Most retail owners that run a service-based business want their customers in and out as quickly as possible. It’s the best way to maximize profits…or so they think. There is something to be said about your customers leaving your shop feeling that they had a luxuriant experience filled with outstanding customer service, genuine care for the customer and the feeling that they’re the only customer that matters in the moment. Many of the aforementioned business owners miss the mark when it comes to providing an unforgettable experience that will keep customers coming back for more. That said, be sure to read your customer — some customers want to be in and out of your retail store as quickly as possible. For the rest of them however, here’s how you get them to spend more time in the store, which has inexplicably been linked to a significantly higher chance of purchasing products and scheduling future appointments.
First, a personal experience from the writer…
Recently I found myself in Poconos, Pennsylvania in desperate need for a haircut. My first thought was, “Do I really want to get a haircut in nowheresville? What if they mess up my hair and it’s unfixable?” Well, let me tell you how wrong I was. Not only did I get the best haircut of my life, but I also got much much more than I bargained for — a full-on sensory experience. The whole encounter felt luxurious and ended in a 60% tip on the service I had received. My barber took over an hour to cut my three-inch hair. During that process he was sure to spritz lavender-infused water onto my hair, place a warm towel on my face and even throw sandalwood scented powder into the air just for the scent to linger. In combination, it was a haircut experience like no other. I wondered to myself, why is he working so hard and taking all the time in the world? I’ll tell you why — he just made a new lifetime customer (whenever I find myself in the Poconos of course). That was my “Aha!” moment. Maybe we’ve been doing business wrong all along.
Now then…back to the meat of the conversation
It’s a well-known fact for online retailers: the longer a customer spends on their website, the likelihood of them purchasing goods increases — sometimes by over 60%! That same logic applies to the ol’ brick-and-mortar optical retailer as well. In fact, according to data collected by the Wall Street Journal, retailers can see an increase in sales by over 40% by keeping their customers in-store longer. Is that statistic not enough to convince you? Well how about this: nearly 80% of customers are more willing to spend money after having an in-store experience.
So now that we’ve hopefully convinced you toward this cause, here’s how you make the magic happen:
1. Train Your Employees to be Stylists
The best way to get customers to hang around your store is by providing them some one-on-one time with a style expert able to help the customer shop for the right set of frames. Once the style expert is able to determine what type of lifestyle the customer leads, they can also cross-sell complimentary products accordingly. Not only will your customers leave feeling taken care of, but you’re likely to benefit from higher sales.
2. Make Your Retail Store Social Media Friendly
This is an easy one. Creating a space for customers to take fun selfies is not only free advertising when their friends and family ask where they took such exciting photos, but it will keep your shop in their memories forever. It will also keep customers in your store longer. Good experiences within your optical retail store will give your store brownie points in the eye of the customer.
3. Create an Interactive Space
Throw down some couches and a TV for customers and whoever has tagged along with them to watch the football game or perhaps a Disney movie for kids. By providing a means to entertainment, the customer can spend more time in your optical retail store without worrying about boring their spouse, kids or friends. It also will have spouses asking for 5 more minutes, creating a longer and more fruitful shopping experience.