As you're approaching the holiday season, it can be very easy to get complacent and…
Help Your Customers Do This One Thing and They Will Keep Coming Back
You’ve opened your business and now you are waiting for those customers to just come running through the doors throwing money at you.
As the saying goes ‘build it and they will come’ right? Wrong!
I see many businesses in my local area and online put hundreds of hours of work and thousands of dollars into a dream they have been creating for many years, only to find that once they are open, the people they had hoped would come rushing through the doors, does not eventuate.
And it all comes down to this one thing.
You need to help people change their habits.
Think about your shopping habits for a moment. Do you have a favourite café, a local butcher, do you shop at the same supermarket, is there routine involved in how you go about your day?
Once you realise your customers have these same habits too, the work that goes into marketing to them becomes easier and more effective. Which at the end of the day equals more dollars coming through the door.
Here is a breakdown of how I went about marketing my online shop and two retail shops.
Who is your target market and where do they like to hang out?
My target market for my online store is time poor health conscious women aged 35 – 45 who live in Metropolitan Melbourne. This age group is known to be more active on Facebook more than any other platform.
When I first launched my online shop – I set up a social media page on Facebook and made sure I posted on a regular basis with relevant content.
If you’re the type of person who would rather poke a stick in their eye than do social media, give this responsibility to a social savvy staff member or outsource the role to someone local or overseas.
How does this help people change their habits?
It reminds them that you are there and you exist. And depending on how good you are with your content (stay tuned for another article on this) it also gives you the opportunity to connect with them and trigger something that may prompt them to come into your store.
LOCAL PAPER & PRESS RELEASE
Even though numbers are dropping in the circulation of local newspapers, don’t under estimate the value these publications can bring.
Many people will read their local newspaper from front to back cover and relish in the local stories within. This is a great opportunity for people to connect with you and your story before they even set foot in the door. In fact, it will most likely prompt them to come and visit you.
When we launched our first retail shop I had a PR manager issue a local press release. I was then given a free quarter page ad in the Local Leader Newspaper. Once the store was open I was actively surveying customers to hear how they heard about us and many people mentioned that article.
PROVIDE THE WOW FACTOR FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS
Once you have managed to get your customers through the door, you need to provide an experience that not only makes them want to come back but also makes it easier for them.
You and your business need to be seen as worthy of a customer changing their habits to now shop with you.
Make sure you greet them and have a chat without coming across as pushy. If it’s their first time in your store, try and get to know them. Have customer service polices in place that make it hard for them to go elsewhere.
Once they leave it’s your duty to keep reminding them that you exist. This is where you need to make sure you have systems in place from social media, to newsletters and the occasional ad in the local newspaper or magazine.
It’s hard to change habits, however it’s your responsibility to make sure your customers think about you, until shopping with you becomes a new habit for them.
And that’s when then they become a regular customer.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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