In the days where online shopping rules the market, it has become more and more difficult for retail stores to attract foot traffic by simply using traditional tactics. Because of this, a new trend has risen: lifestyle stores. These are a form of experiential retail that combines traditional stores with cafes, lounges, and a comfortable atmosphere reminiscent of the beloved coffee house that the Friends crew frequented. With the right technology, lifestyle stores and “coffee shopping” conveniences are pretty easy to implement, even if you haven’t considered branching into the hospitality sector. For retailers that have already implemented this concept, they are noticing several advantages:
They Keep People Coming Back
“Coffee shopping” essentially bridges the gap between brick-and-mortar and ecommerce by offering a retail experience where showrooms are café-inspired and customers can browse items on a tablet while sipping on their favorite beverage. The products you sell are secondary. What you want to provide is a retail customer experience that gives customers a reason to visit your location. By doing this, you indicate to customers that you are willing to focus on what is important to them.
Additionally, you give employees the chance to interact with your customers in different ways. By arming the customers with mobile technology that can find products and provide information, employees can focus more on building positive relationships with customers.
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They Encourage People to Stay Longer and Spend More
When a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere is provided, people are in less of a rush to get in and get out. Lifestyle stores provide a public place outside of work and home for people to meet and spend time together. The longer they stay inside your store, the more opportunities they have to browse the various products you offer until something catches their eye.
Not to mention, you will provide a space for customers to have a positive experience all on their own, such as catching up with old friends at a café, or working on the book they’re writing while using the free Wi-Fi you offer.
They Provide a Community that Increases Loyalty
Retail stores give people a place to both spend time with the people they know and love, and meet new people. This results in the forming of a close-knit community where people genuinely enjoy spending time in your store. When people associate their communities with your location, they feel a stronger sense of loyalty to your business. This community also incentivizes customers to spend more time in your store, rather than simply paying it a quick visit to pick up a few things, or shopping online for their products.
The extra time they spend in your store allows retail staff to establish a good rapport with your customers, which is incredibly helpful when it comes to providing quality customer service and understanding customer needs.
Why Focus on the Experience?
Brick-and-mortar stores face tough competition these days—not just from other physical stores, but from online stores as well. The best way to keep people coming back to your store is to adapt to the wants and needs of customers, and give them a more valuable and memorable experience when they visit. Lifestyle stores do just that.
To draw people in to your lifestyle store, make sure your website aligns with the experience you want to provide to customers. SalesVu offers a website builder that you can use to create a professional website that showcases your brand and the experiences you offer. Learn more.