In retail location matters, and brick and mortar retailers spend a lot of time and resources in getting new customers to walk in their stores, but that is just the beginning; keeping customers coming back is the key to operating a successful retail operation. Here are some tips on how to do that
Let’s start here, keep reminding them where they are – have associates greet them by using your store name “ Welcome to (store name); Can I help you find something?” Remind them where they are whenever possible – Thank you for shopping at (store name); try to use shopping bags, digital receipts where your store name is prominently displayed. Whenever possible use preprinted hangtags or if you don’t want to invest in them – try a stamp or sticker with your name and logo.
Here is a low-cost value add for your customers, have associates be aware of surprising customers with random acts of kindness (I don’t mean give away free product or discounts) – taking time to carefully package items, spending a little more time to make sure the customer experience is curated for the customer.
Provide accurate information to the customer or product availability. Give associates the tools to know what’s in stock, what’s on the way in and when it can be expected. Pay particular attention to your product mix and train your associates on complimentary and replacement product.
Value your relationships
Loyalty and club programs (especially experienced based ones) are the cornerstone of retail – Club programs can range from simple pricing discounts like grocery stores offer or experience-based ones that many airlines focus on. One of my favorite example of a club program is a neighborhood restaurant who has a point system for visits and once you get to a certain level – they guarantee you a table anytime – I’ve seen them set up temporarily set up tables for their top customers even when fully sold out – I’m sure that those customers feel the restaurant always value their relationship.
Last but by no means least
Consumers want easy access to their favorite stores, have an online site that has accurate information on products and inventory levels (ideally connected to your inventory system) and tied to your POS (so customers have one view into all their activity). This allows customers to view product, make purchases and even process returns at their convenience.
Keep the shopping process simple yet enriching is what will keep them coming back. Keep reminding the customer where they are (frequency of impression is real) and have your associates stay focused on providing a quality experience. These are some simple yet inexpensive ways in driving return activity.