A retailer cannot sit back thinking cracking the code to retail real estate is enough to get the most shoppers to his store. Attracting more shoppers and having them keep coming back to you versus going to another store is becoming a puzzle which many retailers are still trying to solve. Years ago, retailers used to think that the key factors of being successful were: a) being in a good location b) ensuring they had enough product stock c) maintaining a competitive price d) being in a good location and e) being in a good location. Today, they have to consider many more factors before and after setting up their haven of shopping in a mall or as an independent.
Positioning of Your Store is Key to Increasing Store Traffic
Being seen, recognized, differentiated and remembered is the sequence of events in a shopper’s mind before they enter a store. The retailer needs to remember that “position” is not just the physical location of the store. How a store is positioned in the prospective shopper’s mind is more important. The market today has a plethora of players. To stand above competition, a smart retailer needs to stand above the other retail shops in the shopper’s mind….by being different and by offering a valuable shopping experience even before the shopper enters their store.
How Does a Retailer Ensure Standing Above the Clutter in the Shopper’s Mind?
Having an attractive storefront by having a visually strong retail brand identity is key. This implies having an easy-to-remember brand name, an attractive logo which is synergistic with what the store sells and what it stands for. This is what enhances the store’s brand recall. When The Beer Store changed its straight-faced logo, a mere inclusion of a tilted glass with frothy beer added to its contemporary look and feel.
Consistency in brand messaging across all points of consumer contact adds to the recall. Years ago, when the grocery chain Dominion in Ontario, went through an image revamping exercise, with its memorable “We are fresh obsessed” signature on all advertising, it did not stop there. All point-of-sale, shopping bags, posters and flyers showed the same look, feel, logo and signature. That no shopper would confuse a Dominion store with a Loblaw store was the goal. And they succeeded.
Retailers Should Aim to Personalize the Shopper’s Shopping Experience
Those retailers who can add a touch of difference to their shopping ambience are bound to succeed. Take Dominion as an example again. The obsession to being fresh became a mantra for the store. So much so, even the store’s telephone on-hold message carried the same message of being Fresh obsessed. An employee ended the phone call with the signature “….We are fresh obsessed….” Sounds a bit crazy? Well, if anything, it just highlighted the obsessive nature of the retailer, letting their customers know why they are different. Plus they succeeded in adding fun to an otherwise boring ritual of grocery shopping.
Staying true to your Retail Brand Promise Ensures Loyalty
If Dominion claimed they were obsessed about freshness, all their products had to be so. Would slips to being true to the retail brand occur in the process? Probably. But it is then important how the damage control is conducted. At the height of the re-branding campaign for Dominion, a customer noticed a couple of rotten mandarins in her crate, after her check-out. The cashier intervened before the shopper could make her angst known…immediately a call for a replacement was made, the shopper was refunded the cost of the crate of mandarins. She was handed a fresh new crate of mandarins free, saying, “We are also obsessed about keeping you happy.” Dominion did not lose that customer. If anything, her share of wallet spent at Dominion increased.
Now isn’t that a retail smart way to attract and retain your clientele whilst maintaining your brand identity?