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Tag Archives: small business owners

  • How Do You Become A Brand, Not Just A Retail Store?

    These days, people don’t just buy products; they buy brands. But don’t mistake brand identity for brand loyalty. Brand loyalty has become much more than just a tag or logo; it’s a lifestyle.

     

    So how do you take your retail store to the next level? By getting your customers involved every step of the way, of course. Here’s how:

    Tell your story

    If you started a camping store because you once hiked the Appalachian Trail solo, then make that your brand’s narrative. You’ll create the impression that you’re much more committed and devoted than your competition, while also instilling trust in the brands you carry (as long as your employees are experts on these products, too).

     

    Focus on in-store experience

    Customers should want to come to your store, not dread it. In other words, it should be a destination worthy of emulating. A fashion boutique that mimics a luxurious walk-in closet or a home goods store that oozes abode envy only makes your customers want to re-create that experience at home (using all your products, of course).

     

    Create curb appeal

    Don’t underestimate the power of seasonal window displays with an unavoidable sandwich board for passersby. And even if it’s not an actual sidewalk sale, moving merchandise outside will make pedestrians slow down at the very least. What’s more, a bike shop with a tire pump out front and a pet store with water dishes for dogs will all but force potential customers to stop and stay a while.

     

    Host events

    Bringing potential and existing customers into your store on a regular basis can be as easy as hosting a running or yoga group at your athleisure store every week or as extensive as a monthly calligraphy course at your stationery store. Even go a step further and create your own or piggyback on an annual holiday (National Grilled Cheese Day, anyone?). Engaging your customers with your products while offering expertise and advice will only make them want to come back to learn (and buy) more.

     

    Give back

    A win-win for customers to learn more about your background and mission is to partner with a local charity. Host an annual food or clothing drive, then offer a discount to customers who bring items to donate. Not only will it get traffic in the door, but it will also start a conversation worth engaging in.

     

    Social media presence

    While there is something to be said about connecting with your customers offline, crafting a social media presence online can’t go unnoticed. Start a blog that doesn’t pitch your products but rather tells a story, then use your social media accounts to make followers feel like they are getting insight into new products and events. Also be sure to respond to comments and questions, good and bad alike.

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