Convenience Store

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Consumers want shopping to be easier. What can you to do streamline, simplify and improve the process for them?

For a lot of people, life is complicated and busy — lots to keep track of, lots to get done. And busy people juggling a lot are looking for ways to streamline and simplify tasks like buying a mattress.

A recent survey shows just how important ease is to consumers. Three-quarters of consumers would switch companies if they learned it was more convenient to do business with a competitor, according to the 2022 Achieving Customer Amazement survey from St. Louis-based customer experience expert Shep Hyken. Seven in 10 would pay more if they knew an experience would be more convenient, and nearly as many (68%) say that a convenient customer experience alone is enough to make them return to the company. 

How can you make shopping easier for your customers? 

Reduce friction. In an article based on his survey results, Hyken cites “long wait times, filling out duplicate information (paperwork or online forms) and navigating difficult websites” as examples of friction. In contrast, things like creating forms that auto-populate customers’ information, providing a host of payment options and offering by-appointment browsing can smooth the shopping process. 

It can be easy to overlook complicated sales presentations or convoluted online checkout procedures if they’ve been part of your business model for years. Compare your processes with your competitors and then streamline, streamline, streamline. 

Add self-service options. You don’t have to create a self-service checkout like a grocery store. You can update your in-store displays to provide the information that shoppers most need to compare products when they are browsing on their own. Self-service also is important online. As Hyken says, “a company that has a robust knowledge bank of frequently asked questions or video tutorials” is providing self-service options. Feature videos on your website and social media that showcase benefits of products like adjustable bed bases or explain how to figure out if it’s time for a new pillow. 

Be more accessible. “The three main ways to create access are location, hours of operation and ease of communication,” Hyken says. It’s not easy to relocate existing stores, but maybe that’s something you need to consider, especially given how consumers’ travel and shopping patterns have changed with the Covid-19 pandemic. Or maybe it’s time to add texting or live chat as communication options.

If you make shopping and buying more convenient, it can have a ripple effect. According to the survey, eight in 10 consumers say they are likely to recommend a company that provides a convenient customer service experience to friends and family.

Julie A. Palm is chief wordsmith at Palm Ink LLC and is a past editor in chief of BedTimes and Sleep Savvy magazines. You can contact her at japalm623@gmail.com.