Shoe Station shares their insights
1. How do you see the role of Customer Experience in retail the next normal?
You’ve got to understand what your customers are looking for. Are they looking for the ability to come into your brick-and-mortar store and shop safely? Are they looking to buy online, pick up in store, or are they looking to just a phone in order? What is it they’re looking for is very important to understand in this new world that we’re in right now.
Through the customer feedback data collected by HappyOrNot, we have found that what our customers are telling us from different cities, or different states, varies. In one location, they may really like to call in, ask for a certain product, reserve it, and then come to pick it up. Then, in other stores, the customer would still rather come in and shop around.
There’s been a lot of change in the way customers are thinking about buying things in-store: it’s more about necessity and it’s done in a more focused way. We have seen a lot less grazing in our stores. People are coming in with a purpose. If they need a new pair of running shoes, they go in, look at the running shoes, pick out a pair, buy them, and go. They aren’t browsing or looking at other types of shoes – they get what they came in for and then they’re out. That’s really where we are with the new normal right now.
And conversely, if they have an opportunity to buy it online, they will choose that option. Here, our website has really taken off because, of course, there are people that are cautious about going to a lot of stores unnecessarily and instead prefer to shop online. This becomes especially true in retail, because they know what brand they like, or particular shoe they want and in what size, and so they don’t really need to go to the store to try it on—they can simply buy online and have it shipped to their home.
As it relates to our customer experience, we are tailoring to what they’re looking for. And if they’re looking for athletic shoes (which have become very popular now), we’ve made sure to increase the availability by making additional buys to stock any open spots we may have for product in those categories.