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Innovate Customer Experience Without Breaking the Budget

Posted by Liz Schulte on 8/15/17 5:30 AM
Topics: course materials, brick and mortar stores, customer experience, in-store pickup

Improving the customer experience doesn’t have to include investing money on a store redesign or flashy events. In fact, there is a fairly easy solution. Customers want shopping to be easier. Sometimes, shoppers simply want to get in and out of the store as quickly as possible.

Innovate Customer Experience Without Breaking the BudgetCustomers like to shop in stores. In fact, 54% say they prefer in-store shopping to online shopping. 72% of businesses identified improving customer experience as their top priority, but 75% of shoppers surveyed said that quick and easy shopping was more important than a personalized shopping experience.

In an effort to entice customers into stores, it is easy to lose focus on what really matters to consumers. Sure, we all like a cool or fun event from time to time. The novelty of these promotions brings people through the doors, but sales and events eventually end. How do stores continue to provide customers with the experience they want — especially those that don’t have the budget to make changes to the store? How stores win over customers who lean toward online shopping because they want to avoid the hassle of having to hunt down the specific item they want?

Embrace your omnichannel presence and offer customers a way to avoid lines by providing in-store pickup. It doesn’t matter if course materials are ordered online or selected by the shopper from your shelves. As long as students are buying them from your store, it’s a sale for you. After all, it’s all retail.

According to a survey by ChargeItSpot, 75% of the people between the ages 18 and 34 made an additional purchase when picking up an order.  Another survey reported by Retail Dive highlighted reasons why customers like the hybrid shopping experience as:

  • 33% use it to get orders sooner
  • 12% find it more convenient
  • 8% want to see what they are purchasing
  • 7% have increased confidence about receiving orders

Offering the chance to pick up online purchases at the store saves students on shipping costs and provides instant gratification that other online retailers cannot compete with — while keeping the cost to your store minimal.

The University of Colorado Boulder Book Store already has a system in place.

“They [students] go to a terminal, type in their log-in credentials and receive self pick-up instructions for their box of books shelved in a convenient numerical fashion on special shelving. As they leave the area, the instructions and box are scanned to validate the pick-up and they’re done, leaving with a great store experience that makes them want to come back later during the first week of classes to buy supplies and other items,” Chris Gotski, director of CU Book Store said.

Before an in-store pick up program is implemented, work out a streamlined procedure to make sure the process remains quick and easy. When promoting the option to students, try offering an incentive to use in-store pick up. 88% of people are more likely to try in-store pickup if they receive a discount, which could help you reach students who traditionally haven’t used the college store for the course materials in the past.

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About Liz Schulte

Liz is a marketing copywriter for MBS. Her background ranges from customer service to business owner. She has firsthand experience with creating marketing plans as well as ensuring the customer’s needs are met. When she isn’t in the office, she is an avid reader, a prolific writer and the owner of two very spoiled dogs.

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