How physical stores, trust, and customer-centricity play a key role in building lasting connections with customers
In the modern digital age, creating a lasting brand experience has become more challenging than ever before. As online shopping continues to grow in popularity, it’s crucial for brands to find ways to differentiate themselves and create meaningful connections with customers.
Physical stores remain an essential aspect of the brand experience, offering a unique opportunity for customers to engage with the brand in a way that cannot be replicated online.
However, aligning the brand experience across all channels is equally important, and brands need to take a customer-centric approach to ensure that every touchpoint feels seamless and personalized.
Hear from Katie Walker, Director of Global Learning and Communications Theory, Kevin Van Leeuwen, Director of Stores AMIRI, and Andrea Limbardi, CDO Indigo share their expertise on creating a lasting brand experience and how brands can support a cohesive and authentic experience across all channels.
Creating a unique and lasting brand experience
Physical stores remain the most significant aspect of the brand experience, as they provide a unique opportunity for customers to engage with the brand in a way that cannot be replicated online. As Kevin puts it, “brick-and-mortar allows the consumer to feel the moment and energy of the brand that you really can’t get just by going on a website.”
Visiting a physical store is an immersive experience that allows customers to interact with the brand’s culture and values, get to know the people behind the company, and establish a personal connection with the products or services. And, while online platforms may offer convenience, physical stores allow customers to engage with the brand in a meaningful way and form long-lasting impressions that go beyond just a transaction.
In a recent survey, the majority of respondents said they prefer to shop in stores specifically because of the experience they get there. In essence, the importance of physical stores lies in the opportunity to create a lasting brand experience that customers can’t get in the digital realm.
Supporting a cohesive brand experience across channels
In today’s world, it is crucial to align the brand experience across all channels. Even if a brand is doing everything right on social media and other digital channels, as Katie states, “if that experience and that story isn’t aligned with the physical experience people have with the brand, you lose that trust and you lose that authenticity.” When 81% of customers factor in trust as a crucial variable for making purchase decisions, having that cohesion means everything.
Brands need to ensure that their messaging and values are consistent across all touchpoints, be it in-store, online, or on social media. It is essential to invest in training and communication to ensure that everyone within the organization is on the same page when it comes to representing the brand. That means equipping store teams with the tools they need to create a seamless experience like a 360-degree view of their customers and omnichannel inventory access for product information and availability.
To succeed in today’s competitive landscape, brands must prioritize creating a consistent and authentic brand experience across all channels.
Starting and ending with the customer
Creating a cohesive brand experience across all channels requires a customer-centric approach. Brands need to understand how their customers want to interact with them and ensure that every touchpoint feels seamless, regardless of where it is.
It’s also important to remember that every customer is different and may have different expectations and preferences. Therefore, brands need to take a personalized approach to their interactions, ensuring that each customer feels valued and heard.
The key to unlocking a fulfilling customer experience is to offer flexibility and choice, allowing customers to start and end their interactions with the brand in a way that feels natural to them. For retailers like Indigo, that means equipping their stores with the ability to make omnichannel sales and accept omnichannel returns on their POS. While for other brands, offering BOPIS, curbside pickup, or other fulfillment options helps them support the multi-channel customer journey.
By putting the customer at the center of the experience, brands can create a cohesive and memorable brand experience that reinforces loyalty and drives sales.
By creating a cohesive and customer-centric brand experience, retailers can build long-lasting, personal relationships with their customers.
Watch the full 15-minute Retail Masterclasses to learn more:
- Chief Customer and Digital Officer at Canada’s top bookstore shares her insights on modern retail with Andrea Limbardi.
- Theory’s Director of Global Learning and Communications explains how to tell a global brand story with Katie Walker.
- AMIRI’s Director of Stores on the evolution of luxury retail with Kevin Van Leeuwen.