Despite ongoing inflation, the retail sector in the UK is showing improvement, with like-for-like sales rising 4.9% in March, according to BRC/KPMG. With this extended bank holiday season upon us, there is more of a spring in the step for retailers. A recent survey we commissioned of 2,000 consumers found that 13%, equating to 9 million adults, are definitely planning to hit the physical shops, presenting luxury retailers with a meaningful opportunity for sales uplift
To take advantage of this opportunity, retailers need to create a shopping experience that is truly focused on the customer. 60% of respondents in the survey cited a pleasant environment as an important factor in a great retail experience. Luxury retailers should, therefore, ensure that they offer a pleasant in-store experience, starting from the moment the shopper walks in.
This can be done by creating an immersive journey towards the checkout with creative displays and merchandising. All of this should be backed by product availability, highlighted promotions, and all-around first-class customer service. Staff should be readily available on the shop floor, and queues at the till should be kept to a minimum.
To combat inflation, promotions are vital, with 59% of respondents in the survey agreeing. Luxury retailers should ensure that they are competitive with online channels and have promotions visible and clearly marked up to entice hard-pressed consumers to open their purses and wallets.
In our survey, 42% of respondents cited engaging with knowledgeable shop staff as a key reason for their visit. Luxury retailers should, therefore, ensure that staff is well-trained and ready to answer questions. A well-trained expert can be worth their weight in gold, particularly with considered purchases. This will leave a positive imprint encoded on the memory of customers.
One of the top reasons given for in-person shopping versus online is to try before you buy (47%). Luxury retailers can play to their strengths here by effectively merchandising their products and encouraging customers to engage in a tactile journey of discovery. It is crucial to have the right expert on hand to assist the process, with all the senses of the shopper engaged in a truly immersive physical experience that will lead them towards the checkout.
The modern retail experience is underpinned by sociability, combining a trip with meeting friends and dining. Retailers and brands need to complement this by providing an environment that is sociable and luxurious, offering dining experiences, and other events that are relevant to their luxury brand.
By creating a luxury experience that extends beyond the purchase, retailers can build customer loyalty and enhance the overall shopping experience for the customer.
To read the full article by Dan Todaro, Managing Director please visit Luxury Advisor