What’s the biggest priority for retailers? The answer, of course, is sales – but any savvy shop owner knows the retail industry is becoming ever more competitive. Repeat business and brand loyalty is a must, and the best way of ensuring this is to create ‘brand ambassadors’. This refers to that small yet valuable proportion of consumers who not only regularly visit and purchase from the same store, but also who will sing the brand’s praises to their friends and family.
Retail experts know that when someone has a good experience they will tell one person, whereas if they have a bad experience they will tell 10 people. Negating poor experiences is paramount, but creating a brand ambassador is a powerful tool by which to gain positive word-of-mouth advertising.
Without really thinking about it, people trust those closest to them for store reviews. So, even with the biggest advertising and marketing campaign budget available, if the retailer lures shoppers in and then doesn’t cater to their needs, it’s a pointless exercise.
It’s important to foster a positive emotional connection to the store in as many ways as possible – and that’s about understanding the shopper, what they come in for, and how to ensure that their customer journey is perfect from start to finish.
With the rise of online shopping, it’s important to set in-store experiences apart by focusing on convenience, ease and enjoyment. Historically, retailers have focused on every aspect of the shopping experience before the transaction is complete, but to ensure a complete and optimised customer journey, thought has to be given to the queuing and checkout process.
Technology, such as Automated Electronic Call Forward systems (Auto-ECF), has been created to transform the queuing area by introducing single line queues and efficiently calling customers forward to available checkouts. Auto-ECF enables retailers to reduce queuing rage for customers, and facilitate quick and easy payment. Stores have reported a 30 per cent increase in the speed of processing customers, and consequently, a reduction in waiting times for their shoppers.
Creating brand ambassadors takes time. It cannot be done overnight, and it requires an investment in innovation in order to nurture consistent consumer loyalty. Businesses need to look at what they offer and see where they can improve services. Is the store providing something extra along every step of the way that will set it apart from its competitors?
After all, enabling a seamless shopping experience is essential if retailers truly want to encourage customers to shout its positives from the retail rooftops.
To see the Auto-ECF in action, watch the video here.