Strategies to attract informed customers in your retail

  • Consumer is more and more clear about what and who to buy. Strategies to attract informed customers in your retail are needed more than ever.

  • We have to accept that Internet has generated a a radical change in the way people interact with products and business in general. The essential figure of retail salesperson has led to a real self-management of purchase process and  Customer Journey where the client is who sets the pace and the analysis depth to be done. 
  • How is the customer informed?

  • Let´s remember how offline purchase process and  experience were just a few years ago. 

    The potential customer received an advertising impact - normally through a massive media like television -; then he went to a local store or mall to see and touch the product  and, what is more: to be advised by the shop assistant. 

    Due to the final web boom, business started to see how the model changed radically.  Sure, the user purchases online, but even the one who buys at retailers is also determined by Internet when making decisions.

    From our touch we have access to products on blogs and media, products comparison tools, millions of opinions written by clients who have already bought that same product, photos, detailed videos and even we can know how the packaging we are going to receive is thanks to amazing unboxings.   

    We also have mobiles, so we can be connected  from anywhere, stores included. All this information is always accessible, so it affects the decision to buy offline directly. 
  • Retail difficulties

  • Precisely  this data access, as prices, critics, ratings and so on, has given room to the birth of a phenomenon that you probably know: showrooming.

    The customer goes to the stores to interact with the product, compare some options and ask questions to the shop assistant. The problem is that, many times he ends up shopping on an eCommerce. 
  • The opportunity

  • It happened that stores charged clients for trying on clothes in order to minimize the showrooming phenomenon, but this is to stem the tide. We must focus on making use of the  advantages of this channel to achieve a really appealing purchase experience.

    Shall we see some examples of strategies? 
  • #1 – Digitalize

  • The physical store that is able to embrace digital transformation and become a real smart retail will be in a leading position.
  • EXAMPLE:  The latter is being done by Amazon with its retail strategy with 4 stars stores opened in New York, where only products with that rating placed by user can be purchased and can be viewed on the boards directly. 
  • #2 – Advise

  • For sure, customer is very well informed on technical features of each product. He is also sure about how it must be used and the opinions of other users. However, we still have the ace of professionalism up the sleeve.
  • It works wonderfully in any market niche you can imagine. Regarding fashion and cosmetics, for instance, we all want another opinion. The same happens with technology, imagen and sound, nutrition… an expert is an added value that is difficult to be compared and found online.
  • EXAMPLE:   If your product has delicate features, or even medical prescription, this strategy gains ground. This is basically done by  Warby Parker when selling prescription glasses. In this case, advise is part of the product, not something optional. 
  • #3 – Become multichannel

  • Stop undertanding your online and physical stores as two hermetic compartments. Let customers flow from one channel to the other. Also, offer them distinguishing advantages of each of them so that it is an extra experience. 

    Many of these “hybrid” stores known as click & mortar generate dynamics to  create rotation in the physical stores from the web, loyalty plans, optimize logistics by using stores as click and collect convenience spots (by online and pick up offline)...
  • EXAMPLE: One of our favourite stores in this respect is Bonobos. Its business model is based upon advising, but also, extremely, upon multichannel One product like fashion has a certain handicap as it cannot be tried on online. This generates obstacles during purchase and it causes inverse logistics expenses. 

    How is this solved or minimized by Bonobos? Well, by making you go to their store to try on and suggesting clothes according to your complexion and style you are looking for. Afterwards, they place the order and deliver it home (or to the store, if you prefer)
  • #4 – Bet on experiential

  • No matter how technology progreses, it is going to be very difficult to replicase certain aspects of offline purchase. There is something fun with going shopping, it is gratifying to enter a well-lit store with all imaginable models to touch and try on. 
  • You can buy coffee online, of course, but at Nespresso stores you can have one while you let its aroma floats around you. We are talking about neuromarketing, life style and the feeling of getting an added value to the purchase you are placing.  
  • EXAMPLE:  Another example different to that of Nespresso which also turns to be paradigmatic: have you ever visited one Apple Store? Do you really think anyone needs to see an iPhone to know how it is or its features? Of course not, people go to these stores to enjoy Apple experience
  • What about you, how do you attract informed customers in your retail? Which strategy are you using? Are these ideas inspiring? Tell us!

  • Images | Unsplash

Miguel Nicolás

Miguel Nicolás O'Shea is a life-long copywriter (more than 15 years working in agencies) and a specialist in Search Marketing (SEO and PPC). From now on, he will contribute with his online marketing experience to Oleoshop, publishing regularly.

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