Attracting a new customer can cost five times as much as keeping an existing one, so companies need to pay as much attention to retention as they do to acquisition.
Shoppers want to be your top priority when they walk into your shop, and they want it as soon as they step inside. Retailers need to have a plan in place, not only to keep customers in the shop, but to keep them coming back time and time again.
Below are some helpful tips for retail shop owners about how to keep customers in the shop, and wanting to come back for more.
If a customer has stepped into your shop, the chances are that they’re already actively looking for something that you sell – and they want it then and there. Is your shop laid out in a way that won’t baffle the new customer who’s just stepped in off of the high street? Perhaps you have various categories of stock that would appeal to different types of customer. Are these well signposted so that your customers can see whereabouts in your shop they need to be?
Sometimes you’ll have a customer who has an emergency that a next day online delivery won’t satisfy, such as a part for an emergency plumbing repair. Nowadays the first thing that a majority of people do would be to search for that specific item online, as well as who stocks it. Is your shop easily found online and listed on local search directories so that people can easily find it?
They want to interact with the products
For many physical retailers, this is where they maintain their edge over the online competitors. Consumers still visit physical stores so that they can touch, try on, test, or even just see the full product to confirm that it is indeed exactly what they are looking for. Are you giving them the freedom to do this properly?
If you stock twenty different types of vacuum cleaners, can your customer physically test the ones that they’re interested in to see if it fits their needs, and to make an informed decision on the one that they want? Many people will walk out of a clothing shop if there is no changing room for them to see how a specific item looks on them, and this is how all retailers need to think – let the customer imagine themselves with that new item, then the products have the chance to sell themselves!
Especially during the upcoming holiday season, plenty of people hit the shops just to find ideas of what to buy. Walking along the high-street or through the shopping centre, they can see the latest fashions, toys, and technology etc. Are you making sure that your shop is catering to this urge for discovery?
Simply by being creative with a window display, especially during the holiday season, customers will be intrigued to step inside. Have you tried moving merchandise around too? Your regular customers quickly become used to a certain place in your shop. By moving things around every now and then, you could introduce them to something new that they may not have previously noticed.
Greet them with a smile
This is one of the oldest and more obvious techniques – but it really does work. We all understand the importance of first impressions, but few of us really go out of our way to ensure that we actually give one. It’s an absolute must for retailers to be inviting and attentive to their customers as soon as they enter. Greetings go a long way, and small talk, compliments, and interactive conversation are often welcomed in a positive manner – and it shows in increased conversion rates!
Making people feel better about themselves can also inspire impulse buys. Friendly salespeople who start chatting with your customers will lift their spirits and keep them coming back. If the salesperson remembers the customer’s taste, suggests add-on purchases and lets him or her know when their favourite items come in stock, so much the better.
By nailing these simple tips down, and applying them to your business, you’ll have the edge on your competitors in the way that you treat those who come through your door. You may also be interested in how to specifically sell to the modern consumer, or how best to keep a seasonal retailer successful.