How Your Store Can Turn Off Customers

By Alan Wolf

It’s the old half-empty, half-full scenario: While some pundits fear a retail apocalypse, others, like Tom Buiocchi, president/CEO of ServiceChannel, a facilities management firm, exult in the current retail renaissance.

But before you share in the celebration, you’d better get your house – or in this case, your store – in order. Writing for TotalRetail, Buiocchi outlined the following four turnoffs that are guaranteed to lose you customers, but which can all be easily rectified.

Your store is a mess. While the vast majority of shopping (86 percent) still occurs in stores vs. online, 70 percent of consumers have experienced disorganized and messy sales floors, and 64 percent have left a showroom because of it. As Buiocchi notes, customers stay longer in nice shopping environments, and the longer they linger the more they tend to buy.

Your customer had a bad experience there. Chances are if they had a bad experience in your store, they are no longer your customer. Buiocchi says 41 percent of consumers are less likely to visit another one of your locations following a negative in-store experience, and 69 percent are more likely to shop a competitor. This is especially true of well-heeled consumers (annual household incomes of $100,000 or more), who are highly valued but way less tolerant of inconsistent service.

Your store is unshoppable. By that Buiocchi means out-of-stocks and disorganized inventory. And while much has been written about driving foot traffic with food and in-store events, only 19 percent say they visit a store for the hoopla, and half simply want to demo a product.

Your store lacks high-tech amenities. We’re not talking VR glasses and augmented reality here. In fact, 80 percent of consumers would rather shop a clean store than one with the latest interactive marvels. But more than a third would appreciate reliable Wi-Fi while visiting your business, and 29 percent would like in-store integration with your company’s mobile app.

“The basics matter, a lot,” Buiocchi wrote. “Before retailers worry about the next shiny tech feature or in-store entertainment, they need to be nailing the in-store basics that consumers have come to expect.”

YSN is published by BrandSource parent company AVB Inc.