There is no lack of skilled store associates at luxury brands. They are the chaperone to a customer’s shopping experience. They listen, guide, offer options and alternatives, and truly nurture the customer.

However, at the point of sale, a customer can move from loyal to lost, in an instant. The disconnect between the warm experience from working with a store associate and the cold experience of transacting at checkout is a quick way to not only lose a sale, but lose a loyal customer.

The last minutes spent “checking out” might be the most powerful, and important, impression a shopper retains of that retailer. Despite the efforts and resources dedicated to get the customer in-store and provide them with a great shopping experience can be lost if the checkout experience is anything but seamless.

Third party mobile pay apps like Apple Pay can improve the customer experience at checkout, argues NewStore CEO Stephan Schambach.
Bloomberg News

This is where mobile technologies and instant pay apps can help. Making the checkout process easy and more convenient with Apple Pay and other seamless tech-savvy payment options, brands can cultivate customer loyalty by providing a shopping experience that meets a consumer’s expectations.

Customers love shopping in-store, but hate the checkout line. Brands that strive to be successful must offer customized, convenient, consistent shopping experiences with easy instant pay options that make a customer’s “last impression” even better than the all-important first.

Ask any retail brand, and their advertising and marketing agencies, where they rank “first impressions” in terms of importance. It’s safe to assume it’s among their top priorities. Creating that positive, first impression with a new customer is critical in building any brand. As a result, they spend millions on website and app development, creative advertising and social media campaigns, store design, and product selection, all designed to catch a consumer’s interest, generate trust, and drive sales.

Now, where does creating a "lasting impression" rank for those same brands? Building on that very first touch point and taking the necessary strides to ensure you’ve built a deep and meaningful relationship with the customer, that’s pretty high on the priority list, too.

It’s no secret that retail customers are more likely to purchase more when they are presented with a positive shopping experience that pairs modern in-store technology with sincere and knowledgeable store associates.

At the luxury level, this is not only important, it’s mandatory. Often, a store associates’ attentiveness, skill, and rapport, on top of a brand’s product offering and competitive pricing, fosters real customer loyalty. When an associate can positively impact the path to purchase, it’s an obvious win for both brand and consumer.