7 barriers to in-store buying and how to overcome them

January is typically audit time for those of us in the retail industry. We start looking at ways to increase in-store sales and look at new approaches for our retail operation. So what prevents consumers from buying in-store and how can you overcome these barriers?  Here’s what to watch out for:

1) Fear of missing out on a better deal

It’s human nature – that nagging fear that a better deal is just around the corner, in the next shop, in a different town, on the internet … Tackle this objection head on by making your offer clear and upselling your added-value – great customer service! Studies have proven that customers who value and receive good quality customer service are likely to spend more and most importantly, return to your store! You could also consider adding the reassurance of a price-match, if this is appropriate for your business.

2) An uncomfortable environment

Atmosphere counts for a great deal in retail. Walk into your store as if you were a customer. What do you notice first? Take a closer look at your store environment. Major problems to watch out for are narrow aisles, an outdated look, glaring lights, excessive noise or over-saturated product offers. Look at ways you can address the most pressing issues with a few tweaks to turn your store into a place people want to visit. After all, the more time they want to spend in your store, the more likely they are to spend!

3) Poor customer experience

Let’s not overlook the essentials. Once again, try to use your store as your customers would. Do consumers feel welcomed? Are there enough staff to serve them quickly? Is your signage clear? Do you feel like the store actually wants your custom? An even better way to understand how your customers experience your service is to use a mystery shopping service. This will give you a much more solid insight into the experience your customers have and make sure that they come back for more!

4)Location mismatch

Are you close enough to your target market? Are you based in an area or site which is fully accessible to your dream customers? One example of a location mismatch is a small business selling hand-made niche products sited in a mega-store alongside major high street brands.  This type of mismatch means you’ll probably have to work much harder to attract the demographic you want.

5) Online competition

Every retailer is aware of the potential threat from the web. The rising popularity of online shopping means it’s essential for retailers to do everything they can to challenge their potential customers’ temptation to buy online instead of in-store. Be loud and clear about the fact that you provide good value, a great shopping experience and exceptional customer service, with price matching where appropriate!

6) Poor display design 

Again, this retail essential is all too often overlooked. Can your product displays be seen, touched and experienced? Do you have items arranged in a tottering pile or a good range of products laid out attractively and accessible to all?

7) Lack of information

Yes, your product might just be the next big thing, but if you don’t explain what it is and – crucially – push the benefits as well as the features, what will your consumers do? You only have a few seconds to make them notice those new products so don’t forget to inform as well as sell!

What do you think? Do you agree with our points or not? Share your opinions below! 

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