What Is Total Retail Experience?

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The total retail experience is the collection of elements in a retailer’s offering that impact the overall experience a customer has with that retailer. It is also known as the total customer experience.

The total retail experience concept addresses the fact that consumers encounter a retailer as more than just a store with stuff to buy. They interact with the retailer in a variety of channels and ways. Some retailers offer goods and services in-store, online, through catalogs, on mobile devices and at kiosks. Consistency in the quality of goods and services offered across all channels impacts the consumer perception of retail brand value. If a retailer offers horrible online service, the consumer perceives that as a brand problem, not just an online concern.

Retailers typically approach the customer experience with either a standardized offering or a customized one. A standardized experience is generally consistent for all consumers, and price points are low to moderate. A customized experience means each customer gets personalized attention. This strategy heightens the quality of the typical customer’s experience and increases revenue potential for the retailer, but it leaves the door open for inequity in the experience of one customer relative to another. It is also more expensive to provide personalized or customized retail experiences.