Consumers have the ultimate choice to shop electronically or in-store for their holiday gift giving. As retailers know, your store is your brand. Creating a positive, memorable in-store shopping experience is key to producing a repeat customer and strengthening brand loyalty. When the consumer enjoys their in-store experience, they are likely to purchase holiday gifts through entering the store, rather than electronically.
In a recent mashable.com article, Chris Burch, C.Wonder co-founder, said that shopping “technology is so good, that stores and malls have to be entertaining. Shopping has to be something people love. We have to make sure we find a way to make shopping as entertaining as we do in other areas.”
Retailers like C. Wonder, which opened a 5,000-square-foot flagship in SoHo in late 2011 and now has 19 additional locations across the U.S., claim that the key to success is an emphasis on a beautiful and inviting retail environment. Burch indicated that his “shoppers can dim fitting room lights and set their own soundtracks. Chairs are laid out for the comfort of men waiting for their shopping partners. Just like an Apple store, customers can avoid the line at the counter and check out from a smartphone-wielding sales associate instead.”
Retailers like Target are increasing staffing to ensure that their customers receive an attentive, high-quality experience, which they may not receive online. Like many retailers, Target sees its physical stores as an asset that the strictly online retailer doesn't have.
As such, facility maintenance is a crucial piece in ensuring what we at ServiceChannel call “Brand Uptime.” Fortunately smart retailers also have their own technology to ensure Brand Uptime in that their stores are not only entertaining but operate “like new everyday” - with every light working, all bathrooms maintained, no smudges anywhere and everything clean and picture-perfect. Technology platforms, like ServiceChannel, provide retailers with a completely automated, constantly monitored contractor management system; and are key to Brand Uptime.
With ServiceChannel store managers can spend less time online or on the phone trying to track down the right contractor to handle a repair request (downtime) and more time on the floor with customers delivering an exceptional in-store experience (uptime). In addition, facilities managers back at the corporate office have complete visibility to all open work orders across all trades and all locations, in real time, so they can be more productive and focus their efforts on the exceptions that are effecting Brand Uptime.
How are you attracting online shoppers to your stores? Is facilities management technology part of your Brand Uptime strategy? We’d love to hear your success stories.