How To Be a Retail Superhero

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Thanks to e-commerce and fast-paced technology, the shopping habits of today’s consumers are changing. In order to be a retail superhero, it’s essential to understand and adapt at a quicker pace than ever before.

It’s now common for shoppers to do a lot of online research before actually walking into a store and purchasing a product. The shopping experience is now multi-dimensional. Take, for instance, Ralph Lauren’s famous fitting rooms with smart mirrors in the company’s Manhattan flagship store.

How do successful retailers maximize their brand? Let’s look at how retailers can gain the opportunity to connect with customers.

1. Pulling Shoppers In

This is all about attracting a shopper at first glance. Take a look at your space and rethink its possibilities. Can you spot any unused space that has the potential for pulling customers in? Have you considered transforming dead ends into profitable revenue streams? Think of visually appealing and design-forward strategies.

Take a look at your space and rethink its possibilities. Turn dead ends into a revenue stream. Click To Tweet

The front porch of your store could very well be wasted space. Or, unused sidewalk space or parking lot space could be the first spot utilized to pull shoppers in. Think of using these spaces to showcase Seasonal merchandise, such as live goods. If you have sale items visible on your sidewalk, or promote a special marketing event, that’s a great visual lure for passersby.

2. Creating an Oasis

Today’s shoppers are looking for experiences that inspire. No matter how digitally connected they are to their devices and virtual worlds or virtual friendships, at the end of the day, they’re still human.

Big makeup brand retail stores, in Milan, for example, have been capitalizing on letting shoppers personalize the makeup of their choice. A shopper can choose lipsticks with shades she creates herself, or have her name, or the name of a friend inscribed on the lipstick tube. All interesting gimmicks to make the customer feel like they are getting a personalized experience.

If you can inspire and motivate your customers, you will be able to transform an otherwise mundane shopping trip into an extraordinary experience worth talking about.

Good retailers should also tell stories through creative and unique visual merchandising displays and product placement. Try to put together, what goes together.

If you sell sporting goods, for example, go with a camping theme for your focal display. That might include anything that your customer may need or is sourcing for camping: sleeping bags, fishing poles, camping cookware and utensils, tents, or camping food. Make that space attractive, and give the shopper some inspiration for their next big outdoor trip!

3. Connecting With Community

One of the best ways to extend your brand experience outside of the traditional brick and mortar walls is to work on building actual personal and deep relationships with your customers. This will be an investment of your time, but it’s sure to pay off in the end.

Community engagement is about connecting the heart and mind of shoppers to your brand. Click To Tweet

A good example of this is creating a retail outreach program. Highlight the charity you select, and make sure it is a cause that your customers care about. This is a strategy that must breathe authenticity, however. Nike, for example, whose retail community stores enable volunteer work and outreach, is a good example of this. The Lululemon brand has also engaged in community efforts to spread the word about its retail stores.

Community engagement delivers huge results. It is connecting the heart and mind of shoppers to your brand, so make sure to do it right.

The lines between online and offline shopping aren’t merely blurred — the two dimensions have now merged, as the competition grows fiercer. Today’s shoppers are easily distracted, want everything in an instant and are used to convenience. If you can reshape your retail and marketing approach to meet the needs of today’s highly evolved shopper, you’re guaranteed to be a successful retail superhero!

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