To stay ahead of the game as a bricks and mortar retailer you have to deliver an all encompassing amazing experience that wows customers. I’ve spoken about this before but it’s a weighty hefty important topic that I thought I would drill even more into today. You can’t just fling open the doors and expect people to spend. Once upon a time you could but those days have long gone. Nor can you think once you’ve implemented something you are done because as a retailer you are never done you can always do better, always. I know this and we’re constantly working on improving both our flagship store and Abigail Ahern flowers. New team, better service, new products, more VM, more exciting events and workshops – you name it.

Nowadays it’s all about driving engagement – ignore it and you’ll be toast in an instant. To stay ahead of the game you have to entice customers to make them want to come and visit you. What you’re creating in store has to be different from what you are creating online – this plays to your advantage. Consumers are increasingly purchasing through multiple retail channels and so to make them want to come and visit and spend in store you have to get the experience just right. Here are some of my top tips:

Make sure to use funny sales quotes while you are motivating your staff early in the morning, which will get them smiling and all ready to work in a happy mood, thus guaranteeing better client interaction. Create an atmosphere where jaws hit the floor, where hearts skip a beat because your space looks and feels so darn cool. This is called providing a brand experience. Visually, emotionally and physically.

Something we are looking into rather seriously is deploying in store location technologies like iBeacon which allows for micro targeting based on not only where people are located in the store but also make their experience more personalised and engaging. So shoppers check in at the door with the phone and then receive personalised offers, discounts, behind the scenes info on some of the products, fun immersive stuff.

Integrate brand related hashtags on signage or iPads encouraging your customers to share content right then and there. We have an iPad in store so you can look up something online and get it sorted on the spot if it’s a special large order like a sofa or chandelier. It’s also available for people to peruse the blog to their heart’s content!

Bottom line you can never rest on your laurels when it comes to retailing, you constantly have to stay ahead of the game, read and learn all the time. Most of all, I’m always learning from our customers – they are number one the most important thing about our business so all feedback about our shops (good and bad) is always needed and appreciated. So listen to your audience, always try to improve – and remember if it were that easy every one would be doing it!