Tips for Retailers To Encourage Consumer Spending in 2021

Drew Whitehurst | April 13, 2021

Retail tips - People buy experiences, not products.

With a little insecurity about the economy, people have tightened their budgets and kept splurges to a minimum. This has been great for our bank accounts but not so much for many retailers.

As of February 2021, the Consumer Confidence Survey showed that 39.9% of consumers felt business conditions were “bad,” which improved from 42.4% the previous month. With consumer confidence bouncing back, retailers need to get creative now and encourage consumers to spend some of their hard earned cash. Here are some retail tips showcasing how successful retailers will respond and the part their employees have to play.

Embracing a Hybrid Shopping Experience

Online sales finally surpassed in-store purchases. Reports show that online purchases grew by 44% year over year as more and more people came to rely on online stores for everything from the essentials to the extra things that make life a little more fun.

On the other hand, brick-and-mortar stores felt the squeeze in 2020. Foot traffic disappeared from malls across America, contributing to the closure of close to 12,200 big and small retailers. In most cases, the pandemic only sped up the demise of faltering stores, but the long-term effects of the pandemic will continue to be felt by retail stores if their owners and leaders fail to get creative.

So how can you and other retailers respond? Here are a few retail tips:

  • Make the in-store experience memorable – Here’s the big question– what brings customers into your store? If it is just the variety of options or selection, chances are they’ve already switched to Amazon or another online retailer (or they will soon). To stay competitive, retailers need to define their “je ne sais quoi” and create a strong pull to draw shoppers in. And part of that “je ne sais quoi” is the right employee greeting them at the door, offering them samples or making sure to wish them a “fabulous Friday, come back and see us again soon” as they check out.
  • In Radyiant’s The State of Consumer Behavior 2021, 33% of consumers said they shopped in-store to view and interact with physical products and 13% did so because they felt the immediacy of in-store purchases was worth it. Once you bring people into the store, whether for a hands-on look at products or instant gratification, it’s essential that your employees provide an experience that will make them want to come back. After all, your employees are also your consumers.  If they don’t love your store, why should other people?
  • Provide a smooth online experience – Brick-and-mortar stores are taking retail tips from long-time online retailers like Amazon. During 2020, boutique and big box retailers turned to online initiatives and platforms to engage customers and provide a smoother shopping experience.
  • Now more than ever, successful retailers are using online tools, like ecommerce platforms and live video tools, to provide in-store experiences remotely, through curbside pickups or even direct delivery to their customer’s front doors. However people choose to buy from your brand and store, it’s important to make the whole experience as fluid and seamless as possible.
  • And again, a lot of this will come down to the employees that they interact with, even with a fully remote purchase.  What’s the experience like when you have an issue with a shipment?  Does the person greeting me at curbside pick up remember me from the last three times I stopped by?  And if my delivery is damaged or delayed, how quickly does the customer service rep I talked to help me resolve the issue?  Answering these questions the right way are the hallmarks of a customer having a smooth online experience with your store.

Memorable and Smooth Experiences Start with the Right Employees

Customer experience is key to retail success and it’s essential for vendors to hire hard-working team members who can juggle different roles and provide an exceptional experience to each and every customer that walks through their “doors” (in person or virtual). But just like running your business in 2021, your hiring process needs to evolve to find those ideal team players as well. A few things to consider:

Creating flexibility and safety in the hiring process may involve hosting a socially distanced hiring fair, setting up a one-way video interview experience, enabling automated interview scheduling, or creating a fully virtual onboarding.  Admittedly, which tools you can provide may depend on the capabilities of your current team (but don’t worry, interviewstream can help a bit with some training there as well).

When you are able to efficiently find and recruit the right people for your retail business, you’ll be able to avoid employee turnover and consistently wow your customers, keeping their business as the market changes now and making sure that they come back for every fabulous Friday in the future. After all, people buy experiences, not products. So make that experience priceless. 

Want to learn more about using online video tools like interviewstream to help you find, hire, and retain the right people? Chat with an expert today.

About The Author

Drew Whitehurst is the Director of Marketing at interviewstream. He's been with the company since 2014 working in client services and marketing. He is an analytical thinker, coffee enthusiast, and hobbyist at heart.


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