Privacy and the Ideal Shopper Experience

We know that customers prefer to shop in physical shops and that the shopping experience is crucial. Retail marketers know the simple answer: Give your customers attention.

Unless she asks you to leave her alone.

The shopper is sending mixed signals. That’s her right. She doesn’t like to be ignored. She doesn’t like being bothered. How do you find the right balance? Insights compiled by the Harvard Business Review suggest that shoppers may not want as much interaction in retail stores as we think.

Researchers conducted field experiments with shoppers at mass-merchandise shops to determine if they want more privacy. The findings show that shoppers need to have a sense of sensitivity, good people-reading skills, and a touch of elegance in order to have a great shopping experience.

Research findings from other researchers:

  • Shoppers will spend less if they don’t feel like they have enough space. If they feel that someone is too close, shoppers are 25% less likely than others to buy an item.
  • If they feel watched, shoppers will buy lessThis is a fact. Shoppers are 37% less likely, if they make eye contact with a sales representative and a shopper, to purchase the product they want during their trip.
  • Shoppers will spend less on revealing products if they have to interact with people.. Customers who felt that their personal space was being invaded were more likely not to purchase an item that expresses their personality, such as hair color or make-up.

Give the Shopper the opportunity to Truly Customize Her Experience

The shopper desires choices that allow her to choose the best path to purchase. She wants to be able to choose when and how she interacts a brand and its representatives. She may not feel the need to interact with people when shopping, but she might just be unable to do so on this specific trip.

You can help her personalize the shopping experience. You must understand that she may just want to be left alone sometimes. Give her the option of having control and personal space. Do not pressure or crowd her. Give her tools to help her research the products she is interested in. If she has any questions, be there.

You can add privacy options to the shopping experience

  • Greet customers and then move on.Let her know that she is welcomed, then allow her to take a few moments to get oriented.
  • Place shopping baskets around the storeThis is a great idea. This allows customers to place items in baskets before they buy them.
  • Signage and display communicate clearly.With well-placed, legible signage, anticipate and answer shoppers’ questions.
  • You can place expensive items behind glass. It can be more relaxing for shoppers to place expensive items behind glass. Staff must be more vigilant about stock that is expensive. Staff can relax by reducing the risk of theft.
  • Demo videos of products. Place screens near product displays to show how the items work and what they can do for the customer.

I don’t advocate ignoring the shopper nor downplaying the importance human interaction. In fact, the contrary is true. It is the best shopper experience.

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