6 Tips and Tricks to Win Consumers In-store

Perihan El Etreby
Copywriter at - M.A. in Creative Writing from Bath University
November 9, 2021
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Whether you’re a retailer, a brand, or a customer, you must have been a shopper at least a few times in your life. So, as a consumer, what made you decide to visit a certain physical retail store again, or what satisfied you to become a regular customer?

Brick-and-mortar shops have always had a challenge to attract customers and make them return to their stores. But as the world of technology advances, the tools retailers use to win their customers also change.

The real-world shopping experience is still vital in a time when traditional brick-and-mortar stores are facing rising competition from online stores. Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently being utilized to map out a customer experience path that meets retail customers' high expectations.

So, let’s have a look at some of the traditional ways that retailers used (and some still use) to attract customers in-store before the digital age.

Using the right sounds and scents

The background music they play inside the store could influence not only how much people spend, but also what they buy.
Hearing is not the only sense that affects our spending habits: researcher Martin Lindstrom found that the smell of apple pie led to a 23% increase in sales of ovens and fridges in an appliance store.

Humans are humans, they are affected when you trigger their senses. As the world changes, you can still trigger their senses more smartly.

Putting tempting yet inexpensive items by the entrance

Low-cost, popular products, such as candy or newspapers, might be strategically placed near the cash register to maximize this effect. These types of things, which most people buy without giving it much thought, are ideal for modest, last-minute impulse purchases.

This plays on humans’ psychology, as they tend to feel like they desire this tempting item at the last minute. By time, this became a habit.

Today, retailers are digitizing their stores. Intelligent solutions like AI and ML are the new tools needed to boost customer engagement and experience. So here are 6 tips and tricks that lead to physical stores’ success while utilizing AI.

1. The Main Game Changer: Personalization

2. A Seamless Customer Experience: Starting Behind the Scenes

Coming to a store and finding out that the products you need are “out-of-stock” is frustrating and disappointing to many, especially if it happens more than once at the same store.
Advanced analytics and forecasting are being used by retailers to precisely estimate and optimize inventory levels. Some are even considering real-time inventory management in stores to keep track of which items are out of stock. The goal is to restock products as quickly as possible, greatly increasing the customer experience.
Robots are also being employed to optimally fill shelves in order to provide a positive consumer experience.

3. The Charm: Surprise rewards

People will be happier and more positive towards you if you give them unexpected gifts. Expected benefits, on the other hand, are less beneficial and may even lead to a decrease in satisfaction. Offer your consumers personalized coupons or deals as a surprise to make them delighted, instead of executing mass-market promotions on a regular basis.

4. Trigger emotions: Best of all, “nostalgia”

Nostalgia, according to studies, makes people less bothered about money and thus willing to pay more for products. Use this to your advantage by creating an in-store ambiance that stimulates memories and emotions with photographs and music.
So, how can AI optimize that? If it is very hot outside, and most customers are looking for cold refreshing items, then an old beach song can do the trick. AI can detect that the average age of shoppers is between 16-25 because of a concert happening nearby so through detecting the generation dominating, you can play a summer song that they- in this age group- would consider nostalgic.

5. Popular items: Use them to your advantage

In your store, make sure to underline how popular your products are. If your chocolate cake is regularly sold out in the bakery by 11 am, advertise on your digital signage announcing when it’s available on spot; and as preferences change, change the content. This will save you the time and cost of printed promotions and would increase your in-house sales. You can even announce the return dates of frequently asked for items, highlighting that stock might not last long.

6. Use the magic words: “IT’S FREE!”

Who doesn't enjoy getting free samples? People feel wonderful when they receive something for free, and this makes them want to repay the favor. Dr. Robert Cialdini writes in his book "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion" that one waiter improved his tips by 3% by providing diners a mint after dinner. This strategy has been used for ages, but imagine giving out free samples of the items that customers were actually thinking about buying or hesitating to buy? More interesting, right? This could also boost your in-house products’ sales if you’re introducing a new item.

Summary: Data is at the heart of everything

The Data Science Hierarchy of Needs emphasizes the importance of data. When it comes to using AI in retail, you'll need a solid foundation of data that has been cleansed, formatted, and tracked across several platforms.

In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for technology integration, but for retailers, the future is clear: artificial intelligence is no seasonal trend.

It is time to give your shoppers a unique shopping experience, maintain their loyalty, and win them every time they step into your store. Get intouch and let our team guide you through the first steps.

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