. For such occasions, the brand offers a 15 percent discount to parties larger than six, encouraging customers to shop more and further experience the brand. Additionally, Kendra Scott hosts holiday events throughout the year including Mother’s Day, while offering sweet treats and a gift with purchase at a certain amount.

Simplifying shopping with all samples, no inventory

Keurig now gives beverage drinkers the ability to opt-in for automated reorder and delivery of their favorite libations. Customers choose frequency of delivery and receive a 25% discount on every order. This free service takes the worry out of reordering, and fosters a longer-term, mutually beneficial relationship between Keurig and consumers.

Treating customers to unexpected amenities

A handful of Publix locations in Florida have recently been offering free valet service to their customers. During certain business hours, customers pull up to Publix retail locations, and are delighted to have their car valeted for free while they shop. Once they purchase their items, shoppers roll their carts out to the exit, at which point valet will retrieve their car and help load the customers’ groceries. Publix is taking the next step with customer service by incorporating a luxurious benefit for something as simple as grocery shopping. And they’re making the customer’s life easier with these amenities, strengthening relationships to encourage future visits.

Converting sales through sampling

Safeway grocery stores have partnered with Sunoco gas stations to offer fuel discounts based on shopper spending at check out. For every $100 spent at a Safeway store, the shopper receives 10-cents off per gallon at the pump. Customers rack up as many rewards as they wish, though gas discounts are limited to the first 20 gallons of fuel per purchase at the pump. With the Safeway app, consumers review their accumulated rewards and redeem them at the pump by simply entering their phone number. This partnership fosters brand recognition and customer loyalty with a rewards program that encourages repeat purchase.

Branded, useful micro-video demonstrations

Home Depot posts a wide variety of short how-to videos on their website, with content ranging from fixing things around the house to cleaning items, measuring for appliances to selecting the right product for a consumer’s needs. The short videos help consumers solve problems, while teaching them how to resolve issues in just a few short minutes. Professionally produced but inexpensive, Home Depot videos cover relevant categories including DIY projects, kitchen, lighting, lawn and garden, bath and more. The retailer is fostering trust between the company and consumers by offering a helping hand on how to do things, and encouraging consumers to visit the store to check out their appliance offerings and other products.