In-Store Shopper Happiness. Paying Attention Yields Big Results.
How can you tell when a customer is happy? We mean really happy. A smile while she walks out the door? Sales? Repeat sales? The tone of social media posts? How you measure shopper happiness, and the agility with which you respond to joy or disappointment, can be the difference between thriving and withering.
The current standard of measuring shopper happiness
Most retailers and brands are already familiar with Net Promoter Scores (NPS). Introduced in 2003, this brainchild of a Bain Fellow, at world-leading consultancy Bain & Company, measures satisfaction of brand promoters, passives and detractors all by asking the basic, 11-point scale question: “How likely is it that you would recommend us to a friend?” The score is a simple math equation based on the polar ends: the enthusiastic Very Likely (from 9 to 10) and the unhappy Not Likely at All (from 0 to 6).
NPS scores can range from 100 when everyone is happy and loyal down to -100 when everyone is ticked off. The more you get into positive territory, the more promoters do the heavy lifting for your brand, telling everyone they know how pleased they are with your company and products via word of mouth and social media. Once you weigh into neutral or negative range – beware! Damaging word of mouth and disparaging social media will precipitously erode your brand and shopper loyalty.
The ubiquity of customer surveying
It’s clear that by the sheer popularity of post-event surveys among every business, from the Fortune 500 to chain stores to medical centers to your Lyft driver, there’s credibility – and insights to be garnered – in satisfaction scoring. Over the past 15 years, satisfaction surveys have flooded customer inboxes.
But what if you could capture your shoppers’ thoughts before they left the store? What if you didn’t have to gather email addresses, hoping that your emailed survey gets opened, let alone filled out? In the landscape of online surveys, e-commerce sites have a leg up on brick and mortar stores. Their customer database holds literal gold: email addresses are required for checkout.
The in-store shopper happiness survey advantage
However, one of the distinct advantages of in-store retail is that you have your shopper right in front of you. This on-site advantage has given rise to the popularity of the Happy or Not button. The premise is incredibly simple: wireless Smiley terminals are situated at crucial junctures on the sales floor. Using a 4-point “How would you rate” smiley scale, shoppers indicate their satisfaction with a push of a button.
Exits would be considered the natural choice for placing the terminals, but there are other in-store vantage points where insightful satisfaction data can be gleaned: next to a display to rate product selection, post-sales consultation or product demonstration, or near a customer service counter. Nothing is off limits. Consider amenities. With restaurants, eateries, department stores and medical centers, where restroom visits may be part of the customer experience, you can even find out satisfaction with cleanliness levels. As most adults will tell you, unsightly and smelly conditions can send a happiness score plummeting.
The plus of this real-time data is that it can be parsed by day of the week, employee shifts, departments, and high vs. low traffic times. This 2-second act can be revelatory about your product mix, sales staff, experiential offerings and store layout. It can provideinformation about whether customers are finding what they need and want easily, and whether displays are logically laid out. And it can provide crucial data to empower your customer service staff, giving them the knowledge they need to make tweaks at the sales floor level.
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While the HappyOrNot button can tell you the ‘what’ (and there is the option for the retailer to include a follow-up and an open-ended response question), sometimes, you need to probe further. According to Lisa Cooper, SVP at RTi Research, an AMA Top 50 Marketing Research Company, the shopalong – where customers are shadowed by a market researcher – can give deeper insights into the shopping experience. It can help to pinpoint purchase triggers, dynamics and behaviors. Rather than just a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, it goes further into answering the ‘why?’
Cooper also advises that companies take the opportunity to improve happiness pre-build-out. With powerful choice-based research tools, potential customers provide guidance to help you design your store interior to make your customers happy. Elements included in the research can cover everything from product displays, helpful signage and checkout systems to customer service deployment and floor layout.
Pop-up to test for shopper happiness
Or you can bring these options to life through a pop-up. These temporary structures are ideal for testing new ideas. You can compare two pop-ups with different design or product mixes. But as any good researcher knows, you only want to alter one variable at a time. Alternatively, you can eliminate the locale variable by testing within the same pop-up. With their compact footprint, you can literally switch up a pop-up overnight. Yes, you can use the standard metrics of sales, foot traffic and social media mentions, but you can also get added insight into happiness with a tool like the HappyOrNot button.
Pop-ups also lend themselves to measuring attitudes pre- and post-visit. Pose a question like: What did you think about this brand/product/service? Position one button at an entrance, another at an exit. With answer options from “Like a Lot” to “Not a Big Fan,” you’ll quickly know if you’ve moved the needle toward greater shopper happiness.
Your findings not only help to make your pop-up rock, they can be applied to your larger, permanent store. It’s valuable data that’s quick and easy to obtain.
Shopper happiness is information, ease and delight
Signage and display can multiply the in-store happiness factor. Just consider these ways that signage and display can make your customers happy, very happy.
- Telling your audience your brand story
- Helping your customer navigate your store and find the products they want
- Displaying complementary items together – whether a picnic dinner, a flu relief kit or accessories to outfit a new tablet
- Educating your shopper about product features and benefits
- Informing your buyer about daily specials
- Alerting your audience to new products or services
- Showing your customer how to use a product
- Surprising your shopper with a unique product presentation or a new use
For more than 50 years, Medallion Retail has been helping retailers and retail brands boost their shopper happiness quotient. Let us bring a smile to your customers with signage and displays that inform, delight and surprise. Email Michael Decker at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 212-929-9130, or check out our portfolio at medallionretail.com.