In this modern day of online shopping, it’s crucial for your brick and mortar to stand out above the online competition. Many retailers find themselves struggling with finding ways to do this. Well, we’re here to tell you how. You need to create an experience in your store that will make consumers want to shop there. This should be something unique that keeps them coming back and wins their loyalty.

In-store experiences are meaningful and memorable to consumers, increasing their overall loyalty to your brand. Consumers are more likely to make the trip out to your store again and again if they enjoy the shopping experience they had there.

When you begin to create the perfect in-store experience for your business, be sure to follow some of these essential tips that we’ve gathered for you.


Associates Should Be More Than Just Salespeople

Face to face customer service still makes a difference to the consumers of today. It’s important to make sure that your front-line employees are ready to provide a meaningful in-store experience for your customers.

Your associates will need to be more than just salespeople. They should be the subject matter experts in your industry, enabling them to earn the trust of consumers properly. Associates that can speak to your brand are essential in building consumer loyalty.

Your expert associates should also be personable, and able to relate to your customer’s needs, creating those memorable experiences. Have appropriate training in place to help your associates grow and fine-tune their product and people skills.


Create a Hands-On, Interactive Experience

Consumers will often visit a brick and mortar store because they want to see and feel a product they are interested in buying. It will be essential for you to implement features throughout your store that allow consumers to experience your products, rather than just viewing them on shelves.

Trying out a product in-store can help to reduce the risk of purchase and can be the convincing factor for purchase. The benefit of a brick and mortar is that you can create an experience that lets the consumer really experience your product before buying it, which lessens the number of returns you will get.

Creating an interactive experience can generate more interest in your brand and can help lead to long-term brand loyalty in customers.


Experiences Should Be Immersive

An immersive experience is one that takes your concept to a whole new level. Create experiences that capture your customers’ senses and make them feel like they are really experiencing something unique and special. An experience that goes out-of-the-box and builds loyalty and brand trust.

We love what TOMS recently created for a memorable in-store experience. TOMS recently hosted an in-store VR experience in 100 of its stores.  This experience invited visitors to take a virtual trip to Peru to experience the company’s campaign in action. Every time someone purchases a pair of TOMS shoes, they donate a pair to someone in need. Seeing this campaign in action appealed to customers’ emotions, while providing them with a highly unique experience.


Transform the Checkout Process

The biggest bottleneck in a retail store is often the checkout experience. Most consumers dread long lines at checkout, but we have some ideas that can help the checkout experience be more enjoyable.

For example, many retailers have adopted the trend of replacing the traditional checkout line and register with associates that walk around the store with a portable payment device that they can use to ease the checkout process. Apple stores were an early adopter of this.


Make the Environment Lively and Entertaining

Providing an environment that is lively and entertaining is one of the easiest ways to create a memorable in-store experience. You have almost total control over the environment of your retail store and can easily create a variety of store experiences to attract consumers.

The environment plays an essential part in helping to shift the consumer’s mood and overall perception of your brand. Try incorporating music, lighting, and other sensory cues into your store experience. Be thoughtful not to overdo it though because you do not want to scare customers away.

In-store events are popular and provide a more enjoyable environment while also blending in your brand experience.


Choose Your Music Wisely

Music selection and sound design can make or break a shopping experience. Do your research and understand your brand to ensure that your music selections are in alignment. Create playlists that provide the mood and experience within the store.


Host In-Store Events

In-store events are a great way to educate consumers about your product. Consider hosting classes to teach customers how to use your products or in a topic area related to your industry.

Lululemon, known for yoga and exercise apparel, hosts yoga classes in their brick and mortar stores. It’s an experience that brings their loyal consumers together while also exposing them to new product on an ongoing basis.


Make the Store a Community

As wonderful as a great in-store experience can be, the number one thing that will keep people coming back is creating a strong sense of community. People want to feel a sense of belonging and yearn for human interaction not only in their relationships with family and friends, but also with the businesses they deal with regularly.

An environment that provides safety and familiarity will encourage people to come back and become loyal, reliable customers. The Highway 85 Creative team was recently commissioned to transform the Harley Davidson of Scottsdale location into a destination where people would frequently visit just to spend time with other Harley Davidson aficionados.

Besides the usual retail space, this location added an arcade, wedding chapel, photo booth, audio room, movie theatre, lingerie room, tattoo parlor, rental center, a service center like no other, lounges, and room for more than 500 bikes. It literally became a Harley Davidson Community of Scottsdale.


Conclusion: Retail Should be an Experience

In-store experiences are a must in today’s competitive retail market. Designing your store to be an experience is a great way to acquire new customers and generate loyalty among all visitors to your retail location.

Retail experiences do not have to be elaborate to be memorable. They can be as simple as televisions and gaming systems set up in electronics departments, coffee shops paired with bookstores, and guitar stores with rooms set with an experience of all the various equipment sold there. One thing is for sure, whatever your experience is, it needs to be there, so that you are not left behind by the competition. Now, go create an experience that will take your store to the next level.