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Brick and mortar retail: How to please demanding customers

Brick and mortar retail used to be the only type of retail. However, eCommerce platforms are winning over more customers as we speak. Adding COVID-19 into the picture made things even worse for brick-and-mortar shops. 21% of the total retail sales were made on eCommerce platforms. 

Even though physical stores are losing market share, that doesn’t mean customers no longer want to go to stores. On the contrary, more than 70% of customers mentioned that they still shop in-store. 

40.3% of people like to shop at physical locations because they can see and touch products. The second motive for which they choose brick-and-mortar shops is the experience. 38% of shoppers mentioned that they are looking for an experience when they enter a store. 

Because more shoppers are starting to shop exclusively online, how can brick and mortar retail thrive? By pleasing even the most demanding customers. 

Brick and mortar retail tips and tricks

Shoppers are more demanding than they were a few years ago. They expect a lot from both retailers and FMCG brands. Let’s see how you can attract customers and keep them coming for more. 

  1. Retailtainment

As we’ve mentioned, shoppers want an experience and that is why retailers have found innovative ways to entertain customers. Retailtainment means using retail marketing as a form of entertainment for shoppers. Instead of just promoting and selling a product, you offer customers a complete experience. 

There are multiple ways in which you can achieve this. Considering the fact that shopping in itself is an experience, all you have to do is find out what triggers customers. 

One of the best examples of retailtainment is Target Wonderland. In 2015, Target opened a 16,000-square-foot pop-up store. The shop offered 10 different experiences for customers, including a jumbo Etch-a-Sketch. People also received a digital RFID key. When customers liked a product, they scanned it and it appeared in their digital cart. Good for business, great for customer experience. 

  • Innovative solutions

Without the right solutions and tools, you won’t be able to meet the needs of your customers. This is why you shouldn’t rely on old-school in-store marketing tools like cardboards and dump bins. 

Innovative in-store advertising robots like Tokinomo are the future of brick and mortar retail. Imagine the reaction of your customers when a bag of chips starts talking to them. With the help of sound, motion, and light, Tokinomo lets products move, sing, and talk for themselves. 

Including other types of robots in your store will also help you increase productivity and offer better customer service. For example, a customer service robot or one that takes care of the stock on your shelf will delight shoppers. 

Don’t just stop at robots, try to include as much technology as possible in your brick-and-mortar store. If you are a fashion retailer, you could consider augmented reality mirrors. Customers will be able to try on their clothes without even having to change. By standing in front of the mirror, they will see how the outfit looks on them. 

  • Sustainability in retail

Customers are becoming more conscious regarding climate change and pollution. This is why they want to know that their favorite retailer also focuses on sustainability. Sustainability is about meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own. It applies to different resources, from natural ones to social ones. 

Why is sustainability so important? 

Apart from caring for the environment, you should also focus on sustainability because that’s what your customers are looking for. 86% of US shoppers expect companies to act on social and environmental issues.

There are some small steps you can take, as a retailer, to make sure that customers know how much importance you put on sustainability. For instance, switching from plastic bags to biodegradable ones. Better for the environment, safer for the customers. 

  • Combine offline and online 

You don’t have to focus online on what your physical store can provide. Combining the brick and mortar store with an online platform will help you reach more customers and sell more products. 

If you don’t want to sell online, you can include a BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store) alternative. People can look up your products online, select what they want, pay with a card online and then come inside the store to collect the items. They might also take a stroll down other aisles just to make sure they did not forget anything. 

  • Personalization is key

eCommerce platforms offer personalized experiences to their shoppers and customers expect the same from brick and mortar stores. While it is a bit harder to offer personalized experiences to shoppers in physical stores, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it a try. 

With the help of AR, VR, and RFID keys you can focus more on personalization. Also, combining online and offline will help you gather more information about your customers and you will be able to offer better, more personalized experiences.  These are some of the brick-and-mortar retail tactics you should try out in 2021 to grab the attention of your customers. Times might have changed, but shoppers still want the same things: to know that retailers understand and care about their needs. Innovate, collect and implement feedback, and follow up on trends to meet your customer’s expectations.

Author Bio: 

Nicoleta Niculescu is a Content Marketing Specialist at Tokinomo, the ultimate in-store marketing solution for retailers and consumer goods brands. Tokinomo advertising robots bring CPG products to life on the shelf and lift sales by an average of 200%.
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