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June 2020
9 Min read
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Shopping Day: I Need More Clothes, More Shoes, and More Accessories

Aleksandra Raevskaya

Shopping Day: I Need More Clothes, More Shoes, and More Accessories 22 votes

All, that fashionmongers need now, is what the Terminator wanted in the second part of the movie — clothes and shoes! They are waiting for the malls to be opened as soon as possible. And this is not only because they are sick of wearing a sports suit at home. They just also want to feel the taste of their favorite business — shopping.

Long ago buying new clothes or shoes has passed from the category of necessary purchases to the category of those that help fight stress, increase self-esteem and simply bring pleasure. Given these factors, what do you think is important for the shoppers when choosing a store to go? Thanks to the quantitative research, we found out the following points:

  • for almost 53% of buyers, the service was decisive when they were choosing a store;
  • and only then it was the product — it affects almost 33% of customers;
  • the price, in comparison with two previous indicators, does not significantly affect — only 12%;
  • and the location is in the last place is — it was mentioned by 2% of buyers.

As you can see, the service plays a significant role in clothing and shoe stores.

Fighting for a customer, many stores copy especially successful tricks of customer journey mapping one from another: promotions, discounts, and gifts without trying to find some kind of original approach. The buyers simply get lost in this stream of monotonous offers. And the solution for attracting new customers is much simpler in fact. The main task is to make customers like the way they were served.

What Are the Components of a Successful Service?

Modern customers, spoiled by a plenty of stores and their offers, already have ideas about the gold standards of service. The first thing that attracts attention is greeting (see our previous article about what country took the first place in the ranking of countries with the most friendly service).

When a customer enters the store, a salesperson should say ‘hello’, which seems quite simple. However, until now, in about 35% of cases consumers complain that a salesman did not say hello or ignored their attendance of the store.

Although the buyers do not like obsession in the service, they highly appreciate the consultants’ desire to help. Often after the questions: “Can I help you?”, “Do you need any advice?”, the store staff hears an answer: “No, thank you, I’m just watching.” Partly, these answers are true. Most people visiting the fashion stores do not know what they are looking for.

It is difficult to advise something suitable without knowing the client’s needs. In this case, we face a question how to deliver positive experience to the customers without imposing our goods and services? And how to get them interested in communication?

Unobtrusive Advice

  1. Watch. The first thing we advise as experts in the field of mystery shopping is to pay attention to details. If a consultant looks carefully at a buyer, then he can learn a lot about him even before starting the conversation. By the style of clothing, you can find out whether a person is following the latest fashion trends. By navigation in the location — whether he is a frequent visitor in this store. By the time spent at a particular shelf or coat rack — which product a customer is looking for. Perhaps, even small details will tell a lot about their owner (accessories are the things that help to express personality).
  2. Build trust. A conversation with a potential client can be started with open questions that will help overcome resistance from the buyer’s side. It is worth asking his opinion about any model of clothes or shoes. Ask whether the outfit on a mannequin is matching, to learn about the customer’s taste. The longer the conversation, the higher the chances of purchase, because people often want to be won over. A friendly sincere smile is conducive to communication. In the shoe store chain we investigated, 88 % of salesmen smiled to the customers which made them sympathetic to the consultants.
  3. Find out the purpose of visit. According to our research, many consultants skip the stage of identifying the needs (in about 25% of cases). And as you know, the conformity of goods to the customer needs is a guarantee of purchase. Inquiring about a possible purchases, the consultant should not immediately ask a client about how much money he is going to spend. Perhaps, a person hasn’t decided yet, and such a question will lead to the internal limitation for both the consultant’s offers and for a client himself. To understand customer needs, the consultant should find out the size and preferred style.
  4. Knowing the range of goods and fashion trends. A lot of people rely on the specialist’s opinion, even when choosing the homewear. The consultant must be confident in what he says and how he does it. It’s not enough just to count all products and mention the top sales. It is necessary to describe the item’s benefits based on customer needs. At the same time, it is better to leave at least one of the arguments to the very last stage, when a buyer has already decided on the model but is still in doubt about the purchase.
  5. Suggest to try it on. Buying clothes, and especially shoes is almost impossible without fitting in a store. Most sellers in our research are aware of this, and in 92% of cases they offered fitting to the customers. As for the decision of the remaining customers, it is likely to be clear.
  6. Argument a purchase. Before buying, a client may have doubts, and at this point, you need to find the right arguments. In the course of our research, it turned out that in 93% of cases trained consultants were able to find arguments to dispel customer doubts. At the same time, when the buyer’s objection concerned the price, customers were satisfied with the answers they received. This is the moment when a useful valid argument comes in handy.

What Else Will Help to Convince a Client

It is worth mentioning the retail audit of your services. You can order this service from the market research agency. The retail audit is a type of market research that is aimed at improving sales standards with the help of analysis. To conduct an efficient retail store audits, you need to have retail audit checklists. These checklists include many points where staff performance is the most important. The retail audit helps to improve employee experience, their consulting skills, and interaction with customers as their task is to help a client solve his question. It also has a positive effect on your company’s NPS. And it is not always about money.

Retail Industry Research

A salesperson has to make the difference between cost and value of the goods clear for a customer. After all, these are far from equivalent concepts. Value is the benefit that a client will get for the money spent on a product. Buying clothes, the customers think about individuality, unique style, design, quality material, convenience. They want to emphasize their merits. During the consultation, it is necessary to focus the client’s attention on values. Describing a product as if it costs a million increases its value in the buyer’s mind.

Never underestimate complementary goods. After choosing the main product, it’s time to mention a “pleasant trifle”. Moreover, the cost of an accessory item does not necessarily have to be lower than the cost of the main product. Offering an additional item, it’s worth talking about the main product as already purchased — “This tie will perfectly suit your new shirt”, etc. Additional sales are the easiest and the most proven way to increase income in the clothing and footwear stores. Unfortunately, many employees have problems at this stage. According to the results of our study, consultants offered additional goods only in 26% of cases. Imagine what profit in the remaining 74% of cases has been missed!

Positive customer experience depends on a seller, as we found out. It also means that a salesperson influences the buyer’s decision to come back to the store in the future. So, should management spend much money on advertising, while sometimes it’s enough just to competently build the work of the staff?

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