A lot has been spoken about the evolution of e-commerce and digitalization post- 2020 and how customers prefer shopping online to in-store shopping. Sure, convenience is a powerful tool but an online shopping experience cannot completely replace an immersive in-store experience. Just like takeout meals cannot outweigh the experience of eating in a restaurant.
The brick-and-mortar stores have surely taken a hit since the year 2020 but by understanding and analyzing the consumer psyche you can leverage the latest technology to enhance your store experience.
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Understanding the Paradigm Shift in Consumer Psyche
Never before in decades, has there been such a drastic shift in customer behavior. The pandemic brought a sudden change in the consumer psyche that has altered the way consumers think, purchase or even engage with a brand. However, the upside is, consumer behavior is not absolutely unpredictable. Now more than ever, customers are looking for purchases that offer more value for money.
When absolutely every purchase can be made with a tap of a finger or a few clicks of a mouse, engaging customers in a brick-and-mortar store has become increasingly challenging. However, when you integrate convenience, excellent customer support and additional enhancements, it is possible to create an unparalleled in-store experience that supersedes the convenience of online shopping. The right amount of human intervention and in-stores reward program is a powerful combination to enhance customer experience.
The Irrefutable Impact of Digitalization on Businesses
The effect of digitalization was dominant even in the pre-pandemic era which was further amplified in 2020. Global lockdown, travel restrictions gave an impetus to e-Commerce. To enhance the online shopping experience, brands and companies offered turnkey solutions for a holistic experience. Even now, when stores are opening up across the world, undermining the impact and influence of digitalization is unmistakable. It has become imperative for brands to combine the in-store experience with strong digital enhancements, not just to offer a better experience but also to stay in the game.
To help you enhance your store experience, listed below are six in-store customer experience trends of 2021.
Six In-store Experience Trends of 2021
- Omnichannel Experience – For a seamless in-store experience, adopting an omnichannel strategy is crucial. An omnichannel experience is a multi-channel approach that integrates a customer’s online and offline journey to provide a holistic and seamless experience. It keeps the verbal and non-verbal dialog between the brand and its customers clear and relevant to improve efficiency and deliver the best possible outcome and swift service.
- Hyper-Personalization – The bar for customer experience is constantly being raised by global players. Personalizing experiences simply doesn’t suffice anymore, hyper-personalization is the new norm. Customers don’t just want it, they expect it! With the extensive data that’s being collected worldwide, it is easier to create hyper-personalized experiences that improve customer experience and add value to the customer’s journey.
- Limiting Contact – Since the pandemic, social distancing has become a way of life. Most people personally, prefer to avoid contact as much as possible. Therefore, it is important to automate processes and limit contact as much as possible. This also includes paperless purchases which make digital receipts a compulsion if you want to keep up with changing times.
- Cutting the Chaos – In-store experience in 2021 focuses on convenience. Prompt and swift processes put customers in a great mood and improve the chances of retention. Cut down on the unnecessary processes, clear the chaos at checkpoints and offer more than one option to customers, to purchase, return or exchange products combined with great customer support.
- Eco-Consciousness – According to a study by Forrester, customers are increasingly evaluating products and brands based on a company’s ethics and values, with 41% of US consumers actively seeking to buy from a company associated with social, environmental, and political ideals. The world is opening its eyes to sustainable living. Many brands like H&M have a dedicated segment to reduce their carbon footprint. Adopting an eco-conscious approach in business is the need of the hour. It further encourages customers to remain associated with the brand.
- An Incentive to Purchase – Now, customers are expecting more from brands than they did before. With various retailers going out of their way to improve in-store experience, proving an incentive to purchase further enhances customer experience. Stores with rewards programs are experiencing a better footfall as well as receiving a solid vote of confidence from the customers. Rewards or loyalty programs improve customer satisfaction and also have a significant impact on the retention rate. These strategies are beneficial for both parties – the brand/ retailer as well as the customers.
How Can Annex Cloud Help?
Annex Cloud can help in enhancing in-store experience with customized rewards and loyalty programs. By carefully analyzing your customer base, your brand ideology and your business intent and objectives, the experienced team at Annex Cloud will design suitable loyalty strategies that help you to achieve maximum ROI. For a free demo and consultation, connect with team Annex Cloud.