In a world of overflowing choice, shoppers get overwhelmed by purchase decisions. Finding the right product can be even harder in-store than online, since you can’t filter by category or consumer ratings, for example. Indeed, MLC’s recent research shows that consumers tend to find websites simpler than stores. And with foot traffic on the decline, simplifying the in-store experience is more important than ever to entice shoppers back into stores. [For information on other ways to boost foot traffic, please see Courtney's recent post or shoot her an email.]
The simplest retail experiences involve staff who help you find the right products for your needs. But with high turnover, it can be hard for sales reps to learn different segments’ needs and product preferences.
What store staff need is a simple way to guess what customers want. Since preferences aren’t always visible, staff need a few quick questions for diagnosing needs – and the fewer the better (to avoid annoying customers).
In some ideal cases, a single question will be enough to send shoppers to the right section of the store. One pet store, for instance, asks the question, “Do you buy your pet a Christmas present?” This question alone helps determine whether to direct pet owners to the luxury section of the store or not.
Another great example of the single-question segmentation technique comes from a beer maker. To identify their target customers, they simply ask: “Do you like to get drunk quickly?” An elegant segmentation technique indeed!
But finding those one or two questions that accurately predict shopper needs is no easy task. Most companies turn to their segmentation studies, but these are typically 100+ question surveys that can’t possibly be repeated in a store environment.
La-Z-Boy has solved this conundrum. They reduced their 100-question segmentation survey down to just 2 simple diagnostic questions. These 2 questions enable floor staff to predict which section of the store will be right for each shopper – with about 80% accuracy.
MLC members, learn more about La-Z-Boy’s in-store segmentation questions and learn how they came up with them.