It used to be that you could out advertise, promote and coupon your competition but so much has changed today in the world of retail. How we court consumers and build long-trusting relationships with them involves many levels.
Big boys like Sears, The Source, Best Buy, Future Shop and Staples are having a hard time. We could assume that they have the means to conjure up an impressive marketing campaign, but what we are seeing is that it takes more than that. One common factor that these businesses share is the “Big, everything under one big umbrella” greyness that is no longer resonating with the current consumer. Shopping in these stores is a chore as you move around from department to department through aisles of things you are not interested in at the moment.
If you’re going to get people to leave the comforts of their computers to come out and feel, smell, hear, see and buy the merchandise, you have to compel them by engaging them on all those levels.
You need to carve out a demonstrable niche while making it fun to come into your store. The right music and decor are certainly great places to start but you have to include so much more to the package. You’re online presence needs to be fun and your social media needs to be real conversations and about problem-solving for your consumers.
You need them to perceive you as a specialist where they can get their questions answered and a place they know they can easily get in and out of. To hold your consumers attention and affection you’ve got to keep making every new visit an adventure and an experience. You can do this by moving in new inventory with smaller quantities to create a “buy now or miss out” feeling.
Shopping centres, who are also suffering, have begun the transformation to more than just a strip of boutique stores. Many of them are looking at creating concert venues and other family fun things to make it an appointment to hang around the mall again.
Sales = Fun experience = music, video, technology, online experience, problem solving, scarcity and branding.
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