Retailers, listen up.

Gone are the days of marketing your store and inventory to one niche audience of consumers. Instead, customers nowadays vary tremendously and demand the attention they each want and – quite frankly – deserve. After all, there are a lot of choices when it comes to shopping, so why should a customer choose to shop with you versus your competitor?

We know… a thousand reasons… and we agree. The catch? You need to communicate these reasons effectively with both your existing customers and potential customers so that they are as excited to shop with you as you are excited to welcome them to shop at your store. To help? Consider the below tips when helping to support the ever-growing, always evolving consumer demands of today’s modern consumers.

Tip #1: Offer your customers personalization.

‘Me, me, me.” Get the idea?

Customers love the idea of personalized attention that they believe speaks uniquely to them. To help, consider how name-drop items can add value to your store inventory and ultimately your store sales, as well. Since name-drop items – which are essential items with either their names or the name of your demographic area, destination location, etc. are identified – can help customers connect themselves more individually to your store inventory, this is always a good idea. Beyond that, however, consider how above and beyond customer service can help support today’s modern customer. At the very least, this should include store standards identified among all your employees on how to greet your customers, support them during their shopping experience, provide them top-notch service during the check-out process and retain them as long-term customers through specific marketing strategies identified by your unique store. When customers feel that they are being pampered and taken care of from stores they support, they are more likely to maintain loyalty to those businesses. Keep this top of mind as you plan your store marketing and selling strategies to help keep customers keep you top of mind, as well.

Tip #2: Consider how your customers’ research items they want to buy.

It used to be that consumers would visit stores and research products along the way. Nowadays, however, customers navigate many roads – both physically and digitally – before ever making a purchase. Keeping this in mind, how are you currently supporting your customers when it comes to their product navigation?

As a retailer, it’s critical to consider where your customers can find you as part of their inventory research. This may include social media, Yelp, your own website, conversations with friends, your physical storefront and more. Among the top considerations, however, will ultimately be whether you carry the inventory today’s consumers want to purchase. To help, be sure you are staying up to date with industry trends and relevant vendors within your unique niche market. Tradeshows, such as the International Gift & Expositions Show (IGES) in Tennessee, are among the best ways to do this. By attending trade shows, you are gaining on-point industry news on the latest trends and market insight while also connecting with vendors – both new and existing – and experiencing industry networking and educational events, as well, such as IGES offers. Factoring in tradeshows as part of your customer management is an essential part of your overall store strategy – and one you need to prioritize right away.

Tip #3: Train your employees to understand the various consumer demographics.

Want to know one of the best-kept secrets in retail? It’s simple really, yet very effective.

‘Learn to read your customers.

Consumers – just like books – have a lot of details attached to them. It’s important that employees aim to understand the variations among consumers – just as books offer, as well – so that they can better support them in their customer service efforts.  This doesn’t happen overnight, but the constant nurture and care of good employee training can help strengthen your store efforts in supporting customers and how they want to shop. Millennials, for example, may respond better to interactive displays and the encouragement to take a selfie in your store (something signage can easily remind them to do) while Baby Boomers would prefer good old fashioned customer service with knowledgeable sales staff and the understanding that sometimes, these customers just want to be left alone.

When you factor in the variations among consumers and how you support them, these details add up to the success – or failure – of your store. Making sure your business understands your consumers is among the top ways in strengthening your store success, so be sure to factor in tradeshow attendance, customer service and understanding the variations among consumers as part of your priorities in helping to support your store.

Author: Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Retail Minded

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