4 THINGS YOUR CUSTOMERS LOOK FOR IN A RETAIL FASHION EXPERIENCE
You wouldn’t think that the retail fashion experience would differ all that much from other retail industries, would you? As we know, however, there’s a lot of power in fashion; we use it to express ourselves, our society and identify with our communities. So why then, would we expect the same from a retail fashion experience that we would from other retail experiences? The short answer is that we shouldn’t.
Buying new clothes is a lot like adding to one’s identity, so it’s hardly fair to compare it to grocery shopping. I’m sure some people take their grocery shopping very seriously, but a retail fashion experience requires a little more of a personal touch.
Picture this, a prospective customer walks into a mainstream fashion outlet, looking to expand their wardrobe with a few things. Most people want to browse for a few minutes, but when they’re ready, they want someone to pop up and help straight away. Retail fashion staff should be trained to be present but not intrusive; there’s a fine line to be walked between helpful and annoying. I think we’ve all had the negative experience of the salesperson in hot pursuit when you told them you were ‘just browsing’. No one enjoys that experience.
So let’s cut to the chase.
1. TO BE HELPED, NOT HINDERED
Customers want to be provided with help when and where they want it, they do not want to be harassed, trailed, or annoyed. Think of it this way, it’s great to greet a customer upon their arrival, offer them help, but when they say they’re ‘just browsing’, let them browse. Keep an eye on them, and be ready to offer further help if and when they need it.
2. LET THEM TRY IT ON
If there’s anything we learned from the Global Fashion Benchmark Study it’s that humans are tactile creatures, they want to touch, feel, and handle fabrics and items to see what they feel like against their skin. It’s important to let them do this. More than that, it’s vital to let customers try on the items to give them an idea of what it will be like to live with their item. In other words, the retail fashion experience calls for the encouragement of the tactile experience.
3. NOT TO WAIT IN LONG LINES
No one wants to wait in long lines while only one cashier deals with all the checking out – this is true for every industry, but counts for double in the fashion industry where every element of the customer journey should add to the experience – it would be a shame to earn complaints in the final stages of a customer’s stay in your store. To avoid a cashier pile up, make sure that enough cashiers are open to service the number of customers; let them understand that you value them!
4. A TAILORED RETAIL FASHION EXPERIENCE
(Excuse the pun, I couldn’t help myself.) Much like people want to be helped only when they want it, and want to touch and feel and try the products, people want the experience to be personalized to their needs. In the last article, we discussed the concept of tactful honesty and speaking up in the best interests of the customer – making sure that they are getting what they need. Personalizing a customer’s retail fashion experience is the key to making sure they’ll come back, it’s the key to generating their loyalty and return business.
A fashion retail experience is about so much more than just the sale and purchase of items: fashion is personal, expressive, and highly selective. That makes the retail fashion experience different and potentially extremely powerful.