When it comes to retail, the biggest driver of value is a large and loyal client base that continually buys from you year after year. Below are five points to keep in mind as you develop your retail brand and expand your customer base:
1. Give customers a reason to need you. You’re selling and they’re buying, now make them buy again and again. A great way to find out what customers really need is to communicate with them directly. One way to get this invaluable feedback is offer a survey online. Give your customers a reason to fill out the survey (like a 10% discount on their next purchase) and you’ll get more important data than you can imagine. Ask questions like:
a. What products would you like to see that we don’t carry?
b. How satisfied are you with our current inventory?
c. What can we offer that we currently do not offer?
d. How is our customer service?
2. Accept a variety of payment methods. The goal is to get the customers to pay you so make it easy on them. With the payment market in a huge state of flux there are plenty of new payment options available every day. From ApplePay to Discover card to Venmo and more, make it easy for your customers to pay you.
3. Make your business easy to be found on the Internet. Even if you have a small e-commerce presence online you should spend the extra money it takes to be easily found. Web traffic has a direct correlation on sales. Consult with a Search Engine Optimization expert to make sure your website is fully optimized to drive as much traffic as your budget can handle. Another great way to improve online visibility is through email marketing. Sending a monthly newsletter on products and specials has been the backbone of a number of successful retail businesses.
4. Become a social seller. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin and more offer great cost-effective ways to communicate regularly with your audience. Customers learn about what you have to offer and who you are. They can directly give you feedback so you know what they are looking for. When used correctly, social media creates credibility with customers because they interact with you on a trusted “friend” like level.
5. Events, events, events. If you have a strong brick-and-mortar presence, holding in-store events gives customers a great reason to come in. Anything from guest speakers, to product demonstrations, to autograph sessions gives customers a personal reason to come into your store. Once they are in, you have an opportunity to sell them – this is all you can ask for.