Before the Covid era, browsing through stores and window shopping was a beloved pastime for many. However, with the rise of online shopping, retailers have been working hard to revive the in-store retail experience that customers know and love.
In this blog, we'll explore the strategies of some of the world's most renowned brands as they strive to provide exceptional customer service to every customer who walks through their doors. If you haven't visited these stores yet, don't miss out on the chance to experience in-store shopping at a whole new level.
Here are some examples of how top brands are taking in-store shopping to the next level:
1.IKEA: IKEA is a Swedish multinational brand that sells DIY or ready-to-assemble furniture. What sets IKEA apart from its competitors is the immersive experience customers have when they walk into the store. They create a setup like an actual home with different sections like the living room, dining area, bedroom, bathroom, etc., where customers can find and try out different products.
The brilliant decorations and inspirational displays draw in customers, and the excellent quality of the products makes them irresistible. Plus, customers get to assemble the products themselves following the clear instructions.
IKEA Family is the customer loyalty program for those who adore IKEA products and want more benefits and rewards when shopping at this retailer. When you sign up, you will receive a $10 welcome voucher and 50% on Buy-pack value, along with access to its offers and freebies each month. Moreover, as part of IKEA Family, you can enjoy shopping with member prices.
2. Bunnings: Bunnings Warehouse or Bunnings is an Australian retail chain that focuses on hardware, garden, lifestyle, and home improvement products. Bunnings understands its target customers well, which are families and households with children.
Besides offering a wide variety of helpful products, they have a coffee shop and a playground, making it a perfect spot for the whole family, especially on weekends. Bunnings is just irresistible to families, not only for shopping but for the experience, as they can enjoy fun activities, take DIY classes to learn new skills, and admire the seasonal displays.
Bunnings Warehouse is also a partner of Flybuys – one of the top Australia’s loyalty programs. So, customers can earn 1 point per $1 spent while they shop and redeem the points for Bunnings gift card.
3. Apple: Apple's vision is to provide exceptional customer service from the first impression to the last minute of customers' visits. They invest heavily in their staff, from hiring to training.
Their customer service team includes Creative Pros who help customers use their products better, and Technical Specialists who consult with customers to solve their product-related queries. Apple stores aim to create an experience for customers rather than just a store visit.
4. Sephora: Sephora is a French multinational retailer that focuses on beauty products and personal care from more than 300 brands. They've adopted technological innovation to transform the in-store shopping experience, offering free makeup services and digital try-on experiences.
The Sephora Color Match provides a personalized experience for customers, providing product recommendations based on individual features. These technological advancements have helped to elevate Sephora's position in the beauty industry.
This retailer also offers free shipping with $25 spent if you shop online, and free samples at checkout. Customers can enjoy complimentary gifts and services as members of Sephora’s loyalty program - Sephora Beauty Pass. With every 100 points collected, members can get a free sample from top brands at Sephora.
5. Uniqlo: Uniqlo is a Japanese apparel company that focuses on simplicity, elegance, and quality. They offer great value to customers at an affordable price, promising greater comfort, better design, and sustainability.
Uniqlo's stores are bright, clean, and well-organized, with careful color and style arrangements that bring ease to the eyes. Their staff members are friendly and helpful, providing a seamless checkout experience where customers don't have to scan the products' barcodes.
Uniqlo App Membership also provides frequent customers with benefits such as app-only exclusive price, exclusive designs and sizes, online inventory, coupons and notifications when there is a sale or new items.
6. Lululemon: When it comes to delivering an exceptional customer experience, lululemon is unmatched. For years, the brand has been offering complimentary yoga classes, fostering a sense of community among like-minded individuals.
Additionally, lululemon actively contributes to local communities by organizing and sponsoring various fitness events, including 10 km runs, catering to their fitness-oriented customers.
There are two types of membership at Lululemon, offering a personalised and flexible experience for all customers who come to the store. With Lululemon Essential, customers don’t have to pay any fee and still get the basic membership benefits and other perks.
Whereas with Lululemon Studio and subscription, you can get discounts for your training gear and places, along with access to events, workouts, and experiential store classes.
7. Nike: In 2022, the introduction of Nike By You, a unique customization station by Nike, has solidified its place in the brand's revamped two-story city store, making it a must-visit destination for Melbournians' and tourists' weekend plans. This event marks a significant milestone as Nike brings its renowned customization service, Nike by You, from the online realm to a physical retail space in Australia.
This transition also includes a remarkable transformation of the Nike Melbourne Central store. This includes an increased selection of sneakers for women, a heightened emphasis on yoga clothing, and captivating artwork by Melbourne artist featuring female athletes, as well as the provision of in-store bra fitting services and personalized styling sessions.
There are member-only benefits that Nike offers its loyal customers. You can get first and exclusive access to products, events, workshops and workout classes. The brand also create a personalised shopping experience by customise your products with the design that you like.
These brands have successfully implemented unique strategies to keep customers happy and satisfied, making their in-store shopping experiences unforgettable. As we move towards a new era of retail, it's important to remember that online shopping can never replace the personal touch and interaction of in-store shopping.
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