Shopping has been around since ages, but today shopping is not simply aimed to fulfil needs, it turns out that shopping is more about relaxing, enjoying and combating stress. The term 'shop till you drop' throws light on the current enthusiasm for shopping. The retail garment chains are making certain that the experience in the store is enriching for both - the customers and the store.
The retail apparel stores have a better understanding of customers, as today shopping is associated with psychological issues of customers and also the efforts that the retail houses put in to make shopping a way for the customers to unwind and loosen up. As the shopping experience continues to move beyond the supply mentality towards a more personalised, emotional experience, services have become as important to people as objects. To achieve this, the stores employ technology, unique services and outstanding customer service.
The shopping world is going through major transition and in the last two decades the mall culture has overtaken the street shopping trend. There are luxury apparel brands and moreover there are amazing retail stores that have changed the customers' viewpoint about buying a garment. While shopping has been redefined, there are several factors that have contributed to this new definition, where experience in the store dominates everything else.
The in-store experience is also naturally enhanced in the current economic situation, where shopping is a rescue from the stress. Only a trip to a perfect retail apparel outlet can give the complete experience of shopping. As per data from InfoTrends it has been observed that if a retail store improves the in-store ambience by creating a hospitable atmosphere, installing a comfortable sitting area for customers, giving Wi-Fi access, playing soothing music, and providing friendly assistance, it has a huge impact on other things. InfoTrends informs that this can raise the average purchase amount by 29.5 percent, increases the overall sales volume by 31.8 percent, augments the repeat buyers by nearly 32.8 percent, increases the in-store crowd by 32.8 percent and raises brand awareness by 47.7 percent.
Technology is often being involved to ensure that the stores can understand the customer behaviour and preferences. Smartphone is a common sight these days and retailers do not hesitate to use this technology to connect with the customers. The Smartphone have made the retailers work on making advertising based on accurate data and statistics. There's also 3D printing making its way into apparel sector and the introduction of technology in fashion industry has made the fashion shows akin to tech shows, where something new is explored on a daily basis. Virtual fitting rooms are a new addition to the technical advancement, wherein the shoppers can try a garment without taking the pains to undress.
The technology is reaching the retailers at a fast pace now and most of the retail stores are making good use of it in order to give unsurpassed service to the customers. The in-store experience has been completely reformed to meet the high expectations of the buyers. Like fashion, technology also needs to be upgraded and the retail apparel stores are doing exactly the same. Today many retail houses are witnessing that their efforts to combine the virtual and real world experience in shopping are paying off, as more and more customers are inclined to pay a visit to the store.
In order to stay ahead in technology, the brick and mortar stores cannot ignore the idea of keeping the customers above everything else. The idea behind staying ahead in technology is to gratify the requirements of a techno savvy generation of customers. The retail apparel stores will have to continue putting people first and understanding the customer behaviour with the help of technology, and using it to strengthen the shopping experience is the best way to earn loyal customers.
With competition from the online stores increasing, the retailers are also focusing on providing certain apparels only in the brick and mortar stores. This practice of making certain piece of clothing exclusive has ensured that the customers visit the stores in order to find new stuff. The stores also organise events and offer services to make the shopping experience comfortable. Customising the garments from size to colours, giving discount coupons, offering more choices and letting the customers indulge in the practice of touching and trying a garment enhances the in-store experience and help a brand become bigger and better. Also the stores are increasingly focused on recruiting courteous staff to assist the shoppers. Buyers do not hesitate to visit stores that offer so much and are even ready to spend more than planned if they get good service.
The retail stores also make certain that the apparel display in the store is flawless. Putting right lighting as part of elegant interior makes the garments more appealing. Also, the easy visibility and availability of sizes makes the overall shopping hassle free. The modern day customers want a stress-free ambience in a store, with varied choices, coupons and discounts, the ability to shop for the best apparels, together with an atmosphere that makes them want to try new stuff, gives lots of brownie points to the store for shopping experience.
There are stores that believe bigger is not always better. Some brands are also ensuring to open retail stores individually in smaller areas (apart from the malls) to make the shopping experience more personalised. Such stores are banking on the idea that in a smaller area there are less distractions and it is easy for the staff to attend more than one customer at a time.
The customers carry the in-store experiences for longer than usual and it also drives the preference to choose one brand over other. Integrating the contemporary with conventional and giving priority to shoppers' requirements is definitely a good sign for the retail apparel stores to retain customers.