In times of annual strategy reviews and budgeting processes, (brand) retail executives ask themselves how to drive sales. Is the right thing to increase marketing spending to drive brand building and awareness or is it better to focus on frequency and conversion rate? In retail, home truly is where the heart is. Before you start thinking about targeting new customers or repositioning the brand, be pragmatic and focus on your existing customers. It’ll save you a lot of money and spare you time and risk.
What do you know about your store visitors?
Let’s be honest, when was the last time you considered the view of those who presumably are interested in you – your visitors in the store? Do you know who they are and why they came? Just go to your stores and ask them – conduct exit interviews. Find out what they were looking for, why they purchased and, most important, why they didn’t purchase. You will learn whether they live in the neighbourhood, meaning that local or direct marketing with special offers makes sense. Or if your entrance area and window are strong enough to pull passers into the store. It will be interesting to learn if visitors left with empty hands because they didn’t like the store atmosphere, were intimidated by the salespeople, could not find what they were looking for or did not find their sizes. This and a lot more will give you inspiration for concrete actions to drive conversion rate and frequency. Remember, on a high street of a large German city, an average of more than four million people pass your high-rent store annually. Just imagine the potential if you know more about them.
5 Tips to learn about your customer the pragmatic way
- Know what you want to find out. Define objectives first and then methodology and a questionnaire.
- Stay focused on what you want to know. There is a big temptation to try to find out too much, which often leads to diluted results.
- Stay pragmatic. It’s not representative anyway, but it will give you great inspiration to drive conversion and frequency.
- Share learnings on your visitors and customers with the organisation. Involve managers from retail marketing, merchandising, VM, design, store design. This communication will give guidance and ensure that findings reach your managers.
- Keep on learning. Conduct regular consumer research to track developments and address new topics.
Well, every journey starts with a first step. One of our clients learned about substantial sales potential, if only its customer service were of higher quality. Often it seems so obvious, but what makes the difference is involving and inspiring the key managers – ultimately to create a customer-centric organisation. So it may be no coincidence that one of our clients was able to bring the customer back into the center of all thoughts and activities and double the revenue in the past five years with a L4L more than 10%.
Freely adapted from the saying “Home is where the heart is”: only once you know who your existing customer is, is it worth finding out more about your target customer. How to do this pragmatically might be my next Topic.