Retail advice is full of stuff about creating a shopping experience. So what does that mean and how do market traders get in on the act? The good news is that we can.
A men’s clothing store in New York gives you a shopping experience and you don’t actually walk out with any goods. Your shop assistant, sorry your “guide”, will discuss a whole range of clothing alternatives with you and “guide” you through various options including some personal style changes that you may not have thought of. The “guides” intimate knowledge of current trends makes sure you stay up to date with your clothing choices.
There is no standing at the checkout at the completion of the process. The “guide” will swipe your card on his mobile machine (a few of our traders do this with their mobile phone card checkout facilities) and then offer you a cup of coffee or glass of wine if you have time. Their intent is to make shopping easier for customers, particularly those who “hate shopping”. Your purchases are delivered later from a central warehouse so the customer is free to walk out having completed their shopping, enjoyed some expert advice, and get back into the day with delivery to happen in the background.
Other retailers adopting the “shopping experience” mantra include Nike with their mini basketball courts, Sephora with their “cast members” who sit with you at a digital make-up machine while you try various make-up effects, and Apple with their amazing stores and Genius Bars. Walmart are reportedly spending $2.7billion on training programs designed to improve the experience that their staff give to customers.
The really good news is that all these programs are built around knowledgeable people who can engage with customers. A market trader’s bread and butter is personal engagement, and getting that right, while offering convenience in ancillary services like payment and delivery, puts us on the same street as the big boys And we can do that without having to invest huge amounts in infrastructure although I bet all you sports shoe traders are working out how to put a basketball ring on your stall.
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