It's pretty unlikely that any of your customers are shopping without doing research before they shop, especially when it comes to purchases that could dictate their success that term — like electronics or course materials.
In addition to finding out what your customers already know, making sure your employees are well-versed in all of the product lines your store carries is an important part of providing the superior, targeted customer service webrooming can't offer.
The following excerpt of an article from the Vend Retail Blog explains further:
Know how to curate merchandise
Being able to do research online certainly makes things more challenging for retailers (especially brick-and-mortar stores) — but if you think about it, it also presents opportunities to connect with shoppers and to stand out.
Having too much information can get overwhelming. Often, customers just need someone to show them the best products so they can make an easy decision.
That’s where you come in. Rather than stocking up on more items, strive to curate merchandise and assortments for your customers.
So get to know your target customers. Be more thoughtful about the products you present to them. A good way to do this is to simply pay attention to their feedback. What would they like to see more of? Do they have special product requests?
Wise up on ratings and reviews
A 2015 study by PowerReviews found that 86% of consumers think ratings and reviews are essential to the shopping experience. And while people usually view them online, retailers can still leverage them in-store.
Pay attention to what consumers are saying about your products, and take note of the best and worst-reviewed ones. This should be easy since most ecommerce sites contain ratings and reviews.
The information you gather will help you assist shoppers as they browse your store. For example, if you see someone checking out a certain item, you could mention similar merchandise that customers reviewed and help them compare products.
Know about trends and current events in your industry and community.
Don’t limit your knowledge to product and store information; develop an expertise in your industry by keeping up with the latest trends and happenings.
Yes, people can find that information online — but there’s still a great deal of value in conversing with customers, swapping tips, and relating to them on a personal level.
You should also wise up on what’s happening in your local community. Are there any exciting events in the near future? What are the coolest spots around? Be aware of these things, and bring them up (naturally) in conversations with shoppers. It’s a great way to enrich interactions and to provide people with a unique, memorable experience.
When you do this, customers will see you not just as the person who sells them stuff, but as a trusted advisor (or even a friend) who tells them about the great things they can do in the neighborhood.
You (or your store associates) need to take on the role of industry expert, advisor, and product curator, among other things, to be able to deliver value to today’s modern shoppers. It’s a lot more work, but the payoffs — i.e. better in-store experiences, increased sales, and loyal customers — are more than worth it.
— Francesca Nicasio via Vend Retail Blog
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