You only have one chance to make a first impression – the phrase is true for personal interactions, of course, but also for the relationship between you and your consumers. In an omni-channel retail environment, it is important to strategically consider every aspect of the buyer journey, creating a shopping experience that is consistent (and enjoyable!) across every channel. You want to get it right the first time.
“Brand uptime” is defined as “the concept of meticulously maintaining stores to project a consistent and positive image.” How a customer perceives your brick-and-mortar store is directly related to how they will perceive your brand, so considerable thought should be given to in-store strategies.
You can’t forsake physical in favor of digital
E-commerce has shifted retailers’ attention to ensuring their website is user-friendly and loads quickly, addressing any issues that could trigger shopping cart abandonment. But the physical store is still equally important, and the idea of ‘uptime’ is not limited to web accessibility. According to Salesforce’s 2017 Connected Shopper study, 87% of shoppers have visited a retail store in the past month. Additionally, millennials are more likely to visit brick and mortar stores than baby boomers (78% versus 70%). As a retailer, you must maintain a high standard of customer experience for in-store visitors if you want to keep that foot traffic in your aisles. You can’t afford not to.
Brand uptime certainly applies to things like lighting, cleanliness, temperature and aesthetical design. Those are usually quick wins for noticeable improvements that a retailer can address. Beyond that, there is a variety of technology available to make shopping in your store a superior experience to checking out a competitor down the street, or making the purchase online.
In-store technology improves customer experience
One way to improve the in-store customer experience is to make it simpler for your customers to see information on pricing and product availability. Electronic shelf labels (ESLs) are an important investment for accomplishing that, allowing you to price as quickly and accurately in the real world as you do online. Displaydata’s ESLs are a centrally managed solution, giving retailers unprecedented agility to refresh labels anywhere, all from a single server at headquarters. And visually, our ESLs are eye-catching, crisp, and fully graphic with bright colors and images. Through ESLs, you can also provide social reviews and competitors’ pricing for your customers, just as if they were seeking consult before making an online purchase.
Displaying inventory at the shelf-edge leads to improved face-to-face customer service, too – if all stock levels are visible in the moment, your sales associates can stay at a customer’s side instead of running to the back room to check if they have a particular product in the store. And remember, they won’t be manually changing prices, either, further freeing them up to cater to customers.
Consumer loyalty is yours to gain
In a recent study by The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the top reason given for retailer loyalty was price/value. Furthermore, 62% of consumers said they would be willing to spend more if their shopping experience was customized to their personal interests. Through the use of ESLs, you can build confidence with your customers to ensure they are getting the best price and availability. And with the integrated Bluetooth option on our ESLs, you can better engage shoppers in-aisle by sending them personalized offers (via a mobile app) at the moment they’re thinking about a purchase.
In today’s retail reality, buying decisions are greatly influenced by in-store experiences, and tech-savvy consumers need to feel informed and understood while shopping in your store. Interested in learning more about how ESLs can improve brand uptime in your stores? Contact us today to learn more about the marketing, operations, and IT benefits that ESLs can provide to your organization.