Webopedia defines ‘sticky’ as the ability to keep visitors on a Web site once they have navigated there or encourage the visitor to return frequently (i.e., the visitors “stick” to the site). A site’s stickiness depends on the content of the site that encourages the visitors to remain there but is not necessarily what the visitors went to the site for.
But today we’re not talking about online retail, we’re talking about brick-and-mortar stores.
Websites Design for Stickiness. So Should Retail Stores.
When you can create a brick-and-mortar retail environment that’s rich in visual appeal, and so well thought out as to engage and accommodate customers through every step of their visit, customers will feel compelled to remain in the store for a long time and come back often. And the stickier your location, the greater the chance that customers are going to spend their money with you as opposed to looking around for other places to shop. Let’s look at three key steps today’s retailers are using to create stickiness:
1) Enhance Your Brand Image
A powerful way to enhance a retail brand image is to elevate the store environment with attention-grabbing visual technology. Customers will respond to and remember what they see throughout the store, and the right digital signage displays can make all the difference. When used with moving content that mesmerizes customers with lifestyle images, product beauty videos and high-resolution graphics, digital signage can evoke the feelings you want your customers to associate with your brand.
Consider all the places your customers might be throughout your store. Today’s digital signage offers the form factors and flexibility to fit virtually anywhere, from outside the entrance to the front windows to the back wall, and anywhere in between. All while making your brand look like a technology leader.
2) Send Personalized Communications on the Spot
Many digital signage displays are available with Beacon and Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) technology to enable individualized messaging to customers that have the store’s app on their smartphones with Bluetooth enabled. When the beacon detects such a smartphone, it can push personalized content to the phone or even directly to the display as the customer approaches.
The most effective types of messaging make the customer’s immediate experiences easier and richer. This can include welcome greetings, information about the products near the display, special offers and coupons, and product recommendations based on the customer’s shopping history on the store app.
That’s not all Beacons can do. They can generate data including demographics about how customers move through a store, highlighting areas where people tend to spend time. They can also be used to create sales system metrics and help with analytics.
3) Extend Your Store With Endless Aisles
Having a wide assortment of products is critical to the success of a retail operation. But unlike an online store, bringing every model, color and variation onto the retail floor may not be feasible, especially when trying to create an environment that stands out while maximizing sales per square foot.
Digital signage excels at making the most of the retail sales floor. It can enable customers to view the entire inventory on a big, beautiful screen where details are crisp and colors pop. Retailers can then carry strategic items in the store and use the displays to show everything else that is available, in what is called an endless aisle. By combining digital signage with touchscreen overlays and services like dropship, retailers can bridge the gap between online and in-store and create a very effective and accommodating, self-serve shopping experience.
Create endless aisle experiences that cannot be had online, by using interactive software and a touchscreen overlay. In a furniture store, for example, a display can be placed in a showroom to provide product information, fabric choices and related accessories. It can also give the customer the opportunity to upload a picture of their living room, add a couch, change the color and add other pieces. The customer can be pleasantly occupied viewing hundreds of pieces of furniture in their virtual living room, and design their living room on the big screen.
The same idea can be used to create endless racks and shelves. An example would be to integrate a video camera on top of a small display in an eyeglass/sunglass store. A customer could then sit comfortably in front of the display, see themselves on the screen and virtually try on hundreds of styles with the touch of a button.
A Lesson from Flagship Stores
Major brands are spending millions of dollars to create flagship stores—larger retail environments that serve a different purpose than just selling product. These iconic stores are more involved in creating a relationship with the customer that solidifies the brand image, connects with the customer and creates loyalty.
Following the gist of that lesson, there isn’t an area in a retail environment that cannot be fitted with commercial display technology and engaging content to create amazing customer experiences, all in the pursuit of greater retail stickiness.