Six quick ‘user experience’ improvements to apply to your store

User experience is a concept that describes how a user feels when interacting with a system. It’s affected by accessibility, design, usability and system performance. A term from the software world, the Integrity Software team live by the concept user experience – it’s at the heart of all of our retail software design decisions.

20th January 2016

user experience improvementUser experience is a concept that describes how a user feels when interacting with a system. It’s affected by accessibility, design, usability and system performance. A term from the software world, the Integrity Software team live by the concept user experience – it’s at the heart of all of our retail software design decisions. User experience can easily be applied to offline situations, too – including retail. Here are some small, quick changes you can make to the customer experience to increase your revenue in the short and long term.

#1 Engaged employees

One of the first things customers notice in a shop are its employees – and we can all instantly tell whether or not an employee is engaged. Bored employees with negative body language make a bad impression on the customer – if they aren’t interested in their own business, why should customers want to buy from them? Speak to employees about engagement – ask them not to make personal calls or texts at the shop front and avoid eating or drinking while at the point of sale.

#2 Signpost brands

As consumers, we subconsciously associate certain brands with certain product types (eg. Kelloggs and cereal). These brands act as signposts to the customer, so that they know where to look to find the product type they’re after. They won’t necessarily be after the brand, but it’ll help with navigation and make the retail experience less frustrating. Keep big brand names visible from as many areas of the store as possible to make them effective signposts.

#3 Be visible – but don’t loom

Customers want to be able to receive assistance easily if they need it, but many don’t want you to be standing over their shoulder watching them shop. Instead, staff should busy themselves with other tasks, where possible, in an area of the shop that’s easily visible from most directions. Often this is the point of sale. Staff should never take calls or look away when a customer is clearly in need of help.

#4 Be proactive

Some retail commentators suggest that the phrase “I don’t know” should never be uttered by staff – unless it’s followed by the words “I’ll find out.” Staff shouldn’t just respond with the bare minimum, but be proactive during conversations with customers. Suggest solutions to out of stock items – whether it’s offering to order more in or trying to find a similar item as a replacement. When a customer discusses a DIY project with you, make product suggestions and even offer tips for assembly. Customers will appreciate any extra effort staff go to. Conversely, customers will quickly become annoyed if they’re the ones who have to prod staff to take these actions.

#5 Improve stock management

Stockouts can be hugely damaging to retailers. The sheer frustration caused by an ‘out of stock’ notice can put customers off your store for good. Improve stock management by using automated stock alerts and taking a methodical approach to purchase orders. If your store is busy and you can’t leave the point of sale to restock shelves, offer to look in the back room for the customer to locate the product before they lose patience and leave the store.

#6 Provide choice – but not too much

Throughout the store and at the point of sale, customers appreciate choice – whether it’s between value or premium brands or having invoices sent electronically or through the post. However, too much choice can be paralysing for consumers. If you are making product recommendations, try not to reel off a long list of products that potentially fit the bill. Instead, make a couple of suggestions, outlining the pros and cons of both. This will make the decision far easier for the customer.

Even the best customer service in the world can only go so far – retailers must ensure they have a strong backbone to their business in the computer systems they use for accounting, point of sale and other management duties. Unhappy with your current software solution? See what Trader retail management software has to offer. 

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