This holiday season is one for the books, with new customer expectations to handle and brand new fulfillmentchallenges to conquer. With COVID-19 still going strong, it is undeniably a tricky time to determine how to correctly”celebrate” the end of the year and bring joy into clients’ lives.
But try we must! The holidays are still a time to reflect on the previous twelve months and hopefully spread some cheer.
Especially if you’re operating a physical retail store, you might have an even larger role to play in reminding the neighborhood audience what is worth observing in 2020.
This position creates a special opportunity to be noticed and foster close relationships with clients at a time when many may be feeling more isolated than ever before.
“More than half (53 percent ) of customers indicated that they would rather buy from a local business on a national retailer throughout the pandemic.
By taking time to nurture relationships with these clients now, you will be setting yourself up to maximize their overall lifetime value. By way of example, you might introduce your community shop to a customer who has previously just shopped with you online. By turning that client into an omnichannel shopper, you are very likely to improve their entire lifetime value by 30 percent .
Based on how big your enterprise, local can mean quite a few different things.
As an example, if you’ve got multiple stores in 1 town, maybe local signifies a specific neighborhood or zip code. In case you have only 1 shop, or a single shop in cities all around the nation, it might mean regionally neighborhood or neighborhood on a country level. In any event, the strategies you use to create relationships with your community should stem from a shared sense of place.
Based on what local means for you, you may frequent the same restaurants as your clients, get caught off guard by the exact same weather, get stuck at exactly the exact same traffic, or perhaps be neighbours! These kind of localized information can make clients feel attached to your brand, your shop, and your staff.
So as to really place a localized plan in place, you will first have to identify your regional customers. Figuring out how many clients you have in an area can help you better gauge what projects are achievable, what other regional partners it is possible to involve, and what type of budget is required to bring the idea to life.
There are a couple ways to get a sense of the neighborhood audience size, particularly if you also run an internet store.
First, you may use your customers‘ billing and shipping addresses to see if they live nearby.
Similarly, you can check your email subscriber list to find out whether individuals have contained their zip code as part of the client profiles.
Now that you’ve got a general idea of audience size, you can set targets around acquiring local first-time buyers, or engaging present customers to buy again.
5 Strategies for linking with local clients
Below we have outlined five unique ways to create relationships with your neighborhood audience this holiday season.
Whether you’re operating only 1 shop, or are repeating a plan across a complete fleet, the goal is to make customers feel like every shop uniquely understands their needs as a local resident, and invite them to make the most of your brand’s physical retail presence.
1. Invite them to book an appointment in your shop
In-store appointments are a special service which enhances a clients’ sense of belonging and makes them feel particularly special. Because of COVID, appointment bookings have surged in popularity for various different reasons, too.
For one, appointments allow you, as the merchant, better prediction how busy the shop will be and proactively limit overcrowding. For another, appointments offer customers peace of mind and assurance that a visit to the shop will be safe and rewarding.
Additionally, launching shop appointments has become more and more simple, with a range of apps available to allow customers to reserve a time for a trip right on your site.
Offering this sort of booking platform on your website reinforces awareness about your brick-and-mortar shop (whether clients schedule an appointment or not), and may also help grow your general traffic capture rate since clients will offer you their contact information when they book.
If you choose to launch appointments, it is important to also market exactly what a client can expect to escape the appointment.
You will want to answer questions like:
Will the shop be available to anyone else during the appointment?
What things can they expect to see and try on in-person in comparison to what is on the site?
What additional security measures will the shop be taking? (e.g. temperature tests )
After an appointment is booked, ensure that you follow up with extra messaging so the customer feels confident showing up.
2. Invite them to video chat
Among the most valuable sections of having a shop is also having a shop team; salespeople that are knowledgeable not only about the goods, but also about how those products fit into the local culture.
Especially with clients more reluctant to invest some time in public, offering the chance to connect over video using a local expert can be a terrific way for them to still make a”face-to-face” connection without needing to actually be in the shop.
Your salespeople should feel empowered to utilize video chats to construct a rapport with clients, and view this measure as an additional bonus to taking their digital audience on a tour of what is available at the store. Forging trust using these calls between salesperson and client may cause higher engagement and decrease fear of buyer’s remorse.
Video-chatting can come in many forms, such as apps like FaceTime and Zoom. Leaving the platform choice up to the client is also an exceptional way to make sure they do not get stage fright.
Not everyone has the exact same degree of comfort with technology, so making sure that they understand how to use the app itself is imperative to a productive encounter. Once a client decides to video chat, it is important for your sales staff to concentrate more on cultivating a connection as opposed to closing a sale.
The sale may come later through additional customer care and promotion, but the movie chat is intended to open the door.
Gift-giving is very likely to be particularly tricky this year because visiting a store to pick out a present, or window shopping with no real plan, might not be easy or possible. Which poses yet another exceptional problem for shops to resolve: what does the consumer need for this new holiday”normal”?
When it’s gift-wrapping, same-day shipping, curbside pick-up, or curated gift guides, that is where you come in. Think of how you may be the all-in-one gifting option by covering all of the gift-giving bases.
Particularly if your shop is already equipped to deliver things locally, clients should know they could have everything handled right through you, decreasing the places that they need to go around the city and the stress that comes along with it.
In regards to curated gift guides, sales partners knowledge is a very important resource. Give customers a simple way to communicate who they are searching for, and offer to send them gifting options over text or email.
As soon as you’ve opened up this direct line of communication, it is going to be easy to verify all of the other logistical details so all of your client has to do is sit back and sip hot cocoa while their presents are sent out .
4. Contain a hand-written note with their order
Speaking of services, if you’re already offering things like purchase online/pick-up in shop or curbside pickup, you can brighten up and customize any bundle by dropping a favorable hand-written note or holiday card inside.
In addition to being a wonderful gesture, that note may also function as a platform for sharing more about your shop, your staff, or your any promotions. Do not forget to include your personal contact information so clients can get in touch with you whenever they require.
5. Send them a present
If you notice customers aren’t coming to you, you may also try visiting them (digitally). Consider collaborating with a few regional companies and sending your top customers in the area a special offer or discount code into some other neighborhood merchant.
This strategy works as a fantastic little gift of gratitude for VIPs, and also creates a virtuous cycle of purchasing locally. This strategy may also help open up your company to new clients who might not have considered your goods previously. By local companies working together, you can ensure a more successful holiday season for the entire community.
These are simply a couple ideas to get your mind working on how to breed good will and connection among your clients. Especially now when we are all working hard at maintaining relationships, consider ways to make that part of life somewhat easier for your audience this holiday season.