Blue Eyed Sun

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Retail

  • The Rise of Customer Experience in Retail

    The Rise of Customer Experience in Retail

    Last month I had an ‘experience.’ It was fun, exciting, inspiring and adventurous. It was sexy too and stimulated my imagination. It gave me everything I wanted and more. It opened my eyes to new possibilities. Before you ask, no, it wasn’t that. It was something quite different, although we I may blush a little when I share some of my customer experience in a retail store with you.

    As modern retail adapts and evolves, one key area of focus is the 'customer experience.’ John Lewis launched its tech incubator J-Lab to find new was of improving the experience of the in-store shopper as a way of retaining customers and drawing them in to spend more. Last year they trialled an after hours ‘private shopping’ service at their Cheltenham store, where anyone spending £10,000 or more could have the entire store to themselves. 

    My experience was slightly less glamorous, but totally unforgettable. It started on a day out in Camden, which I have not visited for many years. The area attract 28 million tourists a year and the labyrinth of shops and stalls is a retail experience in itself. Wandering around Camden Market and particularly the Stables Market with its ornate wooden doors and equine effigies was an adventure and full of interesting things to buy and eat. It started when a friend coaxed me through a shop entrance flanked by two giant metal robots, with a silver sign above the door that read Cyber Dog.

    Cyber Dog

    Greeting us with a friendly smile as we entered was a girl dressed in cyber goth attire that was a cross between Blade Runner and a Japanese manga creation. In fact most of the store assistants were spectacularly dressed and made up in bright neons, facial piercings, tattoos and futuristic haircuts. 

    The heavy bass of dance music reverberated throughout the store which looked like a spaceship with life size cyborgs and silver robots in cryogenic pods high up on the walls. At the far end of the ground floor an escalator took us down into the bowels of what felt more like a night club than a shop. 

    As we descended the beat got louder and the lighting darker. Everything was bathed in ultra violet light to show off the fluorescent garments and items available to purchase for your next big club night. At the far end of the cavernous underground space, with his booth up on stage and backlit by bright neon stripes, a DJ hunched over the decks with his headphones propped over one ear.

    The basement was made up of different caves to explore. It reminded me of nights out at the End or Fabric in London back in the day. It was fun being in this shop. Things got even more interesting as I scuttled nervously through the adult section and emerged the other side only to turn an even darker shade of crimson when I spotted a woman pole dancing on a small stage in the corner. It caught me by surprise. I grabbed the nearest item to me and headed for the tills. It turned out to be fluorescent yellow thong. “For a friend,” I gabbled at the assistant.

    I later discovered that there are other platforms in the shop where clubbers dressed in store gear are hired to dance above the customers. Aside from my dubious shopping choice, the experience was unlike anything I’d seen before - and this from someone who spent a year of his life partying I mean studying on exchange in Amsterdam.

    What impressed me most was that Cyber Dog understands what it is, understands its customers and goes all in on their commitment to provide them with a retail experience unlike any other. 

    Translating the Experience

    So what can we learn from this experience that can be used in other retail stores?

    Your High Street

    Councils and city planners can definitely do more to encourage fun shopping areas like Camden that are filled with independents, have atmosphere and draw tourists in. The Shambles in York and the North Laines in Brighton both attract bring shoppers from miles around for the experience. Encourage yours to do the same.

    You can work together with other local retailers to create events like the Christmas light experience in Holt or late shopping hours on certain occasions, like House of Cards and other retailers on St Mary’s Street in Wallingford do. 

    Window Displays

    Lights and window displays are a great experience for customers. Gorgeous Hair Boutique in Hove has the tiniest shop with the most incredible window displays. I’m sure customers love seeing them and talking about them. Christmas windows at Selfridges have attracted visitors for years. The next part of their experience is entering the shop.

    In Store

    What does it feel like for customers when they walk into your store? Are they greeted by a staff member at the door? How does the store look from where they are standing? What are the sights, sounds and smells? How do the staff appear? What are they wearing? Is it in keeping with your brand? Do they smile or are they on the phone or gossiping?

    Are there any demonstrations in store? You don’t have to have your team pole dancing in a corner to generate interest, there are plenty of other ideas you can put in place. Christmas gift wrapping classes, greeting card personalisation or even calligraphy demonstrations are a few I know of.

    What is the layout like for your shop? Are the shop fittings tired and worn out or are they inviting and enticing. One of the loveliest shop fits I’ve seen is Arrowsmiths in Broadstairs, where the owner was smart enough to keep the Victorian wooden glass cabinet displays fitted by the chemist that first opened the shop. You can put anything anywhere in that store and it looks good.

    The Oyster Gallery in Mumbles zones their two upstairs rooms by colour and the rooms are laid out like dining rooms filled with products. Organising the colours like this helps customers to imagine how the products might all look and work together to create a feeling.

    The late Lynn Tait always invested heavily in a Santa’s Grotto experience at the Lynn Tait Gallery for the children of Leigh-On-Sea. The kids had a wonderful experience and the parents spent money in the shop. 

    Senses and Feelings

    What sort of music do you play in store? Is it the right experience for your brand? What about smells? Cafes in shops have a head start on others, but there are oil burners with pleasant fragrances that can have positive effects on the experience customers have of your shop.

    Even the things you say have an effect. A reminder that the customer has made a lovely choice helps to alleviate buyer’s angst. Even asking the customer if they found everything they were looking for today adds to the sense of a helpful experience and can increase sales.

    You might think you are already doing a great job, but ask yourself if there is anything extra special you would do if Tom Cruise’s rep called you to say Tom wants to visit your store. How would you make his experience incredible? Free coffee? Private shopping? A free gift wrap service? As marketing expert Geoff Ramm says, “create OMG experiences for your customers.” And as I always say, “Make them shareable.”

    Are you Shareable?

    When customers love the experience you give them, they want to share it with others, so make it easy for them too tag you and drive virtual footfall to you by setting printing your social media accounts on your till receipts, bags, etc. Don’t just put the Instagram logo, make it easy for them by using your @handle. Use calls to action that tell customers why they should follow you on Instagram.

    Change is Coming 

    There is undoubtedly a shift happening towards experience over products. Millennials are said to treasure experience over things, we are all conscious that the we are consuming more resources than our planet can handle. Our abundance of stuff is causing us stress and there is a growing trend towards minimalism. With it is an awakening of consciousness where many are discovering that our happiness and the happiness of those around us does not come down to material goods. By creating incredible retail experiences and selling useful products that people want to buy, use and keep, change is an experience that we can all look forward to.

    How to Future Proof Your Retail Business

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Retailers

    The Importance of Brand Story for your Business

    Customer Experience - Cyber Dog

  • Eight Changes in Retail Technology

    8 Changes Retail Technology

    There are some remarkable changes happening in retail technology at the moment - some of which have already made it into our everyday lives and some which might be on their way to mass adoption in the coming years.

    Here are eight interesting examples of changes in retail technology:

    Pepper Robot Retail Technology

    Robots and AI

    Softbank have been testing a humanoid robot called Pepper in thousands of retail sites. Pepper is fun, speaks 19 languages and is designed to recognise principle human emotions (by analysing facial expressions) and respond accordingly.

    Virtual Shopping Retail Technology

    Virtual Shopping

    Customers can scan a variety of products on a display wall at trains stations and airports and their order will be waiting for them when they return home. Early adopters include Home Plus in South Korea and Tesco, Ocado and John Lewis in the UK.

    Amazon Echo Retail Technology

    Voice

    Voice recognition software has been getting more and more powerful. Amazon Echo and its virtual assistant, Alexa, make it remarkably easy to order almost anything by voice from the comfort of your home.

    Self Service Checkout Retail Technology

    Self-Service Checkout

    Mostly used by Supermarket chains, we’ve all adapted to scanning and paying by ourselves at self service checkout tills. Customers are able to move at their own speed and retailers are able to reduce staff overhead.

    Amazon Go Retail Technology

    Amazon Go

    Amazon have been testing a bricks and mortar grocery store concept in the US. Using their app, you simply walk into the store, grab the items you need and just walk out. There are no tills and payment is taken from your account on exiting the store.

    Payment Tools Retail Technology

    Payment Devices

    Companies like Square, Paypal and iZettle now offer solutions for anyone to be able to retail from anywhere. You can attach a variety of devices to your mobile device and take credit card payments.

    Contactless Retail Technology

    Contactless

    There are now over 100 million contactless bank cards in the UK. We are using them, our watches and our phones to make faster payments for small purchases. Alibaba have recently started debuting payments by facial recognition with 'smile to pay' tech at KFC in China.

    Amazon Drone Retail Technology

    Drones

    Amazon have started making small deliveries by drone with their Prime Air service. Waiting times for certain products are reduced to as little as fifteen minutes from the time of ordering online in the comfort of your home.

    These changes in retail technology can seem daunting for small independent businesses and whilst we won't necessarily want robots manning all our stores in the future it is interesting to see which changes will be widely adopted and which won't. This is turn will give us insights into how consumers like to shop and how we independent retailers can adapt to meet key customer needs.

    Read more on the opportunities and obstacles on The Digital High Street

    How to get more customers to your retail business

    What do consumers want from retailers?

  • 5 Ways to Improve Your Retail Business

    5 Ways To Improve Your Retail BusinessI'm now a quarter of the way into The Greeting Card Project, my YouTube channel where I’m sending more cards each week to try and feel closer to my friends and loved ones. I’ve visited a different shop for each video and have been learning a lot about retail with each visit.

    Here are five ways you can improve your retail business:

    1. Websites

    People are already talking about your shop online so you have to make it easy for them to share and recommend you digitally. Most customers that visit your shop will connect to the internet every day. You need to be there for them too.

    Under each video that I post, I add hyperlinks to all the retailers and publishers that are included so that viewers can easily click through and visit from them. Unfortunately I have not been able to do this for all I have visited as some don’t have websites nor any social media presence.

    If you don’t have a website, people like me can’t hyperlink to your business and you aren’t able to maximise your business presence online. Remember that these links add value to your website over time. They’re like road signs on the digital information super highway, all pointing to your business.

    You need these signs and you need a website. You can keep it really simple and it doesn’t have to cost more than a couple of hundred pounds. Using software like Wordpress you can use templates that are predesigned to be mobile friendly. You can always add shopping functionality later. For now you just need a web presence, even if it’s simply a single page with nice photos of your store saying who you are, where you are and links to any social media accounts you use.

    2. Your Brand

    Shops with their logo on their bags have benefited most because their brand features prominently in the videos when I pay for the cards. I love being able to share the shop brands and so do your happy customers. For instance, the other day I overheard a lady on her phone nearby telling her friend that she was in a lovely coffee shop and didn’t know the name. What a missed opportunity that may be happening countless times a day. To be honest, I still don’t know the name of that coffee shop either. Don’t assume that all of your customers know the name of your shop.

    Make it easy for your customers to know your brand so they can share it. Have it up on the walls, on your bags and even on your pricing labels. Add your web address to your till receipts and to your bags so your fans can rave about you online to their friends.

    3. Get Social

    You don’t have to be on every single social media platform that’s out there. Not all your customers will be using these tools. A lot are though and the majority of the next generations of consumers will be using them in some form or another. We all need to plan for the future of our business.

    I recommend Facebook, Instagram and Twitter primarily for strong engagement on social media. I’m also getting a lot of shares on LinkedIn at the moment due to my large network of over 1,300 connections there; people from diverse careers that I’ve met over the years.

    The people who get the best results tend to post daily and have a planned schedule of what they are sharing and how they are engaging. They are not just blasting out their sales messages. They are helping and engaging with others. Always listen first before posting on social media. Choose the right type of engagement for your followers and your fans before starting.

    Initially you’ll benefit most on social media from improved relationships with suppliers. Most of your card publishers are using these platforms and want to share you with their followers. Tag your suppliers in relevant posts so that they can help you to leverage and grow your presence online with their fans. Make sure you allow yourself to be tagged. Some businesses don’t do this and I think they are missing out too.

    Encourage your employees, friends and family to follow and engage with your brand online to help get it going in the digital domain. Each like, share and follow adds to the importance of your business to the Facebook, Google, Twitter and Instagram algorithms that favour the most active businesses online.

    I have to say that businesses with a website and active social media presence are a lot more attractive to me when choosing who to visit and promote for The Greeting Card Project. I spend a lot of my time and energy on each video, so I’d much rather visit shops that will help my YouTube channel reach a wider audience and get more people around the world sending greeting cards.

    4. The Customer Experience

    Having said that, I’m glad I’m staying open, random and supportive when visiting retailers for this project. That’s because some of the most interesting shops have not had any digital presence. Ironically, these are the ones that I think would benefit most from being online as their back stories are so interesting and their shops are so marvellous. I’m not going to embarrass anyone by mentioning names, if you watch the videos you can probably guess.

    My favourite shops have a mixture of cards and gifts. I prefer trade shows that mix these categories up too as I think you can zone out if looking at too many of the same type of thing. Some supermarkets can feel a bit like this for example. Personally, I prefer the Aladdin’s cave experience, where you feel like you can hunt out treasures for yourself or your loved ones.

    One of the most interesting retail experiences for me was at the Tate Modern which has several different shops that all work in different ways. For example, they have Tate Edit, in which they sell fine art prints and home accessories. As an art collector myself, it was so lovely to be met be a well trained staff member who talked me through the various items with a soft sales approach. Given that purchases in this shop are hundreds if not thousands of pounds, a more refined lifestyle, interiors type of space with a knowledgable sales assistant worked well. It felt more special, exclusive and nurturing.

    Having a mix of products and price points zoned in the right way appears to be a strong way of maximising sales in retail, as are well trained staff who can help customers enjoy their experience.

    5. Be Open Online

    The people who are thriving online are those that aren’t hung up on protecting their own interests and just looking out for themselves. Marketing is different in the digital domain. You are more likely to be following and engaging with everyone in your digital community these days, including your competitors.

    For some this is hard to get their heads around, yet in our industry we all have an interest in encouraging people to send more greeting cards. It doesn’t matter if you are a publisher, supplier, retailer or employee for one of these businesses. It’s one of the reasons organisations like the Greeting Card Association and Giftware Association have been working so hard to include retailers.

    If you are not a member of these associations, I’d encourage you to have a look at joining them. It’s relatively inexpensive for retailers to get involved and they are doing some fantastic work online. Look out for the video I shot of the recent GCA Dragon’s Den style pitching event as a great example of what lovely things we can do if we work together to help one another.

    I’d love your support for The Greeting Card Project too. I need 24 more subscribers to get the vanity URL, which makes the channel easier to share online. Please click here to subscribe.

    Marketing Then vs Now

    What consumers want from retailers

    Seven habits of highly effective retailers

  • Using the 5 Love Languages in Retail

    5 Love Languages RetailAfter thirty years as a marriage counsellor, Greg Chapman knows a thing or two about relationships. He believes that there are 5 Love Languages. All of the important people in our lives have a primary love language that we must learn to speak if we want that person to feel loved and appreciated.

    Improving the way we communicate is invaluable, so here's how I think retailers and business owners can use the 5 love languages to improve their relationships with their customers, staff, suppliers and loved ones.

    Chapman has devised a separate set of Appreciation at Work languages because there are different types of relationships, expectations and boundaries in the workplace. I’m sure that most of us can all fully appreciate these differences, so I’m focussing on the 5 Love Languages.

    Good Intentions

    Before we start it's important to be aware that good intentions are not enough. We must learn to meet each other’s emotional need for love and connection. We instinctively offer this in the way that we wish others would express it to us. When they don’t respond in the way we might we become frustrated. The problem is not sincerity. It’s that we are speaking our language and not theirs.

    Love and Business

    Considering the way your partner prefers to be loved and then speaking in the language that lights them up inside is vital to a happy healthy personal relationship. It’s the same with your children and in your business. This is how we strengthen and maintain our relationships. A friend of mine has a saying “happy wife, happy life.” You could say the same of all your relationships including those of your customers. Keep them happy and you’ll be happy too. We can do this by considering they way they like to be spoken to.

    Here are the 5 Love Languages, how they work and how they might be used in your personal and professional life:

    1. Words of Affirmation

    Your unsolicited compliments and encouragement mean the world to some people. Your words of appreciation will be soaked up like rain on parched soil. If you hear someone say phrases like “I can’t do anything right”, “All you do is criticise” or “nobody notices,” then their love language of choice is words of affirmation. Take time to speak words of gratitude and praise to them.
    It doesn’t matter if they are a member of your family or a member of your team these words will fill them up and light up their day. Try to include words of thanks in your correspondence or dealings with customers, suppliers and staff. Those that speak this love language will feel more connected to you and your business.

    2. Acts of Service

    For these people, actions speak louder than words. When someone complains to us they are actually giving us valuable information. They often reveal their primary love language. If they accuse you of not lifting a finger to help then, for them, you need to do and not say. Nothing will speak to them more deeply emotionally than simple acts of service like making them tea or doing the dishes.

    Offering a free wrapping service to customers in your shop or opening the door for someone are simple ways retailers and their staff can appeal to people who speak this love language. Making your team members a cup of tea or helping them with tasks from time to time will make them feel more appreciated.

    3. Receiving Gifts

    For some people what makes them feel most loved is a gift. Whilst gift giving is universal, what many people do not understand is that for some this is their primary love language and makes them feel most cared for. It’s the thought that counts here.

    Sending a greeting card to these customers thanking them for their business or even just to wish them Merry Christmas will mean a lot. See how your customers and staff respond to receiving gifts or look out for them not feeling acknowledged using the other languages to identify that this is their primary love language. Bring some treats in from your local bakery and remember to get them a little something at Christmas time.

    4. Quality Time

    For some people, nothing says “I love you” like your full, undivided attention. If you hear complaints about not spending enough time together, then turn off the TV, put down your book and look into your partner’s eyes, listen and interact. Men, if your wife walks in the room whilst you are watching the game, turn off the sound and don’t take your eyes off her. If she engages you in conversation turn off the box and give her your undivided attention. She will feel loved and you will bank major brownie points if this is her primary love language.

    When dealing with customers make good eye contact and stay present and focussed on them whilst serving. If they are regular customers, asking after their families and how their day is going are ways to connect deeply with those that use this as their primary love language. Similarly some members of your team will really enjoy you spending some quality teamwork time with them.

    5. Physical Touch

    To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than the appropriate physical touch. Simple gestures like putting your hand on your husband’s shoulder as you walk by or holding hands whilst walking will light up their day.

    One study followed shoppers who entered a bookstore alone and were handed a catalogue then were either touched lightly on the upper arm or not. The touched group shopped 63% longer, spent 23 % more, and had a high higher opinion of the store. Touch can be misinterpreted in the workplace so one has to be considerate with this one. The elbow is the safest place and it must be light and brief. Outside the arm area - backs, legs and hands - are no go zones at work.

    Wait, I can’t do this!

    What if it’s difficult and doesn’t come naturally to you to speak some of these languages? If you choose to love or care for others you will find the appropriate way to express that decision every day. You learn to speak a new language by trying. Like all new things, it will get easier over time.

    You can love your wife, your staff or your customers, but if you don’t show it in a way that is meaningful to them your caring will fall on deaf ears and will not resonate in the same way as it will if you understand and use their primary love language.

    Make the Time

    It’s easy to love others who they are loving us. When we are treated well it’s no biggie to be nice back. The true test of how much you care about people in your life is how we react when they complain or don’t respond to something that you feel is loving or caring. The time when you feel annoyed or disgruntled by these situations is most valuable to you if you stop, listen and consider the love language they wish to be spoken to in. It’s not always the case that we don’t love one another, sometimes we simply aren’t speaking the same language.

    When you take the time to understand the needs of your partner or customers you will find it much easier to resolve conflicts and your relationships will become bountiful. The more resentment and anger you harbour the worse off you will be. Take a moment to think about the five love languages and how you can use them to have a lovely time with all those important people in your life.

    I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all my lovely readers, customers, suppliers, staff, family and friends.I am grateful for being able to spend time with you. You are amazing. I hope that you’ve found these posts to be of some service. Sending you lots of hugs and happiness. Here's a special gift just for you. I hope you have a very merry and prosperous Christmas. See you in 2016!

    Ten Ways Retailers can Appeal to Their Customers

    7 Habits of Highly Effective Retailers

    What I learnt about retail selling from Liberty of London

     

  • How to get more customers to your retail business

    How to Get More Customers Retail Business

    There is no doubt that bricks and mortar retailers have had their work cut out for them in recent years. Take post offices, for instance, many used to enjoy high footfall with many regular visitors collecting benefits cheques, pensions, etc. Much of this is now done by direct debit and, as a result, footfall has dwindled both in their outlets and in their local shopping precincts.

    If falling footfall offline is difficult, building traffic to an ecommerce site can be even tougher. Opening an online store is a bit like opening shop in the middle of a desert. The upside is that you are not limited a single road leading to it. You can literally develop hundreds of roads for customers to reach your online store. This road building can be done using a combination of social media tools and even some old fashioned marketing. The good news is you can use some of the same principles and tools to get more customers to your bricks and mortar store too.

    Getting started
    Personally, I think it’s really important that all roads lead back to a website that your business owns ie. your own website and not Facebook. Ideally this would be an ecommerce site or a blog with content that is updated on a regular basis. Even if it isn’t, make sure that you set up a simple page with some nice images on a domain that is yours. Over time the links to your website are going to be more and more valuable for search engine optimisation (SEO) and will act as a collection point towards which all of your online and offline efforts direct customers. The sooner you start on building this asset the better.

    Think of all your marketing and each social media profile you create as funnels that regularly channel engaged customers to your website and / or your bricks and mortar store. You might have 1,000 followers and get say 100 of them to visit your shop and 10 of them purchase £20 of goods each for example. Do you see how the numbers funnel down towards sales? From this example, you can see how each extra 1,000 followers you add could generate another £200.

    Content is King
    Your offers, insights, tips and humour all form the basis of the branded content (on your website, blog or social media) that you need to produce on a regular basis to drive visitors to your business. Content is becoming hugely important for generating SEO results that point to your business. Start thinking about the ways that people might find your business (E.g. asking friends, social media, Google, etc). Where and how are they looking for what you offer? Target the online search phrases they use (keywords) and search points (such as Google, Facebook and Twitter) in your content creation and marketing strategy. Use these phrases in tweets, Facebook posts, blog posts, website copy and on product listings in your store.

    Here are some examples of how you can use content to drive engagement with your customers and others in order to drive more customers to your business:

    Images
    Great images are key to driving visitors to your door. Pinterest and Instagram are two image based social media sites that are performing very well for retailers. In fact there is evidence to suggest “reverse showrooming” from these sites, where customers visit retailers in store to purchase items they have seen online via these sites. Images also feature heavily in the feeds of Twitter and Facebook, so if you have shots of something funny, interesting or beautiful in your shop do post them online regularly. For example, some of our retailers have cafes and drive footfall to their door each day posting images of their beautiful cakes on social media.

    If you are photographing greeting cards it is good etiquette to mention the publisher of the cards when posting. Another neat trick is to position a business card with your logo into the shot you take, just in case the image is shared away from your website and the connection is lost. All of our images have our logo on them for this reason and to protect our design copyright.

    Email shots
    It’s worth building your mailing and emailing lists because engagement with them is still strong. As an example, over 30% of my customers open my emails and I generate over £1,000 in sales every time I email them. Make sure that you only contact your list with information that is useful, timely and relevant to them. Try to keep your mailings to an acceptable limit, I tend to mail my customers in the run up to the five trade shows we do each year. Our customers often tell me that they love my receiving my emails as they are so useful and informative. The majority of the articles on my emails links back into evergreen content on our blog, trade show listings or social media channels. All of which funnel towards sales.

    Events
    See if you can speak at events that are relevant to those in your market. For example, I recently spoke at Widdop Bingham’s Summer event for retailers on the topic of social media and I am speaking again at Autumn Fair International next month. I get a lot of publicity, web links and referrals over time from these. If you don’t like public speaking, get yourself to industry events like the GCA or GA AGMs or to local business networking events in your area. You can even hold events at your shop. ‘How to wrap presents’ is a one that would be relevant to most consumers around Christmas for example. Video or photograph these events and add them to your YouTube channel, website and social media channels to drive more engagement with your fans.

    Reward Loyalty
    More and more retailers are feeding back to me how effective these are for their shops. Buy 10 cards get your 11th free is a popular one that drives customers back through retailers doors. Sometimes you can offer these deals through other outlets like local papers. One of our customers ran a successful 25% off promotion in their local paper, for example, and could track it’s success by people who bought their vouchers into the store to claim it.

    Cross Promotion
    Try to find local businesses which would be happy to cross promote your products in exchange for a plug for them in your shop. You might also be able to get flyers or brochures into the relevant press or another business’s mailout. All of these are ways of building new roads in to your business. Use Twitter and Facebook to engage with these businesses and to plan events and offers that can be shared. Track which offers work best using promotional codes. With our wedding business, Ivy Ellen, we even have different 0845 numbers in our different magazine adverts to monitor which work best.

    Referrals
    One of our retailers has built an offline sales funnel leading to her remote store by nurturing relationships with local tour bus companies who literally bring bus loads of customers to her door. She offers the tourists vouchers and finds they almost always spend more money in her shop than she gives away in discounts. Everyone wins. The tourists get a deal and a fun day out, the bus company has happy customers and the retailer boosts her sales. Can you think of something similar you could do in your area?

    Social Media
    All of these examples can be mixed into and promoted with your social media strategy thereby creating more funnels leading towards sales in your shop. Being overly promotional can drive customers away though. Engage with your customers in a meaningful way. All of these suggestions are ways of drawing customers to you without them feeling like they are being sold to. All will enhance your presence in the market place and help to further your business over time.

    To get more customers to your shop, try to focus on what makes your offering important to them. Keeping this in mind, the more useful, engaging and helpful your website and social media strategy the more customers you will find beating a path to your door.

    The Importance of Brand Story in your Retail Business

    5 Ways to Improve Your Retail Business

    Ten Business basics to get right before using social media

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