When it comes to building your business, getting new customers is only part of the equation. It’s one thing to get someone new in the door, but how do you get them to keep coming back?
A customer’s loyalty to your brand is a major influence on your bottom line. When you make a strong and lasting impression on your customers, you know you can count on them to not only keep buying your products, but also act as a brand ambassador, influencing others to shop with you as well.
Your social media presence and advertising do a lot of the heavy lifting in building that loyalty. If you expect your customers to want to keep returning, you need to create an unforgettable shopping environment that makes a lasting impression.
67% of consumers want both online and in-store as part of their buying journey. And 76% of online shoppers visit a physical store before buying online.
Creating an omnichannel retail experience that combines the digital and the physical worlds can help provide a brand experience that connects with your customers on multiple levels. A shopping environment should do more than simply provide goods and services, but instead engage customers on sensory and emotional levels in order to build brand loyalty, and in the process boost sales and improve the overall success of the business.
Ulta Beauty gets ultra personal
One brand working toward an improved experience is Ulta Beauty. Late last year the salon and makeup retailer revamped their stores for a better shopping experience. Based on feedback from their customers, Ulta rearranged the layout of their stores to create a footprint that put less emphasis on the individual products, and instead focused on the story of each customer’s individual beauty journey.
Through the use of their GlamLab app, customers are able to explore the store through a personalized shopping experience that fuses the digital shopping elements of their app with face-to-face consultations and conversations with Ulta Beauty experts.
In a recent interview, Paul Loux, the Vice President of Store Design and Experience at Ulta Beauty explained the idea behind the new approach.
“From the moment a customer decides to come into the store all the way through checkout, [Ulta is] creating a physical environment that connects to our digital environment in the right way… an optimal experience for discovery and product browsing and above all human connection.”
According to Loux, the physical elements of the store play a major role in improving how the customer experiences their trip to Ulta. From the fixtures, to the digital connections, to the brand presentations - all elements work together to integrate the online experience with the in-store.
Today’s consumers, especially the emerging GenZ demographic, are accustomed to and expect the convenience of online shopping, but shopping in the digital world can’t compete with the physical aspects that come with in-person shopping. As customers return to brick-and-mortar stores, there is a growing demand for the ability to touch and feel the products before making a purchasing decision. Using in-store media solutions like digital signage and scent diffusers help make the physical shopping experience even more memorable by engaging the shoppers’ senses and creating emotional connections that stay with the customer long after they leave the store.
Glossier goes offline
Ulta isn’t the only beauty brand making big moves in a post-covid world. Luxury digital retailer Glossier expanded their physical footprint last year, opening new locations Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
Typically, we’re accustomed to seeing stores start their business with brick-and-mortar, and then adding an online store to reach more customers and grow their revenue. Glossier however, started as an online only retailer, but began experimenting with limited time pop-up locations in select cities. They soon discovered that in-person shopping experience made a major impact not only on their sales, but on their social media performance as well. Glossier saw a rise in social media likes and shares after the openings of their physical stores, creating a greater awareness of the brand, as well as self-created brand ambassadors. The distinct look, sounds and smells of the physical stores added an entirely new dimension to the Glossier brand experience - one that simply can’t be recreated in the digital realm.
Glossier has since capitalized on the value of the unique in person experience and now further builds the connection to customers in their new stores. In order to capture a local feeling, the theme of each location reflects the character and personality of the area.
In the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, Glossier’s hard-to-miss bright exterior is unmistakably on brand and continues throughout the store, while still maintaining the classic architecture of the surrounding neighborhood, creating a mixture of old and new styles.
Meanwhile, Glossier’s D.C. location is aviation themed, emphasizing the idea of our nation’s capital as an international hub. The interior is complete with seating modeled after airplane wings, a subtle cloud theme, runway floor lighting and even departure and arrival signs.
These thematic touches are one way that Glossier is able to extend the personal touch to its customers. By making each location unique, it turns each store into a destination and experience. The right theme is only part of the experience equation. It takes a full combination of exciting visuals, sounds and scents to build a sense of wonder and excitement that gives shoppers an incentive to make future returns.
Improve the customer experience
As we move into 2023, consumers will continue to return to in person shopping. It is vitally important to keep the in-store experience top of mind. Provide your customers with an exciting shopping experience that allows them to explore the environment and discover your brand identity in the process. By working with a company like Mood Media, you can explore a range of in-store media solutions that enhance the customer experience. With engaging digital signage, alluring scent marketing techniques and branded in-store music playlists, Mood can help you influence the way your customers see and experience your brand and turn loyal fans into repeat customers.