Retailers Using Customer Feedback to Improve In-Store Shopping Experience

Online shopping is all about convenience. With the click of a button, you can get exactly what you want delivered right to your front door, and that’s not an easy thing for traditional retailers to compete with. Especially with rising gas costs and increasingly busy family schedules, more and more people are shopping online rather than in stores. However, there is still considerable demand for physical, brick-and-mortar stores. And in an effort to improve the in-store shopping experience and motivate potential customers to venture outside their homes to shop, retailers all over the world have recognized the importance of relying on customer feedback.

Retailers vs. eCommerce Brands

The success of eCommerce presents a significant challenge for retail stores, and there are only so many ways retailers can compete with online shopping, the most effective being improving customer service. Statistics show that, after a negative in-store shopping experience, 58% of customers will never use the company again, 49% will tell their friends not to use the company, and 34% will take revenge by posting a negative review online. This isn’t just bad for the company’s image, it also has a significant impact on sales and revenue. In fact, each year, businesses lose roughly $62 billion due to poor customer service.

The bottom line is that online retailers like Amazon reign supreme, and it falls on retailers big and small to create better customer engagement and improve the overall in-store shopping experience to stay relevant. And what better way to find out how to do that than to ask the customers themselves? Making changes based on customer feedback is the key to customer satisfaction, and more and more retailers are relying on the reviews customers leave on feedback websites like eKomi-us.com to build deeper connections with them and improve the in-store shopping experience.

Retailers that Rely on Customer Feedback

Pearls of Joy, a pearl retailer headquartered in Los Angeles, California, has close to 100 customer reviews collected by eKomi-us.com, with an average star rating of 4.9 out of five stars. Not only can customers rate the pearl retailer, they can share the pros and cons of their shopping experience at Pearls of Joy, helping other potential customers decide whether or not they want to visit the store and buy some pearls for themselves. When we buy pearls from a retailer like Pearls of Joy, we expect a certain level of customer service, and feedback companies like eKomi-us.com can help ensure a positive in-store shopping experience for the customer and retailer alike.

Other major retailers have seen the benefits of using feedback to improve their customer experience. Walmart, once known for its dismal customer satisfaction rating and its associated financial losses, finally began paying attention to what its customers had been saying for years: that the retailer needed to take a different tack or risk becoming obsolete. In an effort to recover its reputation, boost its financial outlook and improve the overall shopping experience at its stores, Walmart finally began putting customers first. The company asked customers to complete surveys rating its stores for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card, and used the feedback to implement much-needed changes company-wide, including shorter checkout lines, better customer service, cleaner restrooms and higher-quality products. Within a couple of years, Walmart had made significant changes to customers’ in-store experience, and the company began seeing its best ratings in years.

Trader Joe’s is another retailer that recognizes the importance of listening to its customers’ feedback. Each Trader Joe’s store, for example, carries a customized inventory, based on requests from actual customers, not from focus groups or call centers. Employees at Trader Joe’s have conversations with their customers to find out what products they want, and offer product samples that customers can try on the spot, so they can learn first-hand what works and what doesn’t. By customizing its inventory according to customer feedback, Trader Joe’s has cultivated a truly unique in-store shopping experience tailored to local shoppers, which keeps them coming back for the products they want. As Trader Joe’s VP of marketing, Audrey Dumper, says, “We like to think of Trader Joe’s as an economic food democracy.” And it’s an outlook that works.

Improving the In-Store Shopping Experience

In today’s digital economy, it’s more difficult than ever for retailers to give customers a satisfactory experience that rivals the convenience and simplicity of online shopping. But it’s not impossible. Listening to customer feedback can help reveal specific areas where retailers can improve the in-store shopping experience, and following up on these changes can go a long way towards improving engagement and building customer loyalty. Customers still value the experience of in-person communication and seeing products first-hand, and making an effort to improve that experience is how brick-and-mortar stores can keep customers coming back for more.

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