74% of people will make a purchase based on the customer experience alone. And 91% won’t hesitate to leave. As harsh as it might sound, it’s the psychology of how people shop. And no matter your cause, it will play a part in how people interact with your charity shops. So it’s clear that creating a fantastic customer experience is essential.
But it can seem daunting. Where do you begin? Especially if you run smaller or fewer shops with less staff. It doesn’t have to be so difficult; just take it one step at a time. We’ve put together four simple tips that can help you create an unmatched customer experience in your charity shops.
1. Who are your customers/donors and what do they want?
This one might seem too obvious, but it’s worth diving into who shops with and donates to you. You may believe it’s one group – like over 50s – but you might actually be popular with a younger crowd looking for a vintage find.
Feedback forms and surveys are great for getting into the mind of your customers. You not only find out who they are and what they want, but what makes them shop with you and what’s important to them socially and ethically. This can help you move in the right direction. For example, if a large number are looking for 80s-style clothing, you can use this to decide what donations you need more of.
2. Create an enjoyable online experience
If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that we have to be prepared. So some charities put a lot of effort into their online offering. If you haven’t gone down this path, now might be the time to consider it.
If you already have, is it an enjoyable experience? Is it easy to find items and buy them? There are ways to integrate your online store to your website cleanly, so make that a priority. In the back end, it can even sync up with your stock levels, making life easier for you. You can also think about chatbots to answer any questions your customers might have. Also worth mentioning is social media – don’t neglect it! Use the information from the first tip to figure out who your audience is and what social media they use most.
3. Make your customers a part of your shop’s success
Your customers are supporting a great cause by shopping with you. It feels good to help those in need, and this could be just what your customers need to have an even better shopping experience. How can you bring your story into the shop? Can you show customers just how much they’re helping?
You can also reward customers with loyalty cards and discounts after spending over a certain amount. 77% of the UK are part of a loyalty scheme after all. And who can say no to a discount?
4. Convenience is the word
You might be a charity, but your retail experience is no different than any other shop. It needs to be as convenient to your customers as possible. So look where you might be slowing them down. Are queues a big issue? Then look for an EPoS that lets you take the till to them.
Even better if you can take it out on the go. Meet your customers where they’re at, be it on the streets, in local communities, or at car boot sales. Also, make sure your staff and volunteers are well-trained with the technology you use. The more familiar they are with it, the quicker they can be.
This can also follow the customer home. How nice would it be to receive an email that thanked them for their donations or patronage? It’s the little details that make the difference.
Improving the customer experience doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. By making small adjustments, your shop can reach its full potential and keep your customers and donors loyal. And much of that can be solved by changing one factor: your EPoS system.
Looking for an EPoS that will transform your shop? Nisyst’s HMRC-recognised system CHARiotWeb allows you to streamline your day-to-day, stay on your customers’ minds, and create a sublime shopping experience. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch today on 01204 706 000.