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Tag Archives: Retailer

  • Loyalty Program Ideas

    Profitability aside, the underlying goal of any retail business should be to establish a loyal customer base. To show your thanks, those who choose your store above others on a regular basis should be rewarded in the form of some exclusive offering, monetary or otherwise. Here are some suggestions to keep your loyal following happy and, above all, engaged.

    Image from Getty Images

    Buy one, get one

    Don’t discount the traditional route of buying a specific number of products and getting one free. Take it a step further by upgrading the cumbersome loyalty business cards by having customers enter their email addresses at the point-of-sale to, in turn, gather that oh-so-valuable contact information, while also eliminating the need to carry around a stack of punch cards.

     

    Points system

    Less cut and dry, enlist a points system for customers to earn certain rewards based on different levels of engagement, such as taking a survey or referring a friend. What’s more, reward user-generated content, such as writing an online review or sharing your posts on their social media pages, which costs your company nothing but provides priceless promotion.

     

    Get social

    Chances are, your social media followers and email subscribers are your loyal customers. Put those channels to use by starting a campaign — perhaps using a unique hashtag, offering a discount code, or even posing industry-specific trivia—to engage followers to promote your brand and its products on their own pages.

     

    Members-only events

    Social media followers and email newsletter subscribers can gain exclusive access to events held at your store (think after-hours calligraphy lessons, flower arranging, and yoga practices) simply by liking your business, automatically inviting customers back to your store and hopefully bringing a friend or two.

     

    VIP club

    Depending on the nature of your business, having customers pay a service fee upfront to gain exclusive access and discounts or priority purchasing could be a win-win, guaranteeing an investment on both ends with a fail-safe return visit. Better yet, let customers choose their level of engagement and empower them to personalize their experience with anything from offering an expedited checkout process to free product previews.

     

    Question for you

    How do you keep your customers engaged? Describe the loyalty program you use in your store in the comments below for a chance to win Grommet Swag!

  • 8 Ways To Encourage Repeat Business For Your Store

    In a time of online retailers, it’s important not to overlook the power of a brick-and-mortar store. While getting foot traffic in the door might not be the issue, it’s keeping customers engaged and coming back that proves to be challenging. As the tried-and-true formula goes: Understand your customer base and target market, look for ways to differentiate from your competitors, remain relatable and relevant, repeat. Here are some ways to foster that relationship, no matter the type of shop:

    Image courtesy of Getty Images

     

    Focus on Service

    Simply put, shoppers are much more likely to become loyal customers if you offer a better experience than your competitors. Provide an extra service that shoppers can’t get elsewhere, like contacting shoppers when products that are out of stock become available or offering a generous return policy. What’s more, properly training staff to be knowledgeable about products and makers keeps both employees and customers happy. Click here to read our blog post on service.

     

    Create a loyalty program

    Discounts work to draw customers in, but repeat visitors will come back time and time again if they are members of a loyalty program. Money off future purchases or even access to an exclusive event in store or online can often make the difference between whether a consumer shops with you or a competitor. Make the reward worthwhile and easy to obtain to motivate customers to reach it.

     

    Engage online

    Whether in the form of a blog, social media post, or email newsletter that encourages discussion among its customers, you can produce easy-to-digest content geared toward your readers, such as how-to guides, product spotlights, or gift giving guides for specific holidays. You can also entice your customers with new products, best sellers, or in-store giveaways on social channels to get them to come back to your store.

     

    Think convenience

    Offering free in-store pickup or multiple payment options are just two quick and easy ways to make the shopping experience more pleasurable and less painful for the customer. Hire an in-store expert who can offer complimentary consultations on product usage or free alterations or customization with purchase. Think value, not price.

     

    Create comfort

    Shopping doesn’t have to be an in-and-out experience. Encourage customers to stay a while by setting up a lounge area with free Wi-Fi and a charging station. Set up sampling stations or other ways to engage with the products. Sure, it’s fun to try on clothes, but “try before you buy” can work equally well with crafts or even technology.

     

    Offer classes or groups

    A craft shop that offers a knitting group, a fitness retailer that organizes a running club, a craft brewery that hosts yoga, cooking classes at a specialty food store, calligraphy lessons at the local stationery store—these are all simple but fun ways to bring the same consumers back on a regular basis and get them in front of your products.

     

    Engage in the community

    Take advantage of organizations that already exist and align with your store’s mission by sponsoring a local event or donating to a worthy cause that will get your company name in front of current and potential customers. Name recognition, especially in a charitable way, certainly won’t hurt your cause.

     

    Enlist help

    When all else fails, hire a mystery shopper whose job it is to give honest and unbiased feedback about the shopping experience. Sometimes, all it takes is a fresh set of eyes to walk through the whole experience from storefront to transaction to share how and why the shopping experience can turn shoppers into lifelong customers.

  • When it comes to MAP pricing, you snooze you LOSE

    As a store owner, you know the ease of online shopping is a double-edged sword. Sure, it’s convenient, but for business owners, the underbelly of counterfeited products, price discrepancies, and showrooming, replace the thrill of finding a sale with the disappointment of losing one. The main culprits are usually on Amazon or eBay, selling the same product you are for less.

    These retail giants hijack MAP pricing, leaving you with inventory that’s difficult to move because you’re selling at the actual price. Your overhead costs don’t allow cutting margins to compete. And if sales continue to decline, you’re less inclined to take buying risks that might differentiate you and pay off down the road.

    We call this scenario L.O.S.E. – the Loss of Online Sales Effect.

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