The retail landscape is key to the success of many brands, but many businesses do not know how to leverage retail experience successfully.
A retail experience agency can help you create a long-term strategy for providing engaging and meaningful customer experiences.
But with so many agencies out there, how do go about choosing the right one for your brand? Here are a few key things to consider when choosing a retail experience agency.
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Do they understand your needs?
The first step in choosing a retail experience agency is asking, do they understand your needs.
The approach to retail experience will differ from company to company, depending on a variety of factors such as the size of your business, how many locations you are working across, and whether you have a big team or need to recruit for one.
A retail experience agency that deals with global corporations may not be the best choice for a smaller business with a smaller budget. And vice versa, a retail experience agency specialising in smaller-scale activations would not be suitable for a global company with hundreds of retail sites.
Look for results
When it comes to retail and sales, results are everything.
When you’re searching for an agency, one of the first things you should look at is their experience. There should be case studies of companies they have worked with, showcasing the action taken and results achieved.
Are they working with companies like yours? Are you impressed with their approach? Have they generated positive results? If the answer to all these questions is yes, the agency should be considered.
Do they support staffing?
A huge part of success in retail comes down to staffing. The calibre of your team can really make or break the retail experience.
Some retail experience agencies offer support with staffing, whether that’s recruiting a team if you don’t already have one or training the staff you already have on how to create the optimal experience for your customers.
It’s all about striking a balance between creating meaningful bonds with customers but also satisfying the commercial needs of the retail strategy. This can be a difficult thing to get right, but a reputable agency should have the knowledge and practical skills to support you and your team.
Evaluate their communication skills
You can probably get a pretty strong insight into how an agency would lead your team to communicate with customers based on how that agency communicates with you.
From the first enquiry, you should be assessing how the agency responds to you. Are they timely? Do they address your needs and concerns? Have they done their research into your business, or are they giving you a one-size-fits-all approach? Being critical about your agency’s communication from the get-go will only ensure that you choose the one most suited to you.
Are they leveraging technology?
The retail landscape is constantly changing. As the economy shifts, so does consumer behaviour, and so do brands. When taking on a retail experience agency, you must be able to trust that they will guide you through those changes, helping you adapt and innovate as needed. And the most effective way to do this is through the use of technology.
An agency that invests in technology has access to the insights and data that should be driving your retail strategy at every turn – balanced with a human touch.
For maximum success, you should choose an agency that deals with real-time data across customers, locations, stock and all other key elements of your business and retail.
Request a retail audit
Our final tip to support you when choosing a retail experience agency is to request an audit. Success in the retail landscape requires understanding where your business might be lacking.
An audit will assess the consumer-purchase experience, from retail set-up to the stock-to-store process, the competitive space and even brand positioning. By exploring all these elements of your business, your agency will be better able to set you up for success in your retail strategy and overcome any sticky areas.
In addition to helping you critically assess your business, the audit should also give you an insight into the competency of the agency you are using.
Assess how detailed they are and whether they are bringing to light things that you hadn’t before considered. This will be a good indication of how they will serve you when it comes to the active retail experience.
There are numerous things to consider when choosing a retail experience agency. Above all, you want to ensure the agency you choose understands your business, has a good reputation and previous results, and is able to meet your specific needs, whether that’s via staffing services or by providing a retail audit.