Pop quiz: what's the most important aspect in customers retail preferences:
A) customer service
If you guessed C, then you're right. Design consultancy Dalziel & Pow did a survey of customers. Ambiance rated highest at 41% followed by location (31%), staff friendliness (30%), and even customer service (25%).
People want to have experiences that feel like and reflect a company's brand. The same study found that more people will avoid a store because it lacks atmosphere (35%) more than those who avoid overly expensive products (34%) or those who object to poorly made merchandise (33%).
With the biggest shopping season of the year nearly upon us, how do you ensure that third of shoppers stops by your store?
Creating Your Ambiance
You don't need velvet curtains or an espresso machine to make your customers have a great experience. First, think about what your brand stands for. What do you want people to feel when they come into your location? What kinds of look do you love? L.L Bean, for instance, has a different aesthetic from Banana Republic. Both are strong national brands, but look very different and appeal to different consumers.
Once you have an idea of what you want your store to look like, what does it take to get there? Some changes can be easy: softening your light or changing up the formatting of your displays. Getting all new furniture may take you awhile.
If you're feeling stuck here are some things to think about for ambiance:
- Refurbish your furniture with a new coat of paint
- Install warmer lights
- Install a new towel rack in your bathroom
- Buy an air freshener plug-in
A few tweaks can do a lot to make people enjoy their experience more, buy more, and come back again.
Maintaining Great Ambiance with Retail Inspections
Creating standards is one thing, but it's easy for things to slide once everything is set up and forgotten.
So how do you ensure that all your hard work (and money) doesn't go to waste? Frequent and thorough inspections. Depending on the business, these inspections could be monthly, weekly, or even daily.
So what do some stores inspect for? Retail inspections may include:
- Glass cleanliness (Are windows free of smudges?)
- Displays (Are they in order? are there damages to the sign?)
- Behind the counter (Is it organized? dusty?)
- Exterior of your shop (Are there weeds? are there insects/pests around your shop?)
- Bathroom (Is everything working? Is there toilet paper on the floor?)
- Shopping carts, and guest tools (Are they in good working condition?)
- Dressing rooms (Is there writing on the walls? Are there clothes on the floor? What condition is the door/drape in?)
- Temperature (Are customers comfortable?)
Not all aspects need to be inspected daily, but creating a regular system to maintain your store not only will ensure that everything is in order, but also ensure customers enjoy a great experience.
That's great, but I don't have time for all of that!
Before you start worrying about trying to understand employee handwriting and hours of data entry, you don't need to. A mobile retail inspection app can make maintaining your ambiance, quick, accurate, and easy.
With a tablet or smart phone, you can easily collect this information. One click can give you high resolution images of your store to ensure that all sections are visually up to par. Automatic time and date stamps can verify that employees did the inspection when they were supposed to. Required fields can ensure that all important parts of your inspection are filled out and never skipped.
Data entry? No worries: all mobile app inspections go straight to the cloud. You'll enjoy information in real time and can ensure that your store is up to par quickly and easily.
Creating a great store ambiance matters. It could be a huge reason that people come into your store or pass on by. By choosing the right feel for your store, you can ensure that customers have a great experience. GoCanvas has a massive collection of customizable mobile form templates for Retail, Sales and Wholesale Distribution to help ensure that ensure customers get that awesome experience every time.
Try GoCanvas Free today and see how you can improve your retail experience and business operations!