As the competition amongst new and existing online companies has exploded following the pandemic, what is separating retail brands in the eyes of the consumer often comes down to the shopping experience. Brands that consistently offer an easy (and enjoyable) shopping experience – full of convenience for their customers – are garnering considerable market share and consumer attention.
Now more than ever, consumers want to feel valued and know that the brands they purchase from are focused on making their experience as streamlined and predictable as possible. By providing a superior shopping experience, retail brands are strategically positioning themselves to get consumers what they need, when they need it, thereby dramatically lowering the barrier/objections to purchase.
To leverage the shopping experience to attract consumers and retain them, here are the top five ways retail brands are instantly becoming more shoppable for a wide range of consumers.
Focus on Multiple Retail Channels
Customers want options in how and where they shop for products. Whether it’s buying online, curbside pickup, or going into a retail store to get the item the same day, consumers want the flexibility to get your products in their hands – however, they choose. It’s important for retail brands to look to invest in creating a multi-channeled promotion approach and boost their presence on Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, TikTok (if possible), and Facebook as well as paid search and Google shopping.
Offer a Consistent Shopping Experience
Too often retail brands incentivize consumers to use one particular retail channel over another by having different pricing. For example, prices may be higher in a retail store but lower online. What you charge in a retail outlet should match the price listed online and vice versa. Having price discrepancies across your channels can be seen as unorganized at best and predatory at worse. It’s important when building brand loyalty to ensure that what a customer experiences (and pays) online is similar, if not the exact same experience they have when they purchase in a retail outlet.
Have Forgiving Return Policies
Consumers today want convenience before, during, and after the purchase – especially if they purchase online. It is found that 92% of consumers will only buy from retail brands that offer an easy return process. So, if an item doesn’t live up to their expectations, consumers want the flexibility and leniency to return the item without having to go out of their way or to wait weeks to get their refund processed.
If you overcomplicate the return policy or don’t offer one at all, this adds a layer of complexity to their initial purchasing decision and could prevent them from buying your retail brand altogether. And, this introduces the question of: “Should I even buy from them, if I’m going to be stuck with a bad purchase?” That’s why they will only buy from companies that offer an easy return process.
Display Accurate Inventory Levels
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for accurate inventory management was and continues to be at the forefront of which retail brands will be seen as reliable in the eyes of consumers. Consumers want to know that what they order will be fulfilled and that they will be able to consistently come back to you when they need more. If you don’t have real-time inventory tracking in place, you’ll risk overselling and having a slew of back-ordered customers who will not return in the future.
Make it Easy to Buy
For e-commerce retail brands especially, website navigation when shopping online is critical to the entire shopping experience. In fact, 34% of consumers have left items in their online shopping cart because they viewed the checkout process to be too long. Likewise, 75% of consumers never finish an order because the website loading times were slow and the website timed out. That’s why having a fast-loading website that is as intuitive as possible to navigate will be key in making your brand 100% shoppable.
Additionally, not requiring consumers to open an account before making a purchase can help to make the shopping experience much more convenient and dramatically reduce any and all shopping friction.
Did your retail brand pass the shopability test? If the answer is “no”, then let’s work together to see how you can improve your retail brand’s shopability to consistently stay in front of and attract a large following of loyal and repeat retail customers.