While not all relationships are created equal, they all begin with the same fundamental framework. Get to know the individual, understand what makes them tick, recognize that they’re unique, and show them you value their time. This framework can help you create a killer in-store experience to engage and increase loyalty with your customers:
Know your shoppers
The first step to creating a meaningful connection is to know your audience. By taking the time to learn someone’s name, understand how they’ve previously interacted with your brand, and pay attention to all of the tiny details that make their day-to-day that much easier, you’re already ahead of the curve. In today’s competitive and fast-paced environment, it’s no longer good enough to mass-blast your database in hopes that the majority will convert. The most effective and thoughtful way to engage with your customers, is to start by understanding who they are.
Provide the right incentives
Incentive can mean any number of things in retail, from a clean and organized store front that draws in the customer, to an informative newsletter that keeps loyalty members up-to-date with the latest merchandise and private events. For me, the most compelling retail experiences I encountered in 2017 were at the sleek and friendly Warby Parker location in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley and a private Rebecca Minkoff event complete with champagne and a game-changing dressing room.
I didn’t need the exhausting 70% off coupons five times a day by brands I was once loyal to because, even operating on a budget, those retailers never know who I am, why I’m there, or what I’m looking for. You have to know what makes your customers tick, and not all audiences are driven by the same blanketed information.
Personalize their experience
Every historical visit to your store, website, mobile app, or pop-up location should serve as vital intel into what that person may be seeking in their future interactions with your brand. Have you ever ordered the perfect old fashioned at a bar and then gone back for a second where they just don’t deliver on quality? Nothing is worse than praising something, bringing all of your friends to experience exactly what you did, and then being disappointed with the lack of delivery. Think proactive instead of retroactive in retail: know your customers, know their history, then shape their future.
Lock in their loyalty
You’ve rolled up your sleeves and put in the work, now make the data work for you. Marketing teams have the difficult task of justifying ROI, fighting for larger budgets, and using every resource they can to help impact the bottom line. Relationships and data take time to build and once you have them, it’s important to nurture them. While there’s no routine to my engagement with the brands I love and am loyal to, there’s something enticing about seeing that personalized message come through that makes me want to keep coming back for more.