In-store experiences are the ultimate opportunity for retailers to provide shoppers with memorable, engaging interactions that drive customer loyalty and increase lifetime value. The 2015 Retail System Research survey of retailer attitudes shows that instead of trying to replicate the online experience, retail stores are trying to provide in-store services that customers can’t get online. Winning retailers are capitalizing on this opportunity in the market by investing in people and technology that work together to enhance the in-store shopping experience. Retailers behaving this way places a premium on connected stores that can optimize and personalize a shopper’s browsing and buying experience.
All of these trends and evolving beliefs serve an overriding purpose: differentiating the store from digital channels, so that customers still have a reason to actually shop there. The biggest differentiating factor has to be a well-trained employee who is totally focused on customer service and can make good use of new technologies to provide a seamless in-store experience. Developing that kind of employee is where having an In-Store Experience Manager comes into play.
The In-Store Experience Manager works to adopt the technology for the specific store, train and coach staff on the best ways to use it, ensure a smooth execution of the two working together, and lay the groundwork for replicating the process in the future. They are responsible for operating effective in-store cross-channel capabilities that add to the shopper’s experience and bolster the retailer’s bottom line.
What Are The Ideal Qualities Of A Great In-Store Experience Manager?
Compassion for the customer
For customers, the human element of the in-store experience is the most important part of their store visit. The In-Store Experience Manager should be a fun, excited, “people-person” who can earn trust and build solid relationships with shoppers. Great salespeople often have this ability; they show genuine interest in the customer and want to show how their product will work realistically in the customer’s life.
An appetite for analysis and making decisions based on data & intuition
For the retailer, numbers are of the highest importance. They want to know how their omnichannel strategies are working, so the In-Store Experience Manager needs to be comfortable with adopting new methods, analyzing data, drawing conclusions, and changing staff and customer behavior.
A customer experience evangelist
The In-Store Experience Manager needs to truly believe in the potential of the retail stores they lead. They should be an unyielding champion and advocate for the technology, the staff, and the experience as a whole, and the incredible benefits it can have for both the retailer and the customer.
In-Store Experience Managers effectively alter the customer-retailer relationship by getting at the core of what it means to shop in their store and creating singular in-store shopping experiences that don’t mimic online visits, but build on them. It’s about forging a retailing culture that adapts digital tools to customer assistance and retention. Aligning all these elements calls for someone in charge, onsite, and dedicated to a connected store experience that links shoppers and store personnel in a complementary relationship that benefits both.