Connecting with your In-Store Customer in a Digital World

Each interaction between your customers and your team should facilitate a sale and a connection.


May 22, 2024


Insights, Global

There was a time when shopping in-store was the only option customers had. Shopping from a screen and having your order delivered to your door in a few days or hours was an imaginary scenario from a movie. It is a science fiction movie set on a planet other than Earth in the distant future. Today, shopping online and in-store is our reality. Our world, while it feels at times outer-worldly, has gotten so digitized that by simply using our smartphone, we can place an order for an item we need for whatever the occasion is, say, a birthday gift, a dinner party, or a yard project, that item and several others can be delivered to your door in the same amount of time it would take to get in your car, drive to the store, fight traffic and get back home.

Shopping online is undoubtedly convenient, but there are times when shopping in-store can be a better option. At Credico, we have identified four specific scenarios when shopping in-store is preferable: when shopping with friends and family, when buying groceries, items for special occasions such as prom dresses that require trying on, or when you need to ask questions and have demonstrations to ensure you get the right product for your needs.

In the United Kingdom, in-store sales are experiencing a boost. Sales rebounded in January by 3.4% after taking a hit of 3.3% in December 2023. This one-month boost is the most significant rise in retail sales since April 2021, suggesting the battle between online and in-store is a battle over reliability versus convenience.

While shopping online is super convenient, it’s not as reliable as shopping in-store, and that’s why it’s essential to connect with those customers who chose reliability over convenience in a genuine yet relatable and strategic way.


1. Make time for them

It’s well-known that poor customer service is bad for business and has negative consequences for even the most beloved brands. One way to avoid damaging your brand image and making a negative impression on your in-store customers is to wait to make time for them as soon as they walk into the store. A sincere hello goes a long way. Asking their name and being attentive are ways to connect with an in-store customer to keep them coming back. It’s important to consider the time your customers need when in-store. Are they in a hurry? Make their experience short and efficient. Are they taking their time? Let them know you’re there for them for as long as they need to decide. Keep in mind that your staff plays a crucial role in providing a pleasant in-store experience. Their attitude and actions can significantly impact the customer’s perception of your brand.


2. Be sincere

An online and in-store customer is the same as how you interact with them. It’s important to be sincere and honest with your in-store customers so they can associate that sincerely with in-store shopping. Everyone wants a good deal and to be treated like a VIP. Every customer who walks into your store should be treated as such so they can return because they feel valued and important—because to your brand—they are!


3. Make their shopping experience memorable

Shopping should be fun, and it’s the store’s responsibility to make it so. Make the atmosphere light and fun if your brand is light and entertaining. If your brand image is upscale and luxurious, create that experience the moment customers cross the threshold of your store. Customers who shop in-store should feel connected to your brand on a sensory level.


4. Plan to follow up

Technology can be a valuable ally for businesses that want to maintain a strong bond with their customers, especially those who prefer to shop in-store. By keeping in touch with customers digitally, sales representatives can reinforce their relationship with them and maintain their loyalty to the brand. However, it’s important to personalize these interactions. Rather than sending generic emails, try calling or texting them in a friendly, informal manner, just as you would with a friend.


5. Remember them

If you are unable to recall a customer’s name, try to remember something about their last visit to make the returning in-store customer feel valued and appreciated. In-store customers should be treated as if they are members of your brand’s community or family. This creates a sense of connection and belonging, allowing them to feel part of something greater than themselves. Therefore, it is important to remember your customers and make them feel special, as they are both memorable and essential to your brand.

Many customers prefer to make purchases online or through their mobile devices. However, some customers still prefer to shop in-store and value human interactions over digital ones. Therefore, those who work in retail must prioritize maintaining personal connections with customers despite our dependence on technology. Thus, every interaction with customers and sales representatives in-store should be one that not only helps to make a sale but also enhances our connection with each other.

Credico: The Science Of Sales

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