The retail industry has evolved over the years. In today’s world, it’s the big box stores that tend to take the bulk of sales. The main reason for this is that they offer the widest selection of products and offer maximum convenience. These stores often offer bulk and convenience over comfort and quality. These stores offer little in the way of customer service and the employees who work there are often poorly trained and have little experience.
Bringing the Focus Back to Hospitality
Smaller retail businesses are fighting back in one of the only ways they know how. While they often can’t compete with the large volumes and extremely discounted prices, they can provide exceptional customer service, high-quality products, and a comfortable shopping environment. By bringing the focus of the retail shopping experience back to hospitality, they allow their customers to shop in a relaxed environment where they feel comfortable and valued. They are able to provide each customer with the personalized service they deserve.
Customers vs. Guests
It’s all about the experience. Whether you are shopping in a boutique-style store or staying in a boutique hotel, your experience and needs are what matter most. You are no longer just a customer with money to spend. You are a valued guest who deserves the best products and accurate information about the items you are thinking about buying. You deserve exceptional customer service instead of dealing with overworked associates who are only there for the paycheck.
Better Training for Employees
If you are looking to provide the ultimate experience for your customers, provide better training for your employees. Make sure they know the layout of the store and have easy access to information about the products you offer. Provide the training they will need to be efficient when it comes to quality customer service. Employees that receive quality training are more confident when performing their duties and are able to face each customer with an unhurried, natural smile.
Virtual vs. In-Person Shopping
One of the biggest changes when it comes to retail is the option to shop online. Many people prefer virtual shopping because it’s fast, efficient, and they can browse from the comfort of their own homes. Retail store owners are trying to make shopping in their establishments a more comfortable experience. By offering better customer service, a comfortable shopping environment, and highly trained employees who are both knowledgeable and available to each customer.
Bringing Hospitality & Retail Together
Many hotels that are geared toward corporate travelers are starting to add small, retail boutiques so their guests can purchase whatever they need without leaving the area. Some hotels have built retail spaces into the structure of their buildings. These boutique-style stores offer what guests often need, as well as many items they want. Other hotels have become associated with boutique shops that are nearby and offer rides to and from for their guests’ convenience.
The hospitality industry is slowly finding its way back into the retail markets. For those who prefer a comfortable and relaxed (and personal) shopping experience, look for shops that cater to their guests instead of just meeting the needs of their customers. When both industries come together, everybody wins and shopping is a much more enjoyable experience.