20 May 2019

Encouraging Word of Mouth in the Retail Industry

One of the most important marketing methods in the retail industry is word of mouth. This applies to all retail sectors from furniture and gifts to jewellery and clothing. A huge 80% of furniture retailers and wholesale furniture suppliers said word of mouth marketing was their most effective tool.

The reason it is so powerful is because it is the most trustworthy source of information. When consumer’s peers recommend products, the consumer doesn’t feel they are being fed false knowledge. While social media can play a role in spreading word of mouth, offline word of mouth can be just as, if not more, important.

There are five elements that need to be considered by retailers and brands, in order to create positive word of mouth. They are the person spreading the message, the topic they are talking about, the tools they are using to share the information, the retailer’s monitoring of the situation, and their response to what is being said.  

word of mouth

The last two are just as important as the first three yet a lot of retailers fail to acknowledge this. Just because you don’t see what is being said, doesn’t mean nobody else will either. If the situation is not being monitored, negative information can spread like wild fire. It is the retailer’s responsibility to put out the flames before this happens. On the other side, responding to positive feedback, can further encourage this type of behaviour.

While word of mouth is usually organic, there are a few ways, that retailers can push it in the right direction.

1. Engage with feedback – As we’ve said this is really important to encourage positive and discourage negative WOM.

2. Give them subtle reminders – Putting your social medias, and any hastags you use, on your website and around your store can remind your consumers to get in contact and share the message.

3. Customer service – Having exceptional customer service is the best way to have your customers leaving happy. Treat them all like they are your most valuable customer.

4. Use influencers – Word of mouth doesn’t just come from peers, but influencers as well. Send relevant social media personalities your products and ask them to share it online.

5. Run a contest – Contests are another way to encourage people to share the message. This can be done both online and in your store if you want to reach your whole customer base. If you are doing it online, make sure sharing the post is one of the contest requirements. 

Looking for more retail insights? Visit Autumn Fair and take part in our free workshops and seminars.

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