Retail store experience : Images Retail Jan 2013


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Store customer experience management is a vast area involving aspects related to the product, customer segment, store layout and technology used. Retailers need to start layer by layer beginning with factors of customer convenience and working upwards to provide a spectacular experience.

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Retail store experience : Images Retail Jan 2013

  1. 1. technologyRetail Store Experience Rolling Out the Red Carpet for CustomersMaintaining product availability with competitive pricing at convenient locationsare important hygiene factors in today’s retail business. Customer convenience anda good service being the next basic premise, Retailers are increasingly focussing onenhancing the overall shopping experience which envelops and encompasses thetransactional and convenience aspects within the store By Shijo Sunny Thomas How many times have you very inherent need to touch and feel style availability of stock, and thewondered how a particular piece of the products and additionally, store experience in the dressing room. Forfurniture in a retailer’s catalog or store shopping is still an important activity retailers of white goods and consumerwill look in your living room? This in our societal framework. electronics, the factors would rangeis exactly what Crate and Barrel, a The online and mobile channels from the depth of product informationmassive home furnishings and décor play a supplemental role to the store available within the store and withretailer, answered for its customers. with factors such as convenient store personnel, product comparisonThe latter can now bring in or email options and product information. In tools, and delivery and installationtheir room photos to the retailer who a larger context, the store alone can services. Department stores retailingconverts them into a 3D environment. be a factor in improving the customer FMCG products have it more complexStore personnel can then help the experience. But since the Internet for themselves as conveniencecustomers try out, with the click of a and mobile phones have become is closely linked to the customermouse, how various products, fabric such an inherent part of our lives, experience through factors such asand colours will look in their rooms. the customer’s purchase path has checkout time, product availabilityThis is simply one of the many ways extended beyond the boundaries of and value-added which today’s retailers are creating the store. Retailers need to map out thea “Wow!” factor in their stores. The dimensions of the store customer experience factors not E-commerce and mobile channels experience vary to a great extent only at the store level but alsoare gaining an increasing multi- with the product segment and also at the product department share, yet it would be with the customer demographics. In The experience factors need to beextremely premature to think that the the case of a fashion retail store, the clearly laid out and shared betweenstore would be of a lesser importance customer experience factors would various departments such asin future. In fact, the reality is exactly be primarily related to a customer’s merchandising, visual merchandising,the opposite. Customers do have a connection with the brands, size and store operations, IT, marketing and90 . images retail . january 2013
  2. 2. technologycustomer service. The high levelfactors should be broken down intofurther areas weighted for eachdepartment. This activity helps indefining store customer-experienceKPI’s and attributed to eachdepartment. These factors and associatedattributes should find their place intovarious customer surveys, check-out analysis activities and lost-salesassessment activities. They canalso be derived from activities suchas mystery shopping initiatives,customer store-path analysis, andshelf accessibility study, among otherthings. The end objective of storecustomer experience management availability and check-out experience. the store associate is well awareis to turn casual customers to loyal Supermarkets in developed markets of products and customer profiles,customers and further turn loyal are deploying self-checkout machines and the associates are available forcustomers to brand ambassadors. where customers can scan and pay for customer assistance in the shortest Retailers employ a variety of options their products themselves without any span of time. A robust workforceto improve the store experience from assistance. Truly, for supermarkets, management initiative ensures thatthe technology point of view. This superior customer experience can stores are optimally staffed throughcomprises a combination of hardware be equated to an advanced level of scheduling and task management,and software options. Fashion retailers customer convenience. taking into consideration the intensityare known to use technology in brand Some of the common technology of footfalls and also the skill levelscommunications to the customer initiatives that can be applied across and product specialisation of thein the form of digital displays that multiple retail segments to improve associates. These tools ensure thatenhance the visibility of the brand the store experience are in the area associates are available and accessibleand its products. Another example of mobility and store workforce to customers in a scenario of assistedis when products saved in an online management. Store mobility – mobile selling by providing all relevantwish list or cart can be accessed devices in the hands of the store staff information related to product featuresfrom within the store for trying and – go a long way in augmenting the and personalisation.check-out in store. White goods and customer experience, especially in Store experience is a very subjectiveconsumer electronics retailers can segments such as fashion and white term and a combination of a multitudeallow customers to perform product goods. Store associates are easily of factors that drive its success. Storecomparisons and access detailed accessible to customers with product customer experience management isproduct-feature information and usage information in terms of features a vast area involving aspects relatedvideos. For supermarkets, the most and availability. Depending on the to the product, customer segment,important thing is to improve the investments, a retailer could take store layout and technology used. A this further by deploying a mobile good customer experience can result point-of-sale with a portable card out of something as simple as a smile reader. The receipts could be accessed from an associate, a stocked shelf and through a portable receipt printer or a clean store, to as grand as clothing a wireless printer located elsewhere trials on 3D displays. Retailers need in the store. Queue busters can be to start layer by layer beginning with employed by supermarkets where factors of customer convenience an associate with a mobile point- and working upwards to provide a of-sale can work through a queue spectacular experience. by scanning items in a customer’s shopping cart. The customer is provided a barcoded receipt by the ABOUT THE AUTHOR associate that can be taken to a Shijo Sunny Thomas is the payment terminal to complete the Industry Lead–Retail & CPG at Fujitsu Consulting India. He has check-out process. worked extensively in advisory Mobility and other store experience and operational roles with initiatives are dependent on the fact medium to large cross-channel that the store is adequately staffed, retailers january 2013 . images retail . 91