Think Customers: Secrets to Retail Success
Without customers, you don’t have a business. Understanding customers is just as important (and sometimes as hard) as understanding technology. First, understand your customer’s needs, then supply the products to satisfy them. Don’t focus on making more sales; profits are only a reward for creating value for customers. To succeed in today’s competitive retail marketplace, small businesses must put consumers at the heart of their business. When you love your customers, they love you back. So how do you engage your customers? The key is to think like one. Here are some secrets to retail success:
1. Stock truly awesome products
Forget about sales and marketing- for now at least. Focus on delivering that WOW factor through product and service. Nowadays, your customers are educating themselves by researching products online before they make any purchase decisions. So don’t waste your seed money on advertising! Advertising should come after you have established the best products on the block. For now, focusing on supplying great products is the foundation of a meaningful relationship to engage your customers. To be successful in retail means you need to solve your customers’ problems. Solving problems means listening. Your job isn’t to find the right customers for your product- it’s to find the right products for your customers.
2. Make Competition Irrelevant
Ask yourself, why are shoppers willing to pay a little more for your brand? Because you meet their needs in a superior way. You must determine which segments offer the best opportunities, understand the needs and wants of target markets, and deliver the desired satisfaction more effectively and efficiently than competitors. Small business’s with limited resources should decide to serve only one or a few special segments or market niches. Establishing uniqueness gives consumers more value.
3. Content is King
Social media is all about connecting to your customers in new ways. Your goal is to give more valuable and helpful content to consumers than anyone else in your field. Success online means making relevant and genuine contributions to consumer conversations. You can also create long tail content that address those unanswered questions. Becoming part of the conversation between consumers is infinitely more powerful than handing down information via some other obsolete advertising inroad.
Uncertainty is the only certainty. Retail markets are changing so rapidly that the ability to adapt has now become a competitive advantage. Local shops which don’t monitor the changing needs of their customers ultimately fail. Stores that understand and adapt well to their environments are the ones that thrive. You should redirect resources to systematically track and quantify your data so you’re able to better analyze what’s really driving buyer’s decisions. Then all that’s left is to adjust your strategy accordingly.
What was it like walking a mile in your customers’ shoes? Let us know in the comments!