HARDISON’S TIPS – MAY 18, 2021 – HOW TO WELCOME PEOPLE IN YOUR STORE DURING COVID 19
How to Increase Sales in Retail Stores in a Pandemic?
Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google My Business have billions of users between them and for many of those users, messaging is the way they communicate with everyone from their mother to their dentist or insurance company.
Up until recently, it wasn’t easy for brick and mortar retailers to take advantage of these channels at store-level, particularly for multi-unit businesses. But companies like ServiceDock now make it easy for consumers to message your stores using their preferred channel and for your staff to respond from one simple app.
Consumers can message your stores by clicking on a link on your website’s store locator or a button in local search results or on a social media post. They could even start a conversation by scanning a QR code on a flyer or an ad in a local newspaper. No matter where they start the conversation, messaging offers consumers a more convenient way to communicate with your stores and it delivers all sorts of value to your business that phone calls and email simply cannot.
1. Build Rapport with Customers through Personalisation to Increase Conversions
Personalisation is a bit of a buzzword in retail right now. Essentially, it means you (the retailer) know who the customer is and tailor the shopping experience to suit them based on the data you’ve collected on them previously. There are lots of very clever (and expensive) AI-powered platforms out there with algorithms that claim to help you figure these things out and increase sales in your retail stores. But how about letting the customer tell you who they are and what they want?
One of the major advantages of enabling a customer to message a store via Facebook Messenger, for example, is that you get their name and profile picture along with the query. In an instant, your store associate goes from a position of not knowing the customer existed to a place where they know the customer’s name, what they’re looking for and even what they look like. This creates a situation where the staff member can actually approach a customer when they enter the store while maintaining social distance, greet them by name and then show them to the product. This sort of interaction will boost conversions dramatically, which is one of the key ways to increase retail sales without increasing footfall.
You can improve the level of personalisation by enabling communication via video, which is easily done within messaging apps. Imagine a customer sending a video message to a tailor where he shows the dress his wife is planning to wear for an upcoming wedding and explains that he’s looking for a tie to go with it. The store associate could send a video reply showing the range of ties that he thinks would work best. This brings us into the realm of clienteling and virtual selling, which is the ultimate form of personalisation and is becoming more widespread in the post-lockdown retail environment.