October 26, 2017
October 26, 2017
My buddy Steve had a neck pain and had been researching a pain-relieving pillow for weeks.
Finally, he found the perfect one online and purchased it.
He immediately started getting emails from the manufacturer begging him to review the pillow. They wanted his recommendation to show on their product description.
Here’s the thing…
Steve doesn’t know anything about the company that made the pillow or their website.
And when people ask him where he purchased it, he just says, I got it on Amazon.
A lot of brands are pushing customers away with relentless and ill-conceived efforts to engage online. Few, other than Amazon, meet with success. That’s why so many online stores are opening their own brick and mortar shops.
Those online retailers know the shopping experience in a store has the ability to stick and be memorable where online does not.
Brick and mortar retailing at its best offers the stickiness that shoppers remember so they return again and again. It's one of the best ways to attract customers to a retail business.
To accomplish that, you have to be thinking like a customer.
Go out of your way just because. Greeting a customer in the parking lot with an umbrella when it is raining can go a long way to being memorable. Picking up a large purchase and carrying it out without asking stands out. How can you show customers they come first in your store?
Greet everyone and tell them where they are. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with tasks and lose focus on who pays the bills: your customers. Greeting within 15 seconds – that’s much longer than it sounds – with Welcome to (name of your store) helps solidify where the shopper is. Your greeting sets the standard that shopping with you is different, i.e. better than all the rest.
Have accurate inventory. Research by Accenture recently found that almost 50% of shoppers want to check stock availability before visiting a store. Google found that 25% of shoppers say they’ll steer clear of a nearby store to avoid the risk of items not being available. Ideally, your entire inventory should use RFID tags or other current technology to provide real-time transparency of your stock. Then you focus on buying fewer SKUS but go deeper to prevent out-of-stocks. You never want to be the store that never has what I want.
Train employees to make the complex simple. Sure, a camera salesperson can spout numbers of pixels and resolution but a well-trained employee can talk about the number of photos that fit on different sizes of memory cards. You never want to trip a shopper’s idiot switch. An excellent associate helps facilitate and makes buying an easy decision.
Train employees the difference between upselling and adding on. Exposing someone to training doesn’t necessarily make them a salesperson. You have to have a long view of what it actually takes to build confident, avid salespeople, and only providing initial training means you’re just getting started. Advanced selling skills like what I teach in SalesRX.com teach your associates that you upsell someone from a cheaper item to one that is more expensive because it does more with less work. You add-on to a sale after the customer has decided to buy the main item by showing them one additional item that makes the original purchase do more.
Tell customers where they are again. It’s easy to say, Thanks or Come again, but when you hand over the bag to the customer it is your last shot to stand out so add your business name here as well so it becomes Thanks for shopping at (name of your store.)
Remind customers of where they were. It is reported the average American received 88 pieces of email a day back in 2016 – and about 33 text messages a day as well. Shoppers are constantly being marketed to, so the chance for you to be forgotten grows every day you don’t communicate with them. That’s why you should send out a bi-weekly newsletter – even better a weekly one - so they don’t forget you.
Technology has enabled shoppers to exist in a perennial buy state. The only way brick and mortar retailers can survive is by seizing each moment of influence, by providing customer service that’s memorable, and with consistent marketing so that whenever and wherever a shopper considers another purchase, they remember you and head for your store.
We are being told all shoppers want to do is get in, get what they want, and leave quickly.
Unless you are memorable, you’re like that pillow manufacturer – providing what is needed but not standing out.
To find out how the Retail Doctor can help you grow your retail sales, download my services guide.
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