Experience: The Difference Maker in Retail
Most retail companies recognize the importance of the customer experience as a major building block for sales and loyalty for their brand. Some retailers just give it lip service and use it as part of their mission statements and annual report content. Others actually commit and “put their money where their mouth is”. They conduct regular consumer research and receive direct feedback from their customers on how they are performing on issues

like product quality, corporate customer policies, check-out convenience, store décor & layouts, and knowledgeable and friendly staff and management. Other retailers go even further and invest in mystery shopping reports and hiring dedicated Customer Experience Managers for their stores

Then, there are the “Gold Medal” retailers who go to great lengths and possess the passion to create one-of-a-kind experiences that are personal, memorably engaging and brand unique. Here are 2 examples.

Build-A-Bear Workshop

Since 1997, this custom stuffed toy retailer has employed a theme of "making friends" as part of the strategic buying steps for every customer transaction. The experiential process includes a birth certificate that is registered for every stuffed animal created. With the launch of their new website www.buildabearville.com each birth certificate comes with a personal code that a child can enter on line and watch their toy spring into life and is then carried in a backpack by the child’s personal avatar. So far there have been 8 million registered avatars and the site averages between one and two million unique visitors monthly.


Have you ever wanted to "road test" a product other than a car before you purchased it? How about an outerwear garment to see if it can really keep you warm at -40C? Mark's is testing, in one of their stores, a walk-in freezer complete with fans simulating wind chill that will let you do exactly that. If you were an oil patch worker or a hydro line worker wouldn't you want to have the first hand knowledge that your purchase was going to keep you warm on the coldest of winter days? Wouldn't you tell all your fiends and co-workers about how you bought your new jacket? .

Brilliant?  Or thinking like a customer?    

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