As we return to shopping in physical stores, the importance of a memorable customer experience remains clear. Positive in-store experiences are an investment; the potential payoff is lasting customer loyalty. The State of Consumer Behavior 2021 report found that 90% of consumers said they would be more likely to return to a location after having a good experience. Not only that, but 61.4% said that they’d spend more at a store that provides a successful shopping trip than one that does not.
One secret to creating a memorable experience is to use retail displays that highlight your products and capture your customers' attention. Great store designers create displays that awaken customers' imagination and immerse them in a world where the featured products improve their lives. When done well, these displays compel customers to buy your product and develop an affinity and loyalty to your brand.
However, it can be challenging to create, distribute, install, and manage retail displays effectively when you operate multiple locations. Each store may vary in size, floor space, fixtures, and products offered, so not every display and every sign will work in every store. For example, some stores may not have windows large enough for a 20-foot banner promoting a Labor Day sale. Will they lose those sales if your designers don't address their specific location needs? Creating a positive store experience in each store may require a more customized sign and display package.
Without proper display management, some of your locations may become a liability and harm your business instead of growing it. This guide can help ensure you have the right tools for designing, ordering, and managing retail displays in any location.
Consistent Branding is Key
Brand authenticity is critical to building customer loyalty. While every store's footprint may require flexibility regarding display size and scope, your brand messaging and visual identity should be the same on every piece. This will help ensure the customer experience is consistent throughout your locations. This standardization will also give you accurate insights into which marketing and promotions are working and what should change.
Communicate Effectively Across All Stores
While your store managers may be experts in customer service and store operations, they may not be experts in branding and marketing. Establishing effective communication channels between your design and fulfillment teams and your store staff is the best way to ensure everyone understands the importance of consistency in displays and where customization might be profitable. Be clear about each sign package's customizable parts and what cannot change. Also, communicate the cost and time frames of customization so there are no surprises. Your operators must understand the value they receive through optimized promotional display packages.
Open communication between your store locations and design teams can also result in effective and successful collaboration. Your operators are your best resource for feedback on what's working and not working with your sign packages in their stores. They are also your best resource for customer feedback on marketing and promotions.
Conduct Regular Store Evaluations
Along with asking for feedback, it can be useful to visit your locations as often as possible to see how displays perform. As we mentioned, store layouts are always a little different. Customers can also differ in their wants, needs, or pain points. Each store's clientele may want to interact with your products differently.
By visiting a store and watching customers interact with your displays, you can identify the signs and displays that attract and convert customers. You can also observe which promotions are working and which are not. This critical information can inform how your team creates displays and sign packages in the future.
Let the Experts Handle Design and Management
Just like it's essential to hire professional and reliable staff to manage your many business locations, you should find expert partners to help you design, print, and manage your retail displays. These marketing services professionals have the experience and skills to design and fabricate customizable displays that engage your customers and grow your business.
The best providers will also offer design and management services for other branded elements like apparel, promotional items, digital channels, and advertising. Effective branding must be consistent, which means standardizing your message and visual identity across all external and internal platforms. Single source print solutions like Phase 3's marketing and printing services are valuable for brands with multiple locations and growing revenue streams.
Our customer gusto! asked us to be that single solution source when they contracted with Phase 3 to print the sign package for their store locations and uniforms for their employees. These materials are printed, packed, and shipped from a single warehouse and distribution source saving everyone time and headaches by streamlining the steps in ordering branded items and the communications between locations and print suppliers.
Here's what our client at gusto! had to say about the partnership, "This is the process that we hoped for when we signed on with Phase 3 for our signage purposes, and I'm happy to see it coming together like we hoped!"
Print on Demand Fulfillment
A large part of effective print materials management in multiple locations comes when brands use an integrated Print on Demand (POD) service such as Phase 3’s MediaLink. Clients rely on this proprietary and customizable web-to-print procurement system to simplify their store operators' ordering and fulfillment process. Each location can easily select the display items that work for their location, customize the relevant pieces, proof each piece, and order the materials, in any quantity, to be shipped directly to their stores.
The leaders at Serta/Simmons are believers. Before Serta/Simmons contracted with Phase 3, the more than 15,000 locations that sold their mattresses and wanted to participate in their promotions received the same sign kit in the same quantities and with no customization. These stores were not company stores or franchises. They were department stores with mattress departments or general mattress stores. Some stores may have sold only 3 Serta/Simmons SKUs, while others sold 20. And, of course, each store had a different size Serta/Simmons footprint on the sales floor. In other words, each location had unique display needs. In most cases, the standardized display kit did not meet those needs. With Phase 3's Media: Link POD service, Serta/Simmons reports there is less waste in materials, fewer shipping costs, and more success in local store promotions.
Customer experience is critical for any brand interested in growing its business, especially with multiple locations. At Phase 3 Marketing and Communications, we forge strong brand experiences through creating eye-catching and impactful retail displays and making printing and fulfilling these displays as easy as possible. As a result, Phase 3 can bring ideas to life, and we have the geographic reach and infrastructure to deliver the final product where it needs to be, in the best format and quantity, exactly when it needs to be there.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you grow your brand.