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Top 5 Techniques to Improve the Retail Shopping Experience

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Greet Customers

The shopping experience begins when the customer first steps foot into the store. This is why it's critical that a salesperson or store employee greets customers with a friendly "Hello, welcome to [insert store name here]. Let me know if there's anything I can assist you with."

Hassle-Free Returns

What type of return policy does your store have? This is a touchy subject for many retailers, because have a strict no-returns policy will discourage customers from buying, while a return policy that's too loose may attract scammers looking to take advantage of it. Ideally, you need to create a unique return policy that's tailored to your store. Customers should be allowed to return products within a specified time frame, assuming they have proof of purchase.

Guide Customers to Products

An all-too-common mistake made by retailers is failure to clearly describe areas within their store. Customers should be able to see which products are housed in which areas; otherwise, it will result in a confusing layout that hurts your sales. So, how do you guide customers to products in your store? In addition to traditional methods like signs and banners, you can also set up mannequins for this purpose. Mannequins wearing dresses, for instance, may be used to guide customers to the dress section. Or if mannequins are wearing suits, it could indicate the presence of a men's suit section -- you get the idea.

Checking Out

Something else that retailers should consider is the time in which it takes customers to check out. If you have a single checkout aisle with only one cashier, it could result in long backups during the busy prime time shopping hours. And when the lines are long, some customers may walk out the door without purchasing their desired product. Make sure your checkout lanes operate in a fast, efficient manner. Depending on your store's niche, you could also implement self-checkout machines -- a common tactic among supermarkets, large department stores, and even some home improvement retailers.

Lend a Hand

Excellent customer service is something that separates the "good" retailers from the "bad." If you want to create a positive shopping experience for customers, be sure to offer them a lending a hand. For instance, if you notice a customer walking back and forth across the store, chances are he or she is looking for something, so ask to see if you can help.



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