What is it that makes people loyal to a particular retailer? Is it the prices, the quality of the products, or the way that they are treated by the store?
For discount stores, like Wal-Mart, the attraction is price. There are always transaction buyers – people who think only of price. They read the ads and visit stores only when what they want is on sale. They have absolutely no loyalty. If you are not a mass-market discounter, you cannot make money from such customers. Rather then cultivate this type of market, , it would be better to provide them with the telephone numbers of your competitors and invite them to visit them. For a regular retailer to compete with a mass discounter on his own turf is almost committing suicide.
Product quality is important in customer retention, but only up to a point. A long time ago If we wanted quality products, it could take a day’s journey to travel and find known large retail brands … Those days are over. Retailing has become so advanced that most customers are within easy driving distance of a large mall or shopping center with a wide variety of stores having anything that they could conceivably want to buy.
The relationship with the retailer is what keeps people coming back to a given location versus another.
What can be done to make your operation unique as far as relationship building?
The answer, –> develop methods to know your customers ” better than the other retailers know their customers and communicate with them as much as you intelligently can…
Get to know them build a relationship with them in store and outside, understand how they react to your promotions, how they perceive you as an owner, your marketing efforts, your sales, your sales people, your inventory, and the efforts you devote to treating them special…
Only then will you understand the full scope of what will make your customers loyal!
Marketing Management Group, specializes in relationship management ! for more information on 360 degree program, visit us at: mmgroupusa.com
For more information on the implementation of our program, www.mmgroupusa.com
We are often ask to define our position on what marketing is and should be…Find below the answer to the question: what is marketing…?
We believe that marketing is (and should be) :
1-the “continual education of a customer or prospect for the life of that customer on the advantages and benefits of the retail operation and what a transactional relationship with your location will bring them more or different then any other retailer will;
2- the intelligently formulated process of increasing their demand or desire for your products;
3- the strategic process of bringing clients and prospects to closure and to completed action through relationships and communication.
In other words 1- To educate prospects and customers on your unique selling proposition
2- To communicate in order to increase the demand for your product
3- To bring prospects and clients to closure with a transaction or a sale
We are adamant about the fact that Marketing cannot be executed without a tangible way of reaching your customers and prospects ( therefore a database)…And the right database cannot be created without a data collection process…
To market effectively you need to create a list of prospects and clients with as much contact information as possible, and then create and execute marketing campaigns to reach out to your lists and convert transactions from it!
Become a student of possibilities and practice the art of marketing!
There are only 3 ways of increasing the income of any retail operation:
1- Increase your number of new clients
2– Get your regular clients that have transacted with you in the past to transact more often with you …
3- Increase the amount of money spent in your location for each transaction (through up selling and/or cross selling…)
No matter what you do, it always comes back to one of those 3 strategies…
As a retailer two different attitudes can be adopted towards the first 2 strategies…(we are assuming that as a retailer you and/or your team are skilled at the art of ethically up selling and cross selling your clients in order to maximize each of your transactions)
Attitude 1—-> Relying on organic or natural growth (word of mouth, street or mall traffic exposure, posting sale signs in windows, internet exposure via website, Facebook etc…In our jargon we call this the “sit and wait” strategy…(often adopted by retailers because every dollar spent on advertising in the past have never yielded any return or results…)
The problem with relying on organic growth is that so many retailers do the same things, that it has less and less effect on the marketplace. When new retailers pop up in a given market and when established competition fights to artificially increase their organic growth, some kind of driving force pulling clients and prospects to a location has to be exploited otherwise the “spending value” of the market gets diluted and therefore the income of retailers suffers…
Another issue with organic growth is that the performance of any business is usually measured on a 12 month time line… Organic growth does not work, rely or care about this 12 month time line…In other words, “it marches to the beat of its own drum” (a bit like word of mouth)…
Attitude 2—-> a) Artificially accelerating your organic growth for new transactions… Through a marketing plan implemented and executed using a a mix of advertising and marketing with an objective to drive in new clients via specific campaigns, or ads…
b) Artificially accelerating organic growth for residual transactions. In other words reaching out via physical mail, email and/or phone calls to clients that have transacted in the retailer’s location in the past in order to increase the ratio of repeat transactions they do in a year…
We have found over the years, that the greatest advantage of a retailer adopting the attitude of artificially accelerating growth can be found in their belief system. They are usually resolved about standing out and being pro-active when it comes to fighting for clients and prospects in their marketplace, in order to maximize their sales on a 12 month time line… As an interesting analogy, they want to strategically shout their presence rather than calmly announce it…We have noticed that this attitude and mindset can find its origin sometimes to a survival instinct for the retail business and at other times to the burning desire to always increase the performance of the retail operation year after year.
– Corporate retailers as a culture will always adopt a strategic mix of artificially accelerating growth for new clients and residual transactions…
-The greatest success stories in stand alone retail operations often have adopted this attitude as well…
-The ultra high end brands have had no choice but to slowly incorporate this attitude into their culture to stand a chance and compete…
As a marketing firm dedicated to driving new business and increasing residual transactions, we are firm believers that organic growth is a thing of the past when it comes to surviving in a retail marketplace… Since striving rather then surviving should be every retailers reality and focus it makes all the sense in the world to perfect the skill of artificially increasing your organic growth…
In any marketing approach, the path to obtaining results is not invented but rather learned through adjustments made from trial and error… Interestingly enough the solutions implemented today to achieve results might not be the solutions that need to be applied tomorrow…Moving on the technological band wagon too early because it is a trend can cause a retailer expenses with lacking financial results…Technology should carefully be used as a logical evolution that is overwhelmingly craved by your marketplace.
The same way a retailer refers to specialist and skilled experts to manufacture what they sell, retail marketing specialists should be used to exploit new revenue streams; They are in the business of adjusting to trends and responses to achieve measurable results…
Whether you have relied on organic growth in the past or have practiced the art of accelerating it, you need to realize that more aggressive sale objectives are not only a possibility but an obtainable reality and your current situation is the starting point…
As a retailer if you are a student of possibilities, then a program like the one we offer can teach you the paradigms necessary to increase your sales and implement them for you…
Fifteen Benefits of Building a Database with mmgroupusa.com
1. Help determine how much each customer is worth.
2. Identify best customers and worst customers.
3. Offer best customers special deals etc.
4. Increase Lifetime Value of customers by reducing defections, increasing the amount of money spent by customers, reducing marketing costs, and increasing referrals.
- Use the information to build better relationships with your best customers.
- Profile customers using a combination of behavioral, demographic, and psychographic variables.
- “Clone” best customers.
- Be more targeted in acquisition efforts by determining the best predictors of a profitable customer.
- Provide different levels of service depending on how valuable a customer is to your organization. In essence you can discriminate between customers.
- Model and segment customers in a variety of ways to make marketing more effective.
11. Communicate in a personal way with each customer. Build a dialog or conversation with customers.
12. Customize offers to the individual.
13. Gather information quickly, cheaply and accurately.
14. Determine the effectiveness of any marketing effort.
2013 Canadian Retail Sales for clothing and accessories reach highest numbers in 3 years. Outlook positive for continuing growth for 2014 . See sales chart growth for 2013 below…