By Jim Connolly
In recent years, one of the biggest threats to traditional retailers has been the surge in Internet commerce. Lower overheads and fully automated systems have allowed some online retailers, to compete in a way that’s hard for traditional retailers to match.
Thankfully, as I have shown in previous retail marketing articles, there are things you can do to not only match the online guys, but beat them! (There’s a full list of all previous articles here.)
In today’s article, I’m going to share another way to play to your advantages and increase sales.
Whilst what I am about to share with you has a huge, positive impact, it’s maybe the easiest tip I have ever shared. I was prompted to write about this, after an experience I had yesterday when visiting a local, independent store.
I needed a new saddlebag (or pannier) for my mountain bike. So, while I was in town I went into an independent cycle store and started to look around. I knew the style and size I wanted and was trying to find it.
As I looked around, I made eye contact with the guy who owns the store. As I did, he welcomed me by saying, “Hi Jim!” I don’t use the store very often and I was really impressed that he remembered my name.
Obviously, once he’d greeted me by my name, it started a whole conversation, which would not have happened had he’d not used my name.
Here’s the thing: Initially, the conversation had little to do with me buying anything, but it had everything to do with building a relationship with me, the customer.
As a result, I asked him where his panniers were and he showed me. However, because we were engaged in a general conversation, it was easy for me to ask his advice on replacing my bike’s tires. I wanted to know what were the most puncture-resistant. These tires were something I wasn’t looking to buy yesterday, but they were in stock and I had my car with me, so it would be easy to get them home. So, I bought them too.
Around 10 minutes and $200 later, I left the store. Moreover, I left the store with a great customer experience story to tell my friends.
By starting my customer experience, welcoming me by my name, a number of things happened:
All this started, because of something as basic as a storeowner remembering my name. Those 2 small words transformed a customer experience AND increased what I spent in the store, by around $170.
It’s worth remembering that some of the most valuable gains we can make in retail sales, come when we do the simple things, correctly. Business is all about people, so the more we can humanize the shopping experience, the better it is for the customer and the retailer.
I hope you found this information useful. More importantly, I hope you do something with it.
Don’t forget, there are lots more retail marketing articles and guides for you, over in our free resource section.