Engaging Customer Interest

Many retailers are searching for ways to stand out from the crowd in order to generate extra sales.

Here are a few simple ideas that smart retailers are using in their stores and showrooms to enhance their customer service and distinguish themselves from their competitors.

Eye catching displays

First, try displaying moving promotional images in your storefront.

Moving images are a great way to attract the interest of passing foot traffic.

In the past this promotional technique was rarely adopted by retailers due to the expense and relative poor quality of the video and graphic images available to them. The sheer physical size of the TV based display technology also prohibited the use of this technique in most shop displays.

However, it is now a viable option for most businesses to display moving promotional images using flat screen (LCD and plasma) monitors and digital multimedia technologies.

All in one digital systems are now available for use in retail showrooms that feature slim lined flat screen monitors with multimedia equipment attached.

The rapidly advancing quality of multimedia imagery now allows even small businesses to cost effectively produce an eye-catching range of multimedia product information displays and advertorials.

The display screens are also becoming increasingly more affordable. The display screens can now range in size from 15 inch LCD screens through to large plasma screens. These screens can produce crisp high quality images and due to their flat slim design they now only require a very limited floor space, making them suitable for inclusion in most shop displays.

You may also find the use of multimedia based promotional displays particularly useful during the Christmas shopping period when trying to attract the attention of passers-by who are otherwise aimlessly wondering the retail arcades looking for gift ideas.

Encouraging interactivity

The next idea is the use of touch screen information kiosks in your store.

You will have seen various types of computer information kiosks before. The actual kiosk units are often a flat touch screen computer monitor mounted on an upright stand or wall mounted. Both options are suitable for a retail showroom, though if you have a store with limited floor space, the wall mounted kiosk in an easily accessible area may be the best option for you.

Touch screen kiosks can offer customers a wide range of information including full product catalogues and product specifications, customer testimonials and they can also assist in educating customers about terminology and concepts used in your industry.

If you wish, you may also allow customers to design or modify product specifications and place orders using the kiosk. Recent trends indicate that using in store kiosks to allow customers to order products is becoming increasing popular overseas.

The kiosk is best used in a store environment to entertain customers when sales representatives are busy serving other customers or as a means of customer self-education. The benefit of the interactive nature of information kiosks is that they will often engage and amuse customers when customers otherwise may have left your store or become impatient when waiting to be served.

Personalised service

Another very simple and yet effective idea is to create personalised printed catalogues for your customers.

This idea requires some simple catalogue creation software, a computer, a printer and possibly a digital camera. Using these tools you can select specific products from your range and produce a printed personalised catalogue for a customer on demand.

For example, if a store customer was interested in three of your products, you could print a personalised catalogue for that customer featuring their preferred products. The catalogue can include pictures and specification details of the three products together with your company logo, the name of the sales representative, company contact information and ordering information.

You may already have found that customers are often overwhelmed with information when shopping. By taking this type of active step to offer extra customer service through a personalised catalogue that you will go a long way towards demonstrating your genuine interest in the customer and reinforcing your product and brand.

These three ideas are just a few examples of ways that you can gain enhanced benefits from applying simple e-business technology to basic promotional and customer service concepts.

 

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Sharon Wild writes ecommerce articles for Qld Business Review, she is also Strategy & Marketing Director of e-JAZ.com.au

Sharon Wild
Strategy & Marketing Director of e-JAZ, Sharon has been involved in the e-commerce community for several years. She successfully manages Australia's largest online jewellery store, Gillett's Jewellers.

Sharon can be contacted via email on sharon@e-jaz.com.au