Retailers can turn a visit to their store into a contagious, shareable experience with four simple strategies.
When was the last time someone told you that you just “had” to see something? They had a great experience and wanted to share it with you. When your customers have an experience like that in your store, you’ve piqued their interest and they will want to share their enthusiasm with others. To help create that kind of contagious excitement, try out these four strategies in your pet store:
1. Building a unique brand
The key to being unique is discovering what items your customer can’t find elsewhere, getting them and then displaying them in an unusual way. Your branding process should create a memorable, repeatable, recognizable and unique way of doing business. Customers should say, “I see you everywhere, and I tell everyone I know what unusual and great products you have.”
2. Hosting unpredictable events
Events are business builders, but the unusual events that make the customers say, “I can’t miss that” are what will draw people in. If you have a unique idea, put feet to it and market it everywhere your customer is. Planning is key, so start by asking yourself the right questions. What is the product or service you will focus on, how will you market it, how many people do you expect to draw, how much staff do you need to have on hand and what is the projected return on experience? A pet fashion show, a cooking lesson on making delectable treats or a seminar on how to take better pet photos from a professional photographer are just some ideas that could draw visitors and generate additional sales.
3. Creating an infectious atmosphere
Did you know that the first impression of your store is made within the first 10 seconds of someone walking through your door? The goal is to attract them emotionally through all five senses. Merchandising isn’t just about housing merchandise, it’s about displaying it in such a way that your customer wants to relax and spend time and money. Evaluate your store layout, signage, music, colors, lighting and window displays to see if the atmosphere creates excitement with visitors.
4. Delivering new and different
The customer wants what isn’t on the floor yet. They expect you to be their connection to what’s new and to show them how quickly they can buy it and use it. Find that item that they want to break the door down to get. Delivering on that sense of urgency is part of the job of your “superhero” staff. A superhero goes out of their way to make sure that the customer is informed and thrilled to do business with you and that they are able to answer any question.
These four strategies work together to create strong word-of-mouth advertising for your business. Unique items, dynamic displays and special events starring your superhero employees will inspire customers to describe your store as an exciting place to shop.
Anne Obarski, founder of Merchandising Concepts, works with companies to develop and deliver innovative ways to keep customers coming back and spreading the word about their service experience every step of the way. She believes that customer service isn’t about the transaction, it’s about transforming customer relationships into a contagious experience worth spreading. Her interactive keynotes and workshops help challenge leaders, create more effective sales teams and improve performance at every customer service touchpoint.