I love the shoe industry, where I’ve been active for ten years. Although I am facing many different challenges now in the retail industry, I still have the habit of checking what kind of shoes people wear. The first thing when I meet somebody I look at the shoes.
When I went to the Deichmann Romania store to check out some best practices, I was really surprised by there new concept. I found a very airy store, with elegant furniture, clean, visible signalizing of the prices and more. The surprise came from the fact that they are a discounter and at discounter stores you go for the prices, not the experience. Usually discounter companies focus on having the lowest prices in the industry and packing as many products as possible on the selling area. Deichmann has the articles with lowest prices in the market, they sell fashionable trendy shoes as they promise in their advertising and on top also offer a shopping experience, which puts the needs of the clients in focus. Delivering a better experience than clients expect is a big plus.
Here are the five things I chose to name from all the best practices I found in their store:
- The lowest prices that they promote in the flyer are placed at the entrance of the store, on special furniture, clearly marked. This makes it easy for the clients who came to look for a certain article from the flyer, to find it.
- The price reductions are marked with old price, new price and percentage. The impact of showing both (percentage and absolute figure), is bigger in the minds of customers and increases the chances to buy. Moreover some clients have difficulties with making the maths.
- There are shoehorns and trying on socks at the end of every shelf and there are trash cans under every trying on chair. This encourages customers to try on the shoes and meets their need for help. After using a “trying on sock” it is really annoying not to have any place to throw it away, it happens frequently in the shoe stores. Moreover, if employees do not remove papers from the shoe boxes when placing them in the selling area, clients will through them on the floor, that is why a lot of trash cans are so welcomed.
- Deichmann does a great job of using the dead spaces (columns or some unreachable corners) and hiding the not that nice but mandatory objects in the store. They either use it as a storage or just covered them in furniture, placing mirrors (which give the impression of larger space) in order to look nice.
Is a pair missing in the store? Deichmann will deliver it for free to the mentioned address.
Sometimes it is hard to predict in the shoe industry how many sizes you will sell of a particular model in a certain store and transferring sizes, from one store where they don’t sell, to others where they sell, is common practice. Instead of telling the client to come again in two days or to send him to another store, they give him the opportunity to pay now for the shoe and deliver it for free. In this way they have the certainty of making the sell and the cost of this service is minimal compared to the turnover they win by offering it.
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