Today we’re going to go to the grocery store to discover 10 simple things store managers, employees, and chains can do to make their customers have a much more positive experience shopping in their stores. Let’s get right down to it.
1. Replace Faulty Shopping Carts
It’s frustrating when you feel like you’re fighting a shopping cart the whole time you’re walking through a grocery store. Test your carts for structural weaknesses and replace ones that don’t meet your standards. If you have a problem with a lot of carts getting damaged, you may want to look for the underlying cause, such as heavy loads, poor construction, etc.
2. Have Smooth, Even Floors
Cracked floors, bumpy surfaces, and other unfortunate design flaws are annoying. They can lead to rattling carts, tripping feet, and other bothersome experiences. They could also contribute to damaged carts and even more expensive problems. If you want to have a good foundation for your store’s success, you need to start from the ground up.
3. Offer Shopping Carts for Multiple Children
Bringing kids to the store is a challenge. I’ve got three little ones, and a shopping cart with room for just one of them to sit facing me is not enough. There are plenty of creative solutions, such as cart designs that make kids feel like they’re driving a car, more traditional two-seaters facing the cart pusher, and more. They may cost a little more, but they’ll bring a lot of peace to parents.
4. Show, Don’t Tell
When customers ask for help finding a product, don’t just tell them which aisle it is on. Demonstrate that you care by taking the time to walk with customers and show them where the products they’re looking for are. You might even be able to answer their questions if they find multiple options and aren’t sure which is the right one for them.
5. Ask If You Can Help
Pay attention to customers’ body language. If you notice someone having a tough time, be proactive and offer to help them. You don’t want to go overboard and seem like you’re pestering your customers. Try to find the right balance between ignoring and annoying customers. They’ll appreciate your concern.
6. Keep Your Shelves Stocked
This seems like a no-brainer, but it requires good planning to keep shelves well stocked. Customers, of course, like it when they can actually find what they’re seeking when they come to a store. When you have a sale or you enter a time of year when certain products sell faster, you should plan ahead and stock up on those products. Planning pays off.
7. Keep the Place Clean
This also might seem obvious, but a clean store is always better than a dirty one. People are constantly walking in and bringing dust, rocks, and other debris into the store with them. It’s up to you to sweep and spot mop frequently, as well as dust your shelves and clean up messes that occur from time to time. Shoppers are turned off by sticky floors and other signs of neglect.
8. Give Free Samples
It’s not always easy for people to try new things, even if those new things turn out be better than what they’re used to. Giving customers samples of certain products is a great way to pique their interest and get them to expand their horizons a little. Shoppers enjoy the chance for a free nibble or drink for themselves and their kids, too.
9. Don’t Rearrange Products Too Often
There’s probably a manual somewhere that tells store managers they need to rearrange their store setup as often as possible to prevent customers from knowing exactly where to find what they’re looking for and not branching out and finding new things. That’s a legitimate strategy. But still, it gets annoying when things change too frequently. Try to balance your need to turn shoppers into hunters with making them satisfied customers.
10. Identify Product Categories on Shelves, Not Just Above the Aisles
It is so helpful for customers who are looking for, say, ketchup on the condiment aisle to see a sign sticking out from the shelf they can find all the varieties and brands of that particular product. This saves them time and makes shopping a little easier.
These are just 10 things. There are likely many other simple and complex ways to improve your shoppers’ experiences in your store. Feel free to share your thoughts on these ideas or contribute your own ideas in a comment below.