Retailers who think small consider “point of sale” a place. A marketer with vision knows POS is all about the big POV.
How you capitalize on the point of sale experience for your customer – your POV – can make the difference between closing the sale and losing the customer. It’s not about how these areas look; it’s about how they work. In this critical, short-windowed retail experience, you have to grab customers’ attention, make them feel special and make it simple for them to act.
Following are the eight make or break moments at retail:
- Invitation – Common sense tells us that shoppers tend to go where they are most likely to feel wanted and appreciated; our more than 45 years of retail experience creation bears this out. At the entrance to your store, at the gateway of every department, at the head of every aisle, at the front of every shelf and section, you need to welcome the customer. Each should believe that the experience is entirely about her.
- Direction – Once the shopper enters your environment (whether that is the store, the area, the aisle, or section of the shelf), it is your job to guide her where you want her to go. Signals can be subtle or overt, but there must be a call to action and a roadmap for the route we want her to take.
- Discovery – Discovery at the POS is never a happy accident. It’s a moment purposely and precisely created that surprises, delights and feels like the shopper’s own initiative.
- Engagement – Discovery is the flash of awareness, but that flash will burn out unless it is immediately heightened to engagement status. Product and smart messaging do this. It’s like dangling a baited hook in front of a fish and knowing when to set that hook before you reel in your catch.
- Decision – It is the retailer’s job to move the shopper from engagement to decision. Assume that nothing will happen unless you design that moment with care and customer-centric attitude.
- Confirmation – A decision is not the same as an action. Validation – confirmation of a decision well made – is needed to bridge the gap. You need to create that moment that tells the shopper, “Yes, you chose well!”
- Closure – No sale is complete until the actual moment of action – the “close.” Retailers need to provide something at the moment of decision that causes the shopper to cross the boundary between considering an action and taking it. Creating an effective closure moment will achieve two things: 1) an increased probability of making a sale, and 2) a reduced possibility of merchandise being returned. Closure is your one shot at connecting the shopper with the purchase in the strongest possible way.
- Memory – The “memory moment” can be an object or an action; the goal of either is to create a positive reinforcement that says to the shopper, “We appreciate that you chose to do business with us today. We validate the fact that you made a good purchase. We recognize and welcome you when you return to do business with us again.”
If you keep the customer’s perspective in mind during each of these key moments, you’ll likely have gained or held onto a loyal customer. There is no guarantee at any point between a customer walking into your store and deciding to make a purchase. Ensure that everything that happens from start to finish is all about their ideal shopping experience, and you’ll reap the benefits.