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5 Ways to Deliver the Best Retail In-Store Experience to Your Customers

Positive experiences are the key to success for retailers. Find out how to deliver the best retail in-store experiences to customers.

In-store experiences in retail are a key to success in the modern retail environment. According to The State of Unified Commerce from Bain and Aptos, 42% of retail executives worldwide agree that providing an in-person component to the customer experience is the most important role of physical retail. Even consumers themselves agree on a report (83%) that they are more likely to return to your store after a positive in-store experience. This means that delivering a memorable in-store experience is crucial to winning over customers.

What is an in-store experience in retail?

In the retail landscape, an “in-store experience” refers to the overall experience that customers have while they are physically present and visiting a store. This encompasses various elements that contribute to how customers perceive, feel, and interact with a store, the products, and even the staff.


Some of the key aspects of the in-store experience include:


  • Store layout and design - This includes the visual appeal of the store, decor, lighting, and signage. How products are arranged and categorized is also crucial, as it facilitates easy navigation and discovery.
  • Customer service - The friendliness, helpfulness, and knowledge of the staff. This also includes tailoring assistance and recommendations to individual customer needs.
  • Product display or demonstrations - This refers to displays, mannequins, and shelves. Live demonstrations or sampling of products also count.
  • Technology integration - Efficiency and ease of the checkout process matter a lot when it comes to retail in-store experiences. Interactive elements such as touchscreens, kiosks, or augmented reality experiences also engage customers.
  • Convenience - This includes ease of access for all customers, including those with disabilities. Availability and convenience of restrooms, fitting rooms, and seating areas also matter.
  • Promotions and events - How promotions are communicated and displayed. Special events such as product launches, workshops, or guest appearances also add to the in-store experience.
  • Retail store ambiance - This refers to any background music and soundscapes, the use of scents to create a pleasant atmosphere, as well as comfortable climate control.
  • Cleanliness and maintenance - Of course, the general cleanliness and organization of the store have an impact on the in-store experience. Maintenance of facilities and fixtures also ensures the store is in good working order.
  • Safety and security - Precautions and practices to ensure customer safety while visiting the store. This also includes measures to prevent theft and ensure a secure shopping environment.


These days, the best in-store experiences aren’t just about the shopping and the actual transaction. They’re about memorable experiences while customers are inside your store. This can include perfecting a seamless transaction or creating events and elements that will engage with your customers. 

How important is in-store experience?

The importance of in-store experiences lies mainly with your customers. This is because creating engaging in-store experiences contributes to the overall customer journey and the customer’s perception of your brand. Their experience inside your store will leave a lasting impression that will affect every other decision a customer makes regarding your brand in the future. They can either choose to support and recommend your store because of positive in-store experiences. Or they won’t choose to repeat the experience again.


Here are a few key reasons why they’re crucial for retailers:


They foster customer satisfaction and brand loyalty

Face-to-face interactions with knowledgeable and friendly staff can make customers feel valued and understood. In fact, 71% of consumers expect brands to provide them with personalized interactions. Personalized service helps address specific customer needs and makes personalized recommendations. This enhances their overall satisfaction.


An easy-to-navigate store layout, clear signage, and readily available assistance make shopping more convenient and pleasant for customers as well. As a result, this can encourage repeat visits.


Meanwhile, creating a memorable shopping experience through special touches—like complimentary services, unique product displays, or exceptional customer service—helps build positive associations with the store. This fosters brand loyalty.


They provide a competitive advantage

Offering exclusive or unique in-store experiences, such as interactive displays, events, or product trials, can differentiate a store from competitors. This attracts more customers and a larger following.


Also, a well-curated store environment that reflects the brand's personality and values can create a distinctive identity that sets the store apart from others. This can help make it a preferred shopping destination for customers.


They help increase sales

An engaging and visually appealing store layout encourages customers to explore more, which increases the likelihood of discovering and purchasing additional products. According to the State of Consumer Behavior report, 63% of shoppers will spend more per visit when they have a positive in-store experience.


There are also more cross-selling and upselling opportunities when creating the best in-store experiences. The knowledgeable staff can suggest complementary products or higher-end alternatives to customers. This can increase the average transaction value.


They strengthen brand perception

A consistent in-store experience reinforces the brand's message and values. For example, a luxury brand will ensure a high-end, elegant store ambiance that aligns with its premium image. A well-maintained, clean, and organized store also fosters trust and portrays the brand as reliable and professional, enhancing overall brand perception.


They contribute to an omnichannel strategy

Ensuring a seamless experience between online and offline channels enhances convenience and satisfaction. This includes leveraging in-store pickups for online orders or using digital tools to check inventory, which would make the overall shopping experience smoother. Even 63% of shoppers said in a report that they will choose to support a brand online if they provide a positive experience.


They help provide customer insights

Observing customer behavior in-store—such as which areas attract the most attention or which products are frequently picked up but not purchased—provides valuable insights for optimizing store layouts and product placements. Interacting with customers in-store also allows for immediate feedback. This can be used by retailers to make real-time adjustments and improvements to the shopping experience.


They encourage impulse purchases

Placing high-margin or popular items in high-traffic areas, near the entrance, or at eye level encourages impulse buying. Timely and relevant displays, such as holiday-themed sections, can prompt spontaneous purchases related to upcoming events or seasons. In fact, in physical retail stores, 31.5% of shoppers purchased an item right away after discovering it. So, not only do good in-store experiences make shopping easier for customers, but they also increase the chances of impulse purchases.


They foster customer engagement

And of course, the best in-store experiences contribute to overall customer engagement. Interactive displays, digital kiosks, or augmented reality experiences engage customers more deeply, making the shopping experience more enjoyable and memorable. Hosting in-store events, such as product launches, workshops, or meet-and-greet sessions with influencers, encourages customer participation and engagement as well. All of these can lead to the creation of a strong community around the brand.

How can a store improve its in-store experience?

It’s clear that improving the in-store experience is a must for retailers. Positive in-store experiences will make audiences stay in your store, want to do business with you and support you again in the future. Fortunately, you can implement a variety of strategies to enhance the overall shopping environment and make it more engaging, convenient, and enjoyable for customers.


Enhance retail store layout and design

Ensure the retail store layout is intuitive and easy to navigate for the customers, with clear signage and logical product placements. Use attractive displays, mannequins, and creative arrangements to highlight key products and promotions. Use appropriate lighting to create a welcoming atmosphere and highlight products effectively. And of course, make sure to maintain a comfortable temperature and provide seating areas for resting.


Leverage digital labels and other retail technologies

Offer mobile apps or QR codes for product details, virtual try-ons, or augmented reality experiences to create truly immersive experiences inside your retail store. Contactless payment methods can also streamline the checkout process.


Install interactive kiosks and screens for product information, wayfinding, and self-service checkout. Newton TOUCH, for example, can display product videos, show instructional demos, and highlight other dynamic content. With its interactive features, customers can also browse products and information, download content to their devices, or add items to an online shopping cart. This creates an engaging and smooth experience while inside the store.


Of course, the use of digital labels throughout a retail store is also a surefire way of delivering memorable in-store experiences for customers. This is because they can impact several retail workflows at once. SOLUM Newton ESL, for example, is capable of digitizing product price labels, giving detailed product information, highlighting product promotions and categories with LED indicators, enabling mobile payments and self-checkouts, automating inventory management and stock checking, and more. With a simple digital label solution, retailers can immediately transform their in-store experiences.


Build collaborations and communities

You can also collaborate with local businesses or artists to create unique, community-centric experiences and products. Engage in social responsibility initiatives and highlight these efforts in-store to resonate with socially conscious customers. Creating opportunities for customers to engage with the brand and each other is also a must. This includes social media posts and dedicated social communities.


Try experiential retail

Experiential retail prioritizes customer engagement above all else. Host events such as workshops, guest appearances, seminars, and product launches to attract and engage customers. Offer live demonstrations or sampling opportunities to allow customers to experience products firsthand. These will help stimulate and inspire customers to support and engage with your brand.


Personalize the shopping experience

Implement loyalty programs that offer personalized rewards and incentives based on customer preferences and purchase history. You can also offer personal shopping services to provide customized assistance and recommendations. You should also leverage data analytics to send personalized offers and promotions to customers via mobile apps or email marketing.


Without a doubt, in-store experiences will help you turn new audiences and casual shoppers into loyal fans, and help you maintain a healthy relationship with your loyal customers. Keep these strategies in mind as you enhance the in-store experience at your own business.

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