The recent micro-store phenomenon introduces opportunities for retailers and e-tailers to improve customer (CX) and employee experience (EX). Retail and ecommerce have long focused on the bigger is better approach. However, small-format stores are proving to be an equally and, in some cases, more lucrative proposition and an effective employment value proposition to attract employees.
Meeting Need for Pedestrian-Friendly Neighbourhoods
The big box phenomena made it easier for car-reliant suburbanites to get what they needed in one place. However, the re-emergence of the walkable neighborhood reduces retail footprints, calling for micro-stores suited to limited space. In the ecommerce landscape, local shops offer in-store pickup or local delivery to improve last-mile fulfillment.
Optimized Personalized CX
Micro-stores offer that desirable boutique shopping experience tailored to the specific needs of the neighborhood. A perfect example is Target’s on-campus small-format locations that sell things like school supplies and groceries to college students. These shops optimize personalized CX, catering to highly targeted needs.
Resolving Last-mile Ecommerce Delivery
The problem of last-mile delivery continues to create a pain point for retailers competing with online giants like Amazon. The micro-store is a local solution offering Buy Online Pickup In-Store (BOPIS) options so customers can get their orders faster and avoid delivery charges.
This also helps omnichannel retailers match the faster delivery of their online competitors so customers can enjoy online shopping through their trusted and preferred retailers. However, it calls for smaller stores in local neighborhoods to meet the demands of those pedestrian-friendly areas.
Improving Retail Employee Retention
Retailers face ongoing challenges finding employees, let alone retaining them. With improved EX it becomes easier to find front-line staffers and reduce customer frustration. Micro-stores are easier to staff with a few thousand feet of inventory. They are also located in urban centers where staff can get to work on foot or via public transit. Without reliance on cars to get to work, employees save money and avoid contending with traffic and long commutes. This reduces lateness and sick calls, so the store is always fully staffed, reducing strain on workers.
It is very circular, with happier employees serving neighbors that build deeper customer relationships, creating positive CX and, in turn, further contributing to positive EX.
Micro-stores reduce overhead with smaller square footage for rent and fewer staffing requirements. Savings can be put to good use to compensate employees to improve retention or invest in tools that improve efficiency, CX and EX. It also offers an opportunity for native ecommerce retailers to open a micro-store and expand their customer interactions on a personal, local level.
The micro-store format can help brands pivot to meet the expectations of shifting customer behaviors and deal with the realities of a challenged labor market. It is a more sustainable model that makes adapting to changing needs and serving smaller communities evolve holistically with a focus on hyperlocal products and highly targeted customer personas.
The Anexa customer service team can take your micro-store CX to the next level using the latest technology and proven CX strategies. Give us a call today to inquire how we can support your e-commerce and retail strategies. Reach out to Anexa today.