The Shopping Experience
The shopping experience determines if the shopper will come back again and over again.
The point-of-purchase is ultimately the place where the company gets its revenues from. A store success is about understanding consumer and shopper detail.
Why is a particular store always crowded with consumers when another store has no traffic and is struggling to survive financially? To become successful is not easy and requires hard work, understanding, planning and focus. However, shopping is not a rocket science! The successful companies have the consumer in center of everything they do and they put investments, resources and structure behind innovations that constantly add more values to the shopper experiences. Leveraging shopping habits is fostered in proactive company culture where innovations are part of the employee’s day-to-day disciplines focusing on continuous improvements of the shopping experience to increase the consumer satisfaction levels.
The International Chains know that they do not have a second change to make the first impression.
When studying newly opened stores it is upsetting if you spot out fundamental errors in the store structure and design. International stores; IKEA, Wall-Mart and Tesco, for example, are fully “turn key ready” in all details at Grand opening. The traffic to the store, the parking lot, access to the store, the store logo, the interior and category product choices and the service systems are perfectly structured at grand opening.
The Apple store in New York . The shopping experience takes you to a certain extent back to the ancients open market surroundings.
The Apple store in New-York on Fifth Avenue is designed as a Temple and pioneer of its kind servicing the new generation interests straight to their hearts. The Apple store is leading by example, partly merging ancient open market methods of trading with the newest modern technology –what a great concept. Entering the store is spectacular and the whole shopping concept is integrated with the Apple brand products. In general, what you experience in the Apple store at the point-of-purchase is unique, different and special. The store design and layout is replicated as an Open Market concept and, it all harmonizes into one flawless concept. If you visit the store you observe that the staff is clearly market in light blue shirts and they are very passionate to assist you. They can answer any questions about the equipment usage and performance. During my numerous visits, there are at all times slightly higher number of female shoppers visiting their stores. In their stores the shoppers can touch, feel, try and test the equipment –and majority of the people in the store are interested to touch, feel and try prior to making a purchase.
Apple even offers its shoppers to take a free workshops teaching them how to operate their equipment more effectively. Participating in a workshop taught by knowledgeable Apple gurus is a great experience you can get being an Apple fan. This creates interests and a lot of word-of-mouth and word-of-experience. The shoppers tell others “I have been through a training course at the Apple store”. Visiting the Apple store is unique, different and a special experience. Apple has clearly managed to attract the desired shopper attention at the Point-of-Purchase.
Competitor stores still do not understand that by enabling the shoppers to try, feel and experience the product for sale –they trigger purchase. In other stores “box selling is common” and thus the products are displayed over the counter or in the store shelves and touching is not allowed.
To trigger purchase, the same activation principles apply everywhere –and it does not matter if it is a fashion store, retail store, hardware store or a bank. Continual store innovation is a journey not a destination.
It is worth to mention that all store design and concepts have premium life time. The Apple store concept must innovate on continual basis as anyone else. As an example the modern “copy-paste” shopping mall concept will mature over time. People will get bored of the identical designs, the same brands and the same stores are located in every shopping mall you enter. The copy-paste shopping malls provide little unique, different and special experience nowadays. The shopping malls concept must also on continual basis reposition them-selves over and over again –or else as for all others they will eventually mature and deteriorate in sales.
Operational marketing emphasizes that pre-defined in-outlet executions standards and practical service guidelines must be developed for every sales and marketing company.
The LOUIS VUITTON glass front in New York –they clearly know how to make unique, special and different impression at all levels.
It is a known fact the shopper will come again and again where shopping is made easy, convenient, unique and special and providing a good shopping experience. Generally shopping is not deep analytical or mathematical details. It is more about putting weight on consumer and shopper information, design, development, common sense, culture and by learning from experience. Taking advance of shopping trends information to fully utilize the category structure is for example crucial to drive traffic to a store. The store mission is to help the shopper to make confident choices through right design, layout and structure that focuses on creating trust, convenience and ease of shopping. Structuring the store around categories helps the consumer to make hundred of decisions during a shopping trip.
Operational marketing emphasizes that pre-defined in-outlet executions standards and practical service guidelines must be developed for every sales and marketing company. The more visible and the more attractive presence the products have at the point-of-purchase the more likely is that they will be bought, over and over again –passing the competitors offers.
Characteristic of best in class sales organizations is that they have clearly defined look-of-success which illustrates to the sales force how the
company want to be presented with its brands and services in the market place. The look-of-success standards are to communicate clear directions as well as a foundation to measure execution performance against the standards.
To increase store traffic, sales and profits requires understanding consumer needs and shopping habits. Smallest execution details affect revenues, profits and customer satisfaction and long-term success of a store. Ultimately the shopping experience and the satisfaction level determine if a store will be successful or not.
Every detail counts adding value to the shopping experience. Operational marketing emphasizes that pre-defined in-outlet executions standards and practical service guidelines must be developed for every sales and marketing company. The tiniest execution detail affect revenues, profits and consumer satisfaction.
The point-of-purchase is a very important place. It is time to put the money where the mouth is! Make the point-of-purchase experience “unique, different and special –and it will work! The point of purchase is the place where the consumer determines to buy or pass buy and therefore the place where the revenues are generated.