5 Ways to Increase In-Store Customer Engagement

In a post-pandemic world, more customers are returning to brick-and-mortar stores to do their shopping. Why? Visiting stores in person allows customers to see products up close, try on clothes, test out devices, and engage in the social aspect of shopping that virtual experiences couldn’t provide. 

Business owners and store managers can leverage this interactive element to create a welcoming and unique environment. By prioritizing in-store customer engagement brands can foster strong connections between themselves and their target audience—because it all comes down to connection. 

The key is to design memorable and personal experiences. The more satisfied and valued customers feel the more likely they are to become repeat customers, which leads to increased revenue. Let’s look at how you can boost your company’s customer engagement and drive sales growth. 

What is In-Store Customer Engagement?

At its core, in-store customer engagement focuses on building relationships and improving engagement with your customers, specifically when they visit your store in person. Customer engagement is a cornerstone of every step throughout the customer journey, from their initial awareness of your business to after they make a purchase. 

Before, engaging with customers might have been as simple as ensuring your staff greets people as they enter and assists customers during their visit. Now there are multiple ways and activities to consider when it comes to customer engagement strategies: 

  • Perform live demonstrations
  • Personalized and tailored interactions
  • Host exclusive events, workshops, and classes
  • Design interactive displays and incorporate technology
  • Create and optimize a pleasant and engaging store layout

Why Does In-Store Engagement Matter? 

Customer engagement is a direct way to interact with customers, learn about their needs, and deliver products and services tailored to their preferences. Not only are you fostering relationships through these interactions, but you’re also gathering valuable data and insights to improve your sales and marketing strategies. 

The better you understand the customer—from their pain points to purchasing behavior and emotional connection to your products, services, and brand—companies can tailor the shopping experience to optimize customer satisfaction. 

Happy customers turn into loyal and repeat customers, which can ultimately lead to an increase in revenue and growth. As a bonus, many are likely to recommend your business to friends and family as a result of their positive experiences. In this sense, you’re able to retain your existing customers while simultaneously expanding your reach to a wider audience. 

5 Ways to Increase In-Store Customer Engagement

An effective customer engagement strategy often incorporates multiple elements that create satisfying and enjoyable in-store experiences. Remember that the goal is to develop strong bonds and relationships between your brand and your customers. Once you understand your target audience, adjust each interactive touchpoint to meet their needs and preferences. 

Here are five ways business owners and managers can boost customer engagement and improve customer satisfaction. 

Curate Personalized Experiences 

A key component of customer engagement relies on personalized experiences. From greeting customers and sparking conversations to making product recommendations, these interactions help build the foundations of strong relationships. The more you learn about a customer, the more data you can collect to help improve their shopping experience. 

Let’s say someone comes in and mentions they recently purchased a home and are looking for living room decor. A store associate can make a note of the products they like in the customer relationship management (CRM) software where their customer data is stored. Later, the customer will start receiving targeted advertisements about related products. 

Providing this level of detailed engagement—even after they’ve left the store—shows the customer that the associate listened to their needs and that the company is willing to go the extra mile for them. 

Design Interactive Displays

In the current age of technology, businesses can leverage this tool to create one-of-a-kind in-store experiences through interactive displays. An interactive display can be anything from visual presentations on touchscreens to immersive technology like virtual reality (VR) programs, or augmented reality (AR) applications. 

For example, a clothing store may create a display that lets customers see what clothing looks like on a virtual model. Or a furniture store uses AR to help customers visualize how a dining room table would look in their home. The benefit of interactive product displays is that they help inform the customer about their purchases while also increasing engagement. 

Host In-Store Workshops and Events

Sponsoring workshops, classes, and exclusive events at your store can help increase your company’s visibility. If you’re planning a new product launch or promotional campaign, this may be a good time to organize an event as part of your marketing strategy. 

Events don’t have to be big to-dos, either. A weekend fashion show at a clothing boutique, cooking demonstrations at a new bakery, or drop-in workshops for children at craft stores are fun and interactive ways to attract new customers and promote engagement with your business. 

More than anything, these events work toward building a community around your products and brand. Think of what your business does best, and how your customers prefer to interact with your company and work off of that. 

Enhance the Store Ambiance

First impressions are often lasting impressions, so business owners and managers should create a warm and inviting environment for customers to visit. That’s not to say all stores need bright lights and white wallpaper. The ambiance you create should align with your brand and the products or services you offer. 

Consider these tips when developing your store ambiance and environment:

  • Use good lighting: Ensure customers can easily view and access products. Avoid lighting that is too bright or too dark to reduce any safety risks when customers navigate the store. 
  • Provide comfortable seating: If there is a waiting area, choose chairs, stools, or benches that are comfortable to sit in. It’s also important to select seating accommodating customers of all sizes to promote inclusivity. 
  • Select appealing and appropriate decor: Decor should compliment the store and products, not overpower or take away attention from the products. Decor should also positively reflect your brand. 
  • Set the mood with music: 40.8% of people spend more time in stores when they like the music. Play music that creates a calm and comfortable atmosphere so shoppers stay longer in your store. 
  • Prioritize the floor layout: Design a layout that is simple to navigate. Ensure the layout has space between aisles and displays, cashiers and help desks are available, and exits are easily accessible. 

The goal is to create a place customers feel comfortable in. The more welcoming and positive the ambiance is, the more people will spend time shopping in your store.

Customer Feedback Stations

The best way to improve the customer experience is to gather feedback directly from customers. Learn about what they liked and disliked, how long they spent in the store, what products they browsed, and consider their suggestions or recommendations for areas of improvement. 

While many businesses opt for digital reviews and testimonials, often shared on social media channels, offering an in-person feedback station adds another interactive opportunity to engage with your customer base. 

Something as simple as a suggestion box near the checkout line or a digital kiosk is a good way to gather valuable insight into the customer’s experience. Remember that collecting feedback is only half of the equation. Businesses should actively incorporate feedback to show their audience that their opinions are being heard and used to improve their satisfaction. 

Boosting Your Customer Engagement

The shopping experience has evolved in recent years, and more people want to support companies and brands they feel connected to. These connections are forged through strategic customer engagement methods that prioritize personalized experiences and positive interactions. By creating unique and memorable moments, business owners and store managers can continue to increase customer satisfaction, push business growth, and boost revenue.