How to build a retail strategy that works for your customer
From marketing to merchandising, there’s always one thing you have to have in mind; your customer. This is true whether you’re an online retailer or a bricks and mortar indie. So, as retail prepares to wake up from its lockdown hibernation, how can you ensure you bring your shop back with a strategy that’s better than ever?
Know your customer
It’s been said to death, but it’s true. Before you do anything, you have to know who your customer is, or at least understand who it is you’d like to target. If you can, try to align your strategy with what you know about your customer; when do they shop, which key dates are important to them, what is their average order value. Have a careful look at the customer data you have and try to work out what their spending patterns are; do you have clear peak seasons that you can capitalise on? Or are there key products that you could be making more of in quiet months? Of course, don’t forget to ask your customer directly for their feedback; they are the best source of customer information, after all!
Understand the retail calendar as a whole
Once you’ve got your customer priorities nailed down, you can start to build out a calendar of key dates and times of the year. One of the simplest ways to do this is to group your strategy into the key holidays and dates that we all recognise already. Make a simple spreadsheet with all of the key dates on it and map out your holiday-themed campaigns well ahead of time. If you don’t know where to start, Google have launched a handy infographic detailing all the key stats around the 2021 holidays.
Define your position and proposition
There is some truth the phrase, “you can’t please everyone”. Whatever it is you’re selling, making sure you’re laser-focused on your values and the value you offer your customer is of paramount importance; this is how people will decide whether or not they want to shop with you. Put simply, if they’re not sure how your brand sits with their own values and needs, they’ll go somewhere where they are sure. Take a step back and think about what it is you value as a business owner and translate that into business terms. For example, are you passionate about sustainability? Stock eco-friendly and/ or ethical products. Do you love your local area? Collaborate with other local businesses to really boost your community’s businesses. Whatever it is, make sure it’s authentic and visible to the customer at every touchpoint.
Remember the experience
Part of the joy of shopping is the experience it provides. Whether you’re online, bricks and mortar, or both, make sure your aesthetic is consistent and appealing, and your customer service is second to none. Once retail is able to reopen, try to create a space that is easy to navigate and welcoming to the customer; remember, they might not have been out for a whole year! And when it comes to online, don’t forget to keep up that great experience you may have developed or even launched during lockdown; all signs point to consumers looking to do even more shopping online, so the digital experience is one to nurture even post 12th April.
For even more retail insight, join us this September at Autumn Fair. On 5-8 September 2021, Autumn Fair will return to the NEC Birmingham to refuel retail.
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