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Not Greeting Customers, is Losing Your Retail Store Money

When a customer visits your store, they may have first come across your physical retail brand online or via Social Media and been tempted to finally visit in person.

Or perhaps they are a seasoned and loyal customer, returning after many successful trips. Make no assumptions, they may be first timers and everything that unfolds in the following moments is critical to how they perceive your brand.

Regardless of the scenario, when that customer steps through your store doors, their in-store journey begins, and greeting your customers is a crucial first step in that experience. 

Greeting the customer quickly allows your staff to set the tone of that shoppers' encounter with your brand and the shopper then immediately knows who is a staff member. 

You do not need to over-complicate things, usually a simple acknowledgement is all that is required. Your staff can keep it short and sweet with something like “Hi”, “Hello” or more formally “Good Morning/Evening” being more than enough to kickstart a great customer experience.

Something like “Hello, good morning”, is a great combo as it is friendly and simple but leaves room down the line for other pre-warming questions down the line, such as “What are we shopping for today, it’s super cold outside”. 

Having your staff greet their brick and mortar store customers can also drive sales for your online store as well. Retail Dive did a survey that found more than 55% of consumers will visit a physical retail store before making their purchase online.

This means it really isn’t a zero sum game, and having great greeting protocols for your on the floor staff is just as important as ad spend on digital marketing or running in store promotions. 

What are the Benefits of Greeting Customers?

  1. Identifies the Shop Assistants

    Depending on your store’s branding and ideal target audience, your retail staff may or may not be required to wear a distinctive uniform. In some cases their uniform may be quite tricky to distinguish. Especially in the apparel industry where staff are encouraged to wear clothing from the store as advertisement. 

    Having your staff greet customers quickly, identifies them clearly as who your customers can go to when they need help with something. 

    Clearly distinguishing who and where your customers will need to go to, in order to make a purchase is step one in increasing your stores conversion rate.

  2. Builds Trust & Establishes a Relationship

    Whether you are buying a t-shirt or a couch, the journey your customers will take is somewhat similar. What we’re saying is that it’s a journey about a relationship and a key decision (making a purchase) that is founded in trust. 

    Some purchases require more trust, for instance that $6000 couch, might be a little tricker to hand over your credit card for, than a funky beanie that costs $9.99. 

    Regardless, the pathway to that purchase happening, is one of the customer deciding they trust your brand and trust it’s products enough to validate handing over their hard earned dollars. 

    Having your staff greet customers upon store entry opens the doorway for that relationship to begin. No matter how short the customer journey might be. This is a crucial piece of the puzzle, and an important step towards decreasing your lost sales opportunities. 

  3. Discourages Theft and Stealing

    Putting a friendly face, eye contact and sometimes even a name to your shop assistants, will dissuade potential shoplifters. 

    As we’ve said above, by greeting these individuals you’ve begun the first stages of a relationship. And as you can imagine, it’s a lot harder to steal from someone you’ve personified and started a relationship with. 

    Cutting back on inventory loss through theft, will help your store save money in the long run. 

In short, your retail staff should keep greeting customers top priority, with a short and sweet “Good Morning/Afternoon” being more than adequate. 

It isn’t necessary to try and start a conversation with your customer right off the bat, that can come a little later on after the shoppers have had a chance to look around the store. 

If you’re a store owner, when was the last time you reviewed your greeting policy with your staff? 

It might be a good time to schedule a quick team meeting to go over best practices and what your expectations are. 


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