As a merchant, you work hard to attract clients to your place so the last thing you need is to push them away when they are already inside your shop.
But whether you realize it, your staff could be doing things that send shoppers packaging.
Thus, we polled shoppers and retail professionals about their top pet peeves when it comes to retailstores. Take a look at what they had to say below.
1. Requesting for too much info but offering little worth
Once the cashier asks me for my postal code or phone number or email like it’s a non-negotiable requirement to complete the transaction, and then get annoyed when I decline or ask why. If there is no obvious value provided, we can’t expect consumers to just volunteer their private data.
While collecting customer information is an important best practice in retail, you will need to be sure you’re placing shoppers’ details to great use. Today’s customers are often fine with handing over their personal details, provided that you make it worthwhile to do so.
Data from Accenture suggests that two-thirds of customers are prepared to share their information with brands in exchange for some perceived value.
Thus, don’t hoard customer information or collect their information only for the sake of it. Instead, use their information to provide enormous value — such as exclusive adventures, personalized offerings, or content that is useful.
As Devon Seidel, Marketing and Design Specialist in Loop Insights puts it,”a big one [pet peeve] for me is the lack of helpful customer profiles when purchasing in-store. I am always asked for my email or telephone number at check out, but I get nothing from it. Perhaps a generic email here and there. They know how many times I store, what I buy, when I purchase it and still, my shopping experience is never customized.”
Bear in mind that when your clients see the value in providing their advice, they are more likely to share much more information with you.
2. Not having powerful loyalty offerings
Its 2020, and plenty of loyalty programs are still lacking worth! The retailers that have upgraded their existing programs to be personalized, with simple and instant salvation for benefits, are those that have really maintained my devotion.
— Ayesha Renyard, Communications Coordinator, Loop Insights
For those who have a loyalty initiative (and you totally should), then ensure that you’re giving members a smooth and rewarding experience. It is one thing to get people to register for your rewards program, but getting them to always participate is not the same game.
Beef up your devotion efforts by making it simple to collect and redeem rewards and ensure that your program runs seamlessly across physical and electronic platforms.
1 retailer that does this well is MySelf Lingerie, a New York-based retailer which sells high quality lingerie.
“Clients love redeeming the vouchers — it is mostly just a few dollars off a purchase, but they feel as if they have won the Brooklyn Bridge,” says Rachel Rosenthal, the co-owner of MySelf Lingerie.
3. Not having the right things in stock
Finding something I like and need to buy only to find my size is not available easily on the rack and there is no stock available.
Stockouts are a significant issue in retail. They result in missed sales opportunities, wasted advertising dollars, and disappointed clients.
Avoid them by paying attention to your inventory information. Regularly analyze your inventory reports and keep an eye on metrics such as:
- Stock flip
- Out of stock patterns
- Bestsellers and slow-movers
Closely tracking these things can allow you to maximize your purchasing and merchandising, which means that you can make certain you have the ideal SKUs at the ideal time.
4. Struggling to curate your assortment properly
Hoping to cram in as many traces of inventory as possible to attempt to be all things to all people. If I am going to a grocery store, I am unlikely to want to pick up vinyl records or a book, or a set of curling tongs.
Still on the subject of inventory management, keeping a close watch on the metrics mentioned previously will also help you determine what you should not stock up on.
One of the keys to retail success is having the capacity to curate the ideal products. Accomplishing that begins by analyzing your stock data, but a huge component also lies in getting to know your customers and your market.
Keep on top of business trends so that you always have the latest products on your shelves. Additionally, it helps to frequently have conversations with your clients, so you can find out precisely what they need to see and purchase when they are in your shop.
Aubade antiques, a Kuwait-based jewelry boutique, does this incredibly well. Duha M. Al-Ramadhan, the Founder and CEO of Aubade Jewelry, explains that her clients are constantly craving for fashionable pieces, and she meets this demand by being considerate with all the designers and products she conveys in her store.
“Our customers are always ahead of the trends and are searching for new styles of jewellery to be noticed,” explains Duha.
“As a good jewelry boutique, Aubade aims to provide just that — new names and styles of jewelry, in addition to trusted quality. I personally handpick each brand and part of jewelry to make certain that it brings something fresh to the current market, but I won’t ever compromise on quality. Both innovation and quality of jewellery need to come together.”
“Another exciting feature of the store is that our roster of events. We love hosting our international designers for trunk shows, whereby our designer will fly to Kuwait to showcase a wider range of the collection. Clients may then come in to store the collection in addition to fulfill the designer behind the brand, which constantly keeps things fresh and exciting. ”
5. Having a disorganized retail shop
Lack of orginasation in shops. By way of instance, having the incorrect price tags and disorganised shelves and product… once it happens often in exactly the exact same shop, I wouldn’t return.
— Elham (Mimí), Customer Experience Manager, Victoria’s Secret
Having the best products will not do much if your store is disorganized.
Make it a point to clean up several times every day. Instruct your partners re-stock shelves that have lost items and have them check product labels and signage for precision.
Doing this makes your goods easier to find and it makes your shop look much more presentable.
6. Struggling to establish fitting room borders
I despise retailers that let girls bring men to the ladies’ fitting room together. Trying on clothes and walking into the 3-way mirror to discover a guy standing there’s unnerving. Let them wait outside the fitting room entry. I expect it in a unisex fitting area, not at Ann Taylor.
This one is for retailers that sell women’s apparel. You need your shoppers to feel comfortable when trying on clothes, and that’s why it’s important to establish boundaries on your fitting room area.
When you have customers that are uncomfortable with state, having too many people outside the fitting room (especially if they are of the opposite gender ), you might want to prepare guidelines telling guests to get their spouses wait outside the fitting room entry.
7. Having partners who lack the right mindset
Lack of compassion in customer service and lack of communication skills. Associates avoiding customers rather than making eye contact demonstrating a lack of curiosity and being unengaged.
— Elham (Mimí), Customer Experience Manager, Victoria’s Secret
Your in-store associates play an important part in the shopper experience, so that they will need to be on top of the game at all times. Here are some of the good behaviors to promote in your employees:
- Greet customers in a sincere and welcoming way
- Practice active listening
- Learn how to read different types of clients
- Know when and how to up-sell or cross-sell
8. Not having properly dressed staff
Cashiers with overly long fake nails that slow down the check out procedure.
We had a few individuals add long fingernails or long fake nails in their list of merchant pet peeves. Now, this might not be an issue on your shop, especially if you concentrate on care-free, hipster shoppers, but if your guests are on the other hand, you might choose to set up guidelines about the duration of your staff’s fingernails.
But the larger point here ensuring that the appearance of your workers are in accordance with the brand image you want to project.
If you are a luxury fashion boutique for professional women, then using a wise dress code may make sense for your shop. But if you are an artsy shop that caters to some free-spirited audience, then you may offer your team more freedom to express themselves through their clothes and accessories.
The key is to find out what works on your shop and go from there.
9. Making returns or exchanges hard
Outdated or user complex policies or processes for yields (including online) or exchanges.
— Anita Kolenovic, General Manager of Operations, adidas
No retailer wants to take care of returns or exchanges, but it comes with the territory of conducting a retail biz.
While it’s important to have regulations which prevent return misuse, you also don’t need to make the process too complex. It is a tricky balance, and the ideal policies will vary from 1 merchant to another.
For a number of retailers, obtaining a generous return policy wins them more shoppers. Other merchants might find that they should be strict with their rules or have stringent guidelines for certain products (such as electronic or”final sale” items).
The best way to find out the ideal policy is to examine the purchasing behavior of your customers and variable in the kinds of products which you have. Doing this will provide you the insights you want to craft and execute the perfect guidelines.
Hopefully, the shopper entered we have presented above sheds light on matters which you could improve on your retail business. If you realize that you or your staff are guilty of the aforementioned pet peeves, consider this as an opportunity to turn things around.
Perhaps you will need to revamp the mindset of your team. Maybe your store’s policies could use an upgrade. Or maybe you will need a new retail management system which allows you do business online and offline.
The perfect course of action is dependent upon your business, so take a close look at your operations and find ways to level up.
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