Many retail brands have been working hard to recapture the traditional customer by reimagining the shopping experience into something more personal and upscale and focusing on building a true customer relationship that will have them coming back for reasons other than the product or service. Take a look at some of the strategies that several companies have begun implementing as a way to make customers feel more important and as a way to fit into the customers’ lifestyle!
Evolving customer needs means brands need to evolve too.
As innovative technology has changed the way retailers operate, customer expectations have evolved as well. Today’s customer always expects quality service and product assortment as they always appreciate brands that go the extra mile to gratify the customer for simply choosing their brand over another. Retailers are becoming more efficient to make their customers feel important while they’re within their walls. It’s those retailers who have successfully changed their strategies to create a lifestyle experience who will see the positive impact that they are making on their customers.
“In short, to keep customers coming back, retailers are going to great lengths to create unique experiences that forge genuine conncetions between shoppers and their brands, even reinventing themselves in the process.”
-Caroline Moutet, Author of “Lifestyle as the New Instore Experience“
Moreover, several companies have seen the importance of getting ahead of traditional consumer behaviors by analyzing the data that has been captured such as that from loyalty cards or digital receipts. A recent survey conducted in the UK found that nearly all responding companies were prioritizing the search for an understanding of how mobile users research and buy products, and optimize the customer journey that concludes in a sale. If a customer leaves the store with an enjoyable retail experience, they’re more likely to refer their friends and family to visit as well. The ease of finding what they were looking for and simplicity of product ranges can help open opportunities for reliable customer experiences.
“The Third Place”
Most importantly, earning the title of “third place“—the most important social space after home and work— is significant as it can become a site where consumers implement it into their daily routine. Third places have been around since 1989 when sociologist Ray Oldenburg coined the term in his book “The Great Good Place,” but most recently it has been correlated to retail design and business strategies. Third places are usually described as community hangouts like cafes, bars, and hair salons, but places like fitness centers have also begun incorporating that term as much of the population can be found training in between home and work. Starbucks is one of the most popular brands that recently announced their “Third Place Policy” as they want to welcome everyone into their establishment which has helped bring a more positive brand image after their incident in Philadelphia. Their new policy was made with the intention of maintaining the third place environment in alignment with their mission “to inspired and nurture the human spirit.“
“We want our stores to be the third place, a warm and welcoming environment where customers can gather and connect.”
-Starbucks Newsroom, Starbucks Corporation
Essentially, adapting to the consumer’s behavior is a clear priority that can help the company greatly over time. It’s important to make the customer feel important but also captures their focus on incorporating your company into their lifestyle either by adding a social aspect to your location, providing convenience, or simply providing a great customer relationship.