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Customers’ Biggest In-Store Pain Points and How to Fix Them

Sep 09, 2022

A young couple enjoying their shopping experience and taking a product home after shopping physically in a store.

These days, in addition to having a quality product or service that consumers need, the customer experience retailers provide is becoming the main determining factor in where that customer chooses to shop. In fact, consumers have set the bar higher than ever in that regard. So if foot traffic inside your stores is not as high as you would like, it’s time to take a hard look to see if there are pain points your customers are finding that result in a negative experience when they visit your store.

You may find that in-store pain points can be more difficult to discover than you thought, but take heart. Knowledge is power — so through research, getting to know your customers and personally understanding their shopping journey inside your store, you can create an experience that leads to more sales and happier customers.

And your research starts right here. Read on for six common customer pain points every retailer has run into, as well as suggestions on how to address them immediately and effectively.

Complicated Shopping Process

You’ve managed to move a customer from brand awareness to actually purchasing your product — the ultimate goal! However, as straightforward and simple the process of going shopping should be, this is actually where many of a customer’s pain points can quickly arise. So it’s time to ask yourself an important question: Is my company’s shopping experience as customer-friendly as it could be?

It should go without saying that customers appreciate a simple, streamlined transaction that allows them to get in and out of your store with the product they want. A complicated process leads to a higher chance of the customer deciding to wait or to not go through with their shopping choices at all.

So take the time to understand your customer’s in-store shopping journey from start to finish. Is your store’s checkout process easy and efficient? Is the product they’re looking for in stock and easily found? Are there enough friendly store associates to take care of their needs quickly? Do you have a self-service option that is user-friendly? A deep dive into these and other issues will allow you to identify pain points and improve the process.

Different Quality Than What’s Advertised

There is so much truth behind the phrase “truth in advertising,” especially when it comes to selling customers on the quality of your product. If the real thing doesn’t live up to what you’ve promised, you risk losing a sale and gaining an unsatisfied, distrustful and possibly former customer. The miscommunication of product quality can also lead to returns and poor reviews on social media.

Not surprisingly, accurately communicating what the product includes is beneficial to both the company and customer. Descriptions generally are not written to intentionally deceive the customer and promise something that is not available — but if a customer is not satisfied with the product, the written description on the packaging is what they’ll reference first as evidence of false advertising. So understanding how to create product descriptions that are engaging and truthful can help avoid this pitfall.

Missing Assembly Parts or Pieces

When a customer gets an “assembly required” product home that they’re excited to finally put together, a missing screw, peg or other piece can quickly turn their excitement into frustration. If they can’t finish it, they can’t use it. They’ll have to spend time calling customer service or return to the store, compounding the negative experience.

Making sure every product your company sells (whether or not it requires assembly) is packaged properly is so important to maintain customer satisfaction after the sale. When mistakes do happen (and they will, because life), be sure proper customer support is in place to help rectify the situation.Both tactics will help improve the chances of that customer coming back to your store in the future.

Little or No Immediate Information for Customer Service

Having a solid customer service department in place — both inside the store for immediate support and on the company level — is crucial for customers to feel confident in your company. They want to know that if they shop with you, your sales team has their back — so make that simple promise to them, then follow through with easy ways to find help when they need it. The lack of a proper support system for your customers will only add to their frustration, possibly (again) leading to negative reviews and product returns.

While we’re on the subject, let’s face it: Few things in life are more frustrating than not being able to connect with a real human being to answer questions or solve issues. Even not having customer service contact information readily accessible to begin with adds an unnecessary, easily avoidable pain point on the customer journey. Keeping this information visible on product packaging and store signage will make your customer feel supported and more at ease.

Inconsistent Experiences

A customer’s experience with your store brand should be similar (if not identical) from store to store. In other words, a customer should be able to go into one of your store’s locations and be able to expect to get the same products, service and an experience they had at a different location. Any type of disconnection between the two can create a feeling of confusion and disorder.

You don’t want customers to come away thinking this type of experience is what your brand supports. So ask yourself: Are your customers able to find the product they want in generally the same area inside each store? Is the promotional signage the same? How’s your inventory management? Are employee uniforms … well, uniform? Ensuring a consistent experiencecreates reliability and a sense of trust that entices customers to visit your store (no matter which store) again and again.

Lack of Flexible Pricing and Financing

No doubt, this is inherently a big pain point for any customer, especially if they’re shopping your store for a big-ticket item like furniture or appliances. Depending on your target audience, if you don’t make a variety of pricing or financing options available for your customers to be able to shop with you, you could be in danger of needlessly restricting your sales.

Providing loyalty, referral or seasonal discounts are just a few ways you can entice customers to shop for your product instead of your competitor’s. Financing options can also provide this same flexibility. Of course, we have an option of our own — actually an alternative to financing — to make this pain point a thing of the past for every one of your customers, no matter what their financial situation. Read on …

Acima Leasing: No Pain, All Profit

Another proven way to optimize your customers’ satisfaction is to give them more shopping power with Acima Leasing. When you do, you provide lease-to-own solutions* and flexible lease renewal payment options* to a wider target audience which helps you close more sales and generate repeat business. If you still have more questions about Acima Leasing, read more here or on our FAQ page.

Understanding retailers’ most common in-store experiential and financial pain points — and then resolving them (like with Acima Leasing) — can allow you to dive deeper into your customers’ needs and improve their shopping experience. We can help you easily implement even more improvements in addition to the ones suggested above — just take a look at our article here!