If someone were to ask you who your customer is and why he or she shops with you, how would you respond?

Before you’re tempted to answer with “I want everyone and everywhere, from old to young, guys, women—all of them,” consider this: the best retailers know who their target customer is and why those customers shop with them. That’s the word from The Retail Doctor, who states:

“That is my number one strategy for your store’s success: Know who your customers are, and who they aren’t. Knowing that keeps you from overestimating demand and helps you create a vibrant niche for your shop.” 

Whether you are a new or experienced merchant, The Retail Doctor offers more proven strategies for achieving success. Check them out below:

Seek customers who can pay full price  – While it’s tempting to chase after the cheapskates, keep in mind that you’ll end up buying their loyalty with your own lost profits. Retail stores are in the business of answering one question, “What’s new?” Good customers are willing to pay for that. Once you understand who your customers are, carefully select good quality items that demand full price. Your best customers won’t mind paying for it.

Use cross-channel marketing to attract new customers – If you’re going to go after full-price customers, you need to consistently provide them with amazing experiences across multiple channels. That includes stellar window displays to tempt shoppers without having to hard sell everything in your store. It means providing a great website that gives your customers all the information they could possibly need for a high-quality shopping experience. Finally, it means creating a blog that offers more than content about your products or services, as well as a compelling social media strategy that posts on the platforms your customers like to use.

Generously compensate your employees – Many small businesses stay small because they think small and attempt to limit every cost. Employees aren’t a cost you should skimp on.  Stores that pay higher wages experience lower turnover rates and higher profitability. Don’t sacrifice your store’s ability to create exceptional customer experiences for employees who are willing to work for low wages.

Provide thorough training –  Shift Learning indicates that untrained employees who feel underutilized are more likely to become frustrated with their job and will be less loyal to their company. This translates into reduced productivity, more mistakes, and failure to meet minimum standards. Businesses improve when their employees are continually empowered through training and development.

When employees receive the proper retail sales training, they will develop the confidence and skills to create exceptional customer experiences. This will give your retail business the competitive edge you need to achieve your organizational goals and realize better profits.

Be selective with your inventory – Your customers don’t want more choices. They’re looking for the best choice. That means you need to be capable of organizing and presenting an expertly curated selection of products that make it easy for customers to clearly see why they have advantages over the competitors.

Improve customer engagement – Don’t station a greeter at the front of the store who parrots, “Hi, how are you today?” That’s not engaging. The best retailers know that you need to engage the customer in a conversation. We’re not talking about peppering them with 100 questions or simply directing them to a kiosk. You need to actually engage the customer in a back-and-forth dialogue that is helpful, relevant, and most importantly, human.

Encourage customers to shop with you again –  “The last thing your customers will take with them,” says The Retail Doctor, “is how you sent them back into their own world.” While a sincere “Thank You” is fine, the best stores make a point to come around the counter, thank the customer again for their purchase, and invite them to return. It’s more friendly, more engaged and definitely more memorable.

Conclusion

Your store’s success depends on how well you know your customers because it helps you better manage demand and carve out a lucrative niche in a competitive market.

“Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet”. ~ Kevin Stirtz

The proven strategies mentioned above will help you be a better retailer so you can attract the customers who will contribute to your store’s revenue and business growth.

 

About Author

Sherene Funk

Sherene Funk is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime (but that doesn't stop her from collecting more). A graduate of Brigham Young University, she has published several humorous non-fiction articles and worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current position as a writer on modern retailing at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with other small business owners through informative articles that address their unique needs.

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