Retail Intel – May 2018

WOW Customer Experience-web

May 2018—

How’s Your Store’s Customer Experience?

Retailers who ignore their store’s customer experience do so at their own risk. When it only takes the tap of a button for shoppers to buy something from Amazon, furniture retailers need to step up their game by offering experiences people can’t get online or on their phone. Vend Blog offers some inspiration:

TREASURE HUNTS. Don’t be afraid to pick one or two pieces of furniture a week and cut the price dramatically. Give your shoppers something to look for.

FACE-TO-FACE CUSTOMER SERVICE. As good as Amazon is, it can’t provide old-fashioned face-to-face customer service. You’ve got a staff that’s knowledgeable about your furniture and who genuinely want to help. Leverage that!

CONSTANT REINVENTION. There’s nothing more disappointing than walking into a store a month later and finding everything’s still the same. Move product around. Got big windows? Keep displays fresh.

LEARN MORE. The Home Furnishings Association’s Insights 2018 in September is dedicated entirely to perfecting the customer experience. Want to know more? Check us out at hfainsights.org.

Source: Vend Blog

 

How to Hire Smart

How low can unemployment go? That remains to be seen, but as the recruitment pool gets increasingly shallow, Retail Touch Points offers a few suggestions for getting the best of the best.

CREATE FLEXIBLE WORK HOURS. Millennials like the idea of being flexible. Providing flexibility will do wonders for loyalty.

OFFER TRAINING. Professional development is a powerful way to keep employees happy and productive.

INCENTIVIZE RESULTS. Even when times are busy—heck, especially when times are busy!—don’t forget to reward star performers. When they feel unappreciated, they may start looking for a home that makes them feel wanted.

GET OUT AND RECRUIT. Millennials still working at the local Starbucks might just be putting in the hours to pay college debt. Next time you drop in, gauge their interest in home furnishings.

Source: Retail Touch Points

 

6 Email Best Practices

Most retailers already have a strong email list for marketing and driving repeat business, but are you using it to its maximum potential?

Snap Retail suggests you think of email as driving your store’s public image. Consider these tips before hitting send.

IDENTIFY YOURSELF. To comply with the CAN-SPAM act, you must make it clear who’s sending the email. Use your store’s name and an individual name to give it a personal touch such as “Meredith from Heritage Furniture.”

WRITE A COMPELLING SUBJECT LINE. You want your email to be read, but don’t mislead. Be straight up about the contents, but add a little intrigue. For example, a phrase like, “Thank you to our loyal customers” could indicate an in-store event, a coupon, or just a note of appreciation.

CHOSE IMAGES WISELY. Images of a gorgeous sofa make for compelling emails, but customers read your emails on all kinds of different devices. Pictures may not show up on all devices and may trigger spam filters, so make sure your main messages are in the non-image text.

USE CONSISTENT BRANDING. Let’s face it: Your customers may not remember you. Make sure your brand logo, including font and key messaging, is part of the email so it nudges their memory.

INCLUDE AN UNSUBSCRIBE LINK. Your customers must agree to be on your list and have a way of being removed. It’s the law. At the bottom of every email, create a link to a page where they can manage their preferences.

CLEAR CALL TO ACTION. You typically want your customers to take action after reading your email. It’s a great way to keep them engaged and a way for you to measure the ROI of your marketing strategy.

Source: Snap Retail

 

5 Feedback Questions

Customer feedback can help you improve their experience the next time they shop for furniture.
The key is asking the right questions. Retail Next offers its take on what to ask.

  • Is there anything we can do better?
  • What was the best part of your experience?
  • Did we have everything you needed?
  • How can we outdo ourselves next time?
  • What would you change about us?
Source: Retail Next