Your store environment can directly influence your customer's behaviour pattern, choices and their emotional connection with your brand. If you are lucky enough to still have a brick and mortar store, through really focusing on store personalisation can allow your brand to establish a much closer and personal relationship with your customers.
Like many of the golden rules of marketing and communication, ensure you know your audience! Your brand has the opportunity to target and customise to your clients' preferences and, therefore, create the all-important first impression. It’s all about emotion, just remember we have 5 senses - is your brand considering them all when decorating the store?
Consumers “touch” your brand (also known as customer touch points) an average of 56 times between inspiration and transaction so store environment and decor can add up those touchpoints much more efficiently, pulling through your brands personality at one of your most major touchpoint assets.
A major trend towards ambient media can now be seen to be shaping the way in which we communicate with brands, both online and offline. In fact, ambient advertising is considered to be 24x times more effective than traditional advertising and it’s only set to grow.
With ambient communication (through store personalisation) your brand has an opportunity to stand out among the competitors - who doesn’t love a new way to shop?
It’s time to catch up! Multinational retail chains are now subscribing to technology and design stores that retain customers and attracts new ones.
But how do you communicate your brand’s aesthetic through traditional, ambient communication and in-store personalisation? How do you use the store environment as tool for market differentiation?
Dive in into this blog post for some tricks and tips on how you can make your store, the store everyone wants to shop at.
Communicate, Without Saying A Word.
Nothing makes an in-store experience more real then communication. It can sound invasive through customer sales employees: sometimes, reaching out to customers directly might not be the best choice. However, you can communicate without speaking in more subtle ways, how about leaving messages across your store.
You’re selling jeans? Why not leave a message next to them saying: “This goes well paired with this shirt” Does your brand store have changing rooms? How about a message saying “You look great” or maybe something like “If you’re taking a pic then tag us at…”. It’s all about delivering the best customer service, and the way to do that is through communicating.
Just remember to make the messages align with your brand, your tone of voice and your image.
Store Design As An Atmosphere Tool
It’s important that the store design of your brand’s store is eye catchy, consistent with your brands ideals and personalised for your customers. It’s also important that your store design captures the illusion of integrative atmosphere/environment.
One way of doing this is by investing in a wall mural. That will make your store stand out within your competitors and it’s a great way to show off personalisation.
You can transform the whole ambient and atmosphere just by adding some visual aid regarding the messaging you want to convey. There’s always a wall mural or wallpaper for your brand aesthetic and industry.
Pop Walls are a great wall mural solution for retail. Not only are they non-toxic, they also do not need glue as they’re formed of an anti-paste technology. They’re available in various different shapes, colours and collections to suit your store style the best. Do invest in something that ties the store environment as inclusive and inviting.Think as if your store is another planet that you just stepped in.
Use Decor To Draw Your Customer's Journey Experience
Why not use the store layout to your advantage? Do layout your store with a navigation feel with your product sub-sections and displays. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed in a store, by creating a path with your products not only are you solving the “feeling lost” dilemma but you’re also guiding your customers through their journey experience leading easily to conversions, this is called wayfind paths.
For example Duty Free shops at the airport are one of the most elucidating examples of wayfind paths. Its displays transmits visual and graphic cues that lead the way until the counter is reached. Stairway to heaven quite literally.
The cheapest, less enthusiastic shopper can’t avoid not being sucked in by Ikea’s wayfind path store. Ikea is perhaps one of the biggest examples to path lead design as marketing strategy. From the zigzag shape warehouse that leads the customers, to the arrows on the floor and banners to guide you through the crowd, to the insertion of yellow and blue symbology so clients know where they should be heading, Ikea inspires aligning personalisation and creativity to your marketing strategy.
Example of Ikea store guide path: The arrows point to the direction in which customers should head. The escalator situated/framed in the middle of the room brings extra focus to the path. Even the slight details of yellow on the escalator steps works as guiding light regarding where Ikea wants their customers to go.
Wayfinding or signage in stores has long been a thing and a great indirect communication tool for your customers.The clearer your signage, the better your customer experience! Do keep it concise though, no one wants to decipher hieroglyphics when looking for the toilets. Shopify’s agrees and adds: “Just as your ecommerce store’s sales copy should be concise and attention-grabbing, your in-store signage should be clear and useful.”
The front of your store determines whether a customer walks in or not so why not showcase a little personality through the window. Do put some thought in what you’re showing off in your window. Remember people's attention span is short and you want to make sure the products that you choose for the window are reflective of your brand and look good.
Try and tell a story with your window design. Think who’s the audience? What’s the story? And how I’m I trying to tell it? Try to be original and avoid doing what it already has been done before. Remember originality reflects individual personality so do not be afraid to go all out. However, be aware to not over overwhelm your costumers with cluttered products: sometimes less is more.
Does your store have a loyalty programme? You should consider it, loyalty programmes is a really great way to retain clients. Think about it, no one likes anything more then being rewarded for shopping. Show off your brand's personality by rewarding the customers you already have and attract new ones. Keep your loyalty scheme in-brand and voilà you’ll have yourself a personalised marketing programme in store.
Technology To The Rescue
The rise of technology is allowing a closer relationship of brands and customers so why not let technology deal with personalisation? From McDonald’s having iPads on kids tables to smart mirrors that collect data according to what you’re wearing, technology has penetrated the retail business and it’s not planning on leaving any time soon.
A good example of technology aligning with personalisation would be the Missguided retail fashion brand that created an app inspired by dating apps in order to show off their clothes and accessories. The service called “Swipe to hype” shows off Missguided personality while at the same time still keeping that branding registry that customers are used to by now. This is a great example of marketing and personalisation matched together leading up to customers conversion.
You can think about investing to up and coming technology such as VR, augmented reality and virtual assistance. The future is yours, so just think about how you can integrate technology into your business for the perfect personalisation strategy.
Tech Equipping Staff
We’ve been seeing this quite recently. Staff and retail employees that are equipped with tech to help you achieve a better shopping experience.
The retail group Inditex is one of the many investing in that area. We’ve seen staff at Zara carrying headpieces for a clear communication with the rest of the team. The use of walkie-talkie and most recently in the store Stradivarius the staff carries iPads with the store system installed in them.
That’s a great example of how tech and personalisation can give your brand that extra x factor. In a Stradivarius store you can now ask any employee if they have that shoe model in your size and in just a matter of minutes you’ll have your answer through the use of the iPad. Now that’s what I call good customer service.
That’s Music to My Ears
A new personalisation department in retail is arising.In the U.S., studies proved that music in retail has an direct impact in shopping and not always in a positive way. If the music in store isn’t great then consumers are more then likely to not purchase a product.In fact, statistic points that 55% of Millennial shoppers in the US would like to control the music they hear in-store.
Recent talks have been gathering regarding the possible personalisation of shopping soundtrack in which customers can choose and personalise their playlist while shopping. The way they’re doing this is by partnering with speakers company such as JBL speakers as Topshop retail fashion chain has been doing, subscribing to a junkbox for a retro feel or using the up and coming VR equipment while shopping.
This, is still on it’s early stages but why not start thinking about it now? There's a need in a market for it and your store might just be the new coolest thing on the block. Let’s rock!
Think Outside The Box
Thinking outside the box is what makes retail great. No one wants to shop at the stores that look the same or similar. Your business gains profit from personalisation since it tightens the link between customer and retail more tightly so just keep that in mind when thinking about developing your next marketing strategy. Now go ahead and start planning! Make your store an outer-space experience where your brand feels like an entire new and different planet.