How to Improve the Customer Shopping Experience In Stores

Store Experience April 8, 2021

Physical retail isn’t actually dying. It’s just changing. We live in a dynamic digital age, and the retail-store experience has changed significantly over the years. In fact, the overall shopping experience was shifting long before Covid-19 completely transformed the way that people shop.

From long lines, to BOPIS (buy online, pick up in store), to contactless options in the checkout line, customer shopping patterns today are much different than they were twenty years ago. And those patterns saw a seismic shift the past year alone, and many of these changes are here to stay.

The future of retail is here- and brick-and-mortar store is still a vital part of the customer shopping experience. The accelerated evolution of retail communication demands agility and innovation from retail brands everywhere. 

We understand how the retail business works, and we know (first-hand) how frustrating it can be to align organizations in order to drive change and stay nimble. We’ve learned that in order for stores to execute better, save time and money, and create great customer experiences, we have to start with great communication. 

How can retail communications improve customer experience? First, you have to transform the way your frontline employees operate, execute and engage. 

Here are a few ways that you can align your teams and improve the shopper experience.

Start With Your Employees

At Retail Zipline, we understand how important good communication is to create a memorable customer experience. And empowering retailers to create great in-store customer experiences is what we do best. 

The first step to improving the in-store customer experience is that your employees need to know why an individual task is important in the larger picture and why their role is critical, too. We call this providing ‘the why’ behind ‘the what.’

Empower your frontline workers by connecting the dots about how their task lists will impact the business as a whole. With visibility and clarity, the individuals in your organization can understand and adopt philosophies that tangibly impact the customer experience. 

By combining communication with task management, you can combine the information people need to know from the instructions of what they need to do.

Bringing a brand to life means aligning the people who make up an organization, from HQ to the storefront. Since employee happiness drives better store engagement, Zipline prioritizes people-first communication that promotes engagement throughout your team.

Understanding Customers

Even before we found ourselves navigating unpredictable events, the most successful brands lead with empathy. 

Especially during a year where the retail industry made major adjustments, preserving a positive customer experience is essential.

Store associates and managers are your best resource for understanding local guidelines and customer sentiment so ask them what they’re seeing and what the company can be doing better to drive loyalty.

Your brand can collect feedback and conduct surveys, continually asking what store employees need to continue to work effectively. By identifying what information they’re lacking, you can communicate with them more effectively.

Simplify employee engagement and close the feedback loop with Surveys. Utilize Groups to roll up different county regulations that are changing by the minute. Since store associates are closest to the customers, they are your best resource for getting and keeping a pulse on customer sentiment at all times. 

Prioritize Strong Customer Service 

Every day, countless deciduous are being made at HQ. Which product to buy, and how much. Which promotion to run, how to advertise it, how to measure its effectiveness. There are teams deciding whether or not it makes financial sense to switch to a different receipt paper vendor. Each one of these decisions has an impact in the physical store.

Those choices may affect how retail stores merchandise product, how they schedule their employee shifts, how they set up their window displays, and what they say to customers when they’re greeted at the door. So when one of these decisions is made, stores need to know about it.

Retail execution success starts with empowering workers with the proper tools. But beyond that, teams need context to understand how to effectively prioritize their tasks.

Zipline customers prioritize people-first communication that promotes engagement across entire teams. With the right tools,  you can empower your employees and align your team so that your entire fleet has what it needs to increase customer satisfaction and provide a great retail shopping experience.

Zipline was built to solve the unique challenges of communication in retail organizations. Reach out to learn more about how you can stop communicating with your stores and start communicating with your people today.