The more relaxed a shopper is, the more focused the shopper can be on shopping instead of other unrelated things.
RA Project in this article will show you 2 simple steps you can take to provide a stress free shopping experience for your customers, offline and online.
2 Ways To Enable A Stress Free Shopping Experience
- Make necessary shopping tools easily available to a customer.
- Reduce outside stress and distractions for customers.
Giving a customer all the necessary tools to find an item and its details greatly increase the chances of that customer actually buying something. A good example of this is the discount signs in retail stores. Many retail stores usually have discounts on multiple items, and most of the times these discounts are not reflected on the actual price tags. Price scanners located throughout the store can help customers by allowing them to scan any item under a scanner and find out the exact prices and any eligible discounts. Without such scanners, shoppers would have to go through the hassle of hunting down staff members to find out the exact prices for different things. Usually, customers will get fed up of going back and forth between the cashiers and different departments, and may end up not buying something because of the hassle involved.Similarly, making it an easier for customers to browse through a store helps customers relax. Having disorganized aisles and unclear item displays add stress, resulting in customers unconsciously not wanting to shop at such stores in the future. That’s why many people prefer going to Target instead of Kmart, because Target is well organized while Kmart, going through a huge reorganization still, looks barren and devoid of any direct help. I went to a few Kmarts last week to look for some hard drives. The staff did not even know that they carried hard drives, and it took me a few hours to look through the disorganized and messy electronics section myself to find out that they did carry hard drives. They just did not carry the ones I want, however. I may have a trauma one day thinking of going through the dirty aisles at Kmart again while the staff follows me on a “What does this aisle carry?” discovery spree.
How to apply this principle online? Simple! Allow users to either hover over an item and see the discounted price or more information. You can also allow users to click related links and find out all the information needed, without closing the current shopping window. Those new windows and extra links must, of course, not provide any distractions. Such and other related distractions are covered in point 2.
Shopping stores should act like shells. The same way the shell of an egg tries to protect the contents and the life within, a shopping store should enclose and protect the customers from any outside factors and stress that may affect their mood in a negative manner. Stress can come from unrelated elements that may actually be seen by the store as incentives to get people to come back to the store more often. Outside noise, outside lights and outside issues should be blocked from the domain of the store itself. If that is not possible, efforts should be made to minimize any outside interference as much as possible. If a customer can feel they are in a different environment when they enter a store, they will feel mentally refreshed. Happy customers now mean happier and satisfied customers in the long run. Stressed-out customers and customers who feel rushed may actually end up avoiding a particular store in the future.
Allowing smaller pop-up windows online with bare and necessary information is better than making users go through long list of pages or text in order to find out something. A smaller interface of route to find some information will mean that shoppers for any product can keep an eye on their shopping cart or page while still finding out the extra information they need. Even having an acronym, like “15% discount!” can help users find out more information without leaving a page.I saw a couple last week in Macy’s where the husband was happily browsing the aisles while telling his wife in great detail what he thought of the dresses she was trying on. Once he sat down in one of the waiting rooms fitted with a TV which showed CNN‘s coverage of the world, his mood quickly changed and he got more serious. He tried changing the channel directly on the TV and found out that CNN was the only available channel. After a while, he started offering his wife shorter and more serious responses, like “That’s ugly!” and “Looks weird.” The wife was extremely sad.
In the end, the wife did not buy anything. The couple left the store empty handed, with the husband feeling more serious and the wife feeling a bit sad. All of this happened simply because of Macy’s putting a TV in the waiting room that showed something that many stress-free-seeking customers would not like to think about when they are shopping and relaxing. Macy’s lost a customer because of an external source enclosed within the Macy’s store shell by Macy’s itself.
Are you helping your customers relax?
The above two steps can easily fix the issues shown in the examples that follow them. Kmart prices are cheaper than Target for many items, but a stress-free environment that saves time and hassle at Target results in thousands of customers favoring Target over Kmart. Similarly, the husband at Macy’s got moody because of watching some news that he may have had a strong opinion about, and the change in his attitude resulted in the wife not buying anything. If a TV must be put in a store, Macy’s could make available some more or other channels so that customers could change to a channel they prefer and feel happier at the store even if they do not buy anything.
A stressed customer will not be overall happy with their purchase at a particular store, and that unhappiness is going to be reflected in the long run in the form of fewer purchases at that particular store. Offering a relaxing environment with the least possible resistance to shopping both consciously and unconsciously helps a customer associate happiness with shopping at a certain store. A customer is more likely to be happy about making a purchase at a store if the items they are looking for and any related information is easy to find and the entire shopping experience is stress-free.
What is your opinion about this? Do you offer tools or an environment for your customers to relax while shopping? Are your customers reluctant to buy from you because they feel stressed? How do you make your customers forget outside stress?
Please share your comments, tips or experiences in the comments below. Thank you for reading.