Now more than ever, brands need to give consumers an engaging shopping experience. These are trying times for all brands and retailers, but that doesn’t mean standards should slip when it comes to meeting shopper expectation, in fact, this is a critical area of investment for brands in today’s retail landscape.
PwC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019 focuses on the importance of ROX (Return on Experience) for today retailers. Measuring the ‘Return on Experience’ will help companies understand how customers interact with their brand and measure the effectiveness of the investments made directly into areas that impact customer and brand experience.
Shoppers and consumers are willing to pay a premium for a good experience and the outcome of consistent good experience results in brand loyalty and return customers. Creating a customer journey that has positive shopping experiences along the path to purchase is key to maximising the customer experience.
How brands can focus on customer experience in-store vary from easy to navigate layouts, knowledgeable and passionate sales staff, quick, easy and modern payment methods to experiential events and promotions instore. While online, stock availability, accuracy in order fulfilment and multiple convenient delivery options, are crucial in the overall shopping experience. Though it is important to note that convenient delivery does not always mean the next day, it means time and location that meets the needs of the individual customer, making it very easy for the customer.
Of course, improving the overall shopping experience to make it authentic and straightforward for the customer does add layers of complexity for brands and retailers both online and on the high street so it does take a full team to get the experience just right.
3PL, Logistics and fulfilment service suppliers are critical service partners to work with brands and retailers behind the scenes, providing the logistical infrastructure and expertise to fulfil and facilitate the shopping experience so it is as good as it can be.
The retail experience involves management and fulfilment of vast quantities of “goods not for resale” across every store, where they are required. Everything from staff uniforms to till rolls, point-of-sale kits and shopping bags requires a reliable warehouse and fulfilment service where items can be stored, collated and dispatched successfully; ensuring everything is delivered on time and in full, facilitating brands in providing an exceptional in-store experience.
Point-of-sale material which adorns stores – shelf stickers, floor decals, vinyl posters, promotional displays and more – all add up to great amounts of material to be handled, collated and distributed. This needs to be done with great care across high-frequency and high-volume schedules to meet the demands of in-store sales and marketing activity, partner relationships, seasonal campaign and product launches.
Only when all these features of day-to-day retail are in place can retailers and brands hope to offer a consistent, high-quality experience to customers, who demand and deserve no less. After all, the in-store experience is high on the customer agenda and can be a fundamental attribute for maintaining a valuable customer relationship for retailers and brand owners on the high street.
Steps to sampling success
Another area of retail promotion which can add a moment of delight in the customer journey is sampling. We’re all familiar with the brand representative strategically located in-store, giving away free products samples or ability to try the product in-store. But how can you ensure it all happens seamlessly across all retail outlets?
An experienced logistics partner will be able to take care of the nuts and bolts of sampling campaigns, supporting brand ambassadors in situ by providing everything they need to attract and engage with passing shoppers. Consumers who try a sample could become long-term customers if the experience is enjoyable – a relatively simple way to introduce sampling into retail marketing, brand activation and shopper strategies.
Pop-ups keep popping up
Particularly in towns and cities, pop-up shops continue to be an exciting way for brands to reach customers without long-term lease agreements or as a way to run short retail promotions. It’s an especially suitable format for pure-play eCommerce companies looking to test in the physical retail arena or support seasonal uplift to give customers a choice.
Again, this is something that needs much thought with efficient fulfilment and logistical support to be successful. The investment your brand is making in a pop-up environment deserves excellent logistics. In effect, the pop-up space is a new showroom or an experiential event for your product or service, and there’s no room for error in the whole pop up experience when engaging with current and potential customers.
In today’s experience economy, positive sharable and memorable shopping experiences will give brands the advantage when trying to drive loyalty and retain customers. From the simplest and most basic requirement of excellent customer service to creative, immersive and compelling experiential activity, investment in the shopper experience cannot be overlooked for brands who care about their customers.
Contributor: Granby Marketing Services Ltd is a 3PL, fulfilment and marketing services company in Lancashire. We operate a fully integrated suite of warehousing and fulfilment services that are all designed to help our clients connect with their customers. Our services include warehousing, fulfilment, promotional marketing services, contract packing, POS kitting and distribution, print management and customer services.
As an award winning service agency, we are proud to work with some of the UK’s leading brands and agencies across a breadth of sectors including retail, cosmetics, beverages, luxury, public sector and financial services. Choosing to work with Granby means you are choosing to do business with a trusted, reliable and responsible service partner.
www.granbymarketing.com | Tel: 01254 682 702