The birth of e-commerce created several challenges for brick and mortar store owners. How can you get customers in your store when it’s so easy for them to sit at home in their pajamas, order online, and have their products shipped right to their door? In order to compete with online retail giants, local retailers have to give their customers an experience they can’t get at home.
Shopping is an emotional experience. According to Psychology Today, customers form emotional associations with brands that influence their spending. In their article, The Psychology of Money: How Our Emotions Affect What We Buy, “Emotional associations with brands grow out of our experiences with them, and over time, are linked in memory to said brands in a non-conscious way. When a memory is recalled, not only are the cognitive associations of a brand recalled, such as benefits or features, but also the emotional ‘feelings’ about the brand.”
Creating positive emotional associations for your customers is key to increasing sales. While this encompasses a much larger brand strategy, the following five tactics offer a blueprint for boosting in-store sales:
INCREASE DWELL TIME – It’s common knowledge that the longer a customer spends in your store, the more money they are likely to spend. A study by Path Intelligence called Time is Money concluded that, “there is a significant and positive relationship between dwell time and sales and that increases in the average daily dwell time of 1% corresponds with an overall increase in sales of 1.3%.
Creating dwell spaces where customers can sit and relax, test products, and receive free samples or services can all boost dwell time. Catering to consumers’ sensory experience can also positively impact dwell time. The use of inviting music and pleasing aromas can play an important role as well. Another tactic to increase dwell time is to use digital signs in your store.
DIGITAL SIGNAGE – Digital signage draws your customers’ eyes with the use of appealing graphics and movement in a format they are most comfortable with. Digital signs use engaging content that consumers actually stop and take notice of.
Not only do digital signs increase dwell time when customers stop to look at them, but they’ve also been proven to increase sales. A Nielson study on Awareness and Effectiveness of Digital Display Screens Installed In Grocery Stores, showed “four out of five product brands experienced significant increases of up to 33 percent in additional sales through the use of DOOH (Digital Out-Of-Home) media.” That’s a substantial sales increase for brands that used in-store digital signage displays.
SPECIALTY PRICING/DISCOUNTS – Being able to create configurable and scheduled discounts on your point of sale (POS) system is an absolute necessity. Not only does specialty pricing and discounts compel customers to come into the store, they also drive sales. Sales and special promotions also create a sense of urgency that leads to impulsive spending.
When customers feel like they got a great deal whether through a coupon or discount, it generates a positive emotional connection between customers and your brand. According to a study commissioned by Coupons.com and Dr. Paul J. Zak, Professor of Neuroeconomics at Claremont Graduate University, science confirms that receiving coupons have a direct impact on a person’s happiness. The report, A Rationale For Coupons (If You Need One) revealed that “oxytocin, a hormone that is directly related to love and happiness, spikes when people receive a coupon.”
UPSELL AT THE REGISTER – The checkout line is your last point of contact with the customer, and therefore the last chance to make any additional sales. Since the customer has already made the decision to buy from your store, they are already open to spending more. Creating effective upsells at the register can add significantly to your company’s bottom line, as well as add value to your customers’ shopping experience.
FasTrax Solutions offers an upsell module as an upgrade to their POS software called FTx Uplift . Uplift makes it easy for retailers to create specialty pricing and schedule upsell campaigns in advance. Using the Uplift module you can create scheduled campaigns that automatically trigger discounts or promote items when the UPC codes that you designate are scanned at checkout.
It uses strategic techniques that are quite effective when used in combination. FTx Uplift combines its Digital Signage Solution with its POS Solution to display upsell advertising on the point of sale customer facing display, along with register notifications to alert customers to promotions. It also allows you to create a script for your cashiers to announce your specials, which pops up on the POS screen when the UPCs are scanned.
You can choose to gamify upsells by including a button on the POS so cashiers can indicate whether they “won” or “lost” the upsell. Create a friendly competition among your employees, where everyone wins. You can also allow your cashiers to earn a dollar amount or a percentage of each upsell they make. This added incentive gives them the motivation and enthusiasm to generate more upsells at checkout.
CUSTOMER LOYALTY CAMPAIGNS – Perhaps one of the best ways to boost sales is to turn your new customers into loyal customers that keep coming back. Not only does it cost up to 10 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to keep an existing one, current customers spend 67% more on average than new customers. Loyalty programs are a great way to turn new customers into your brand ambassadors.
Part of creating a positive emotional bond between your customers and your brand includes making your customer feel special. Loyalty and rewards programs are a great way to do this, while also boosting sales. A well-designed customer loyalty program will allow you to accurately track your customers spending behaviors to tailor discounts or rewards that will be the most appealing to them.
So, if you want to get customers off the couch and into your store, you have to give them an experience more warm and fuzzy than their favorite pair of slippers. There are several crucial steps to building a solid revenue base. Creating a pleasant atmosphere your customers will want to stroll through, engaging them with digital signs that get them excited to buy, and offering value-laden discounts and rewards programs that let your customer know that you care about their needs are all cornerstones to a successful business.