Acclaimed author and noted retail anthropologist Doug Stevens has written that Amazon is the quickest way from wanting to getting. That being said, there’s not much that is particularly enjoyable or mentally gratifying using three clicks of a mouse to get stuff that you need. It’s cold and impersonal. That’s why many native online etailers are creating brick and mortar presences including Amazon, Warby Parker, Bonobos, Untuckit, Caspar and many others.
Most of your customers and clients don’t want to buy their new dream kitchens or baths on line. They want to see, feel and touch what they will purchase. Most importantly, they want to be affirmed that their selections of design and products are best to meet their goals. The retail doctor and former BKBG workshop leader Bob Phelps offered five steps to leverage the advantage brick and mortar retailers have over the Internet.
Create a sensor of humor similar to your best friend who makes you smile. When someone enters your kitchen and bath showroom, they should feel like they are receiving a present. The experience should be fun and easy going. Consider have a couple of red cows in your showroom, unusual or out-of-the box products that make people laugh or smile.
Create an atmosphere of discovery similar to spotting land after months at sea. Your displays serve this purpose. Working displays are even better. Similar to fashion, accessories can have a huge impact because they say to the customer this is what you receive from your new dream kitchen.
Ease the tension with an atmosphere that is welcoming and familiar. Investing in a new kitchen or bath is a major expense that can be fraught with stress. Other than the purchase of a home, a new kitchen may be the largest expense that your customers make in their lifetimes. Put customers at ease by having comfortable places to sit, offer refreshments and music that offers a soothing, relaxing environment.
Create a sense of belonging. Having the ability to see, feel, touch, smell and interact with different materials, textures, moods (created by effective lighting) helps customers to feel like they belong. Your showroom is their showroom. This sense of belonging is created by your sales team that asks the right questions and actively listens to determine what customers truly want and need.
Take advantage of opportunities to wow! When your customers and clients are surprised and delighted, they will tell their friends what they experienced. Positive reviews should not be confined to Social Media. Frame positive customer comments and place them on walls, displays, your restroom and other high traffic areas in your showroom. A prospect will believe a third-party review from someone they do not know more than they will initially trust your sales team.
Providing your customers with an engaging experience that offers a sense of belonging, discovery, pride and fun will help to positively differentiate you from your competitors and greatly improve closing ratios.