4M Performance is approached with more questions from B2C companies than any other type of business. Restaurants, apparel stores, boutiques, service providers, hardware outlets, etc. Although diverse in product and market they all have one common thread: Customer Engagement
|In-store Customer Engagement at Apple Stores|
As we have discussed many times, to succeed in today’s business environment start-ups, small companies, and established brands must ‘engage the customer‘ to prosper.
A perfect example is Apple. Recently, Apple launched ‘Today at Apple’, a program designed to enhance its retail outlets by ‘enriching the lives’ of their customers. Note the words ‘enriching the lives’ which is the ultimate customer engagement.
‘Today at Apple’ offers a slew of training sessions designed to deepen customer knowledge of Apple’s products. Currently Apple offers 60+ sessions on: music, graphic design, video, photo labs, etc. It’s all about creating experiences that resonates with consumers. Yet. the concept of ‘Today at Apple‘ can be applied to any retailer, of any size.
By developing in-store experiences, Apple is creating an alternative reason to visit their outlets. Selling products takes a back-burner to customer engagement. However, the process inherently leverages the very products/services they are selling. Additionally, these sessions give local creatives a platform in their community – so it’s a triple win: Apple, artist, the customer.
The END GAME
Retailers need to create a compelling reason for customers to visit their outlets – reasons that extend beyond making a purchase. We see examples of retailers creating co-working spaces, utilizing special events to draw crowds, and conducting educational sessions to get consumers into their stores. Sales are the goal, but creating a sense of community and becoming a destination rather than a quick-stop has far greater long-term value.