When it comes to the retail business, it is perhaps more important than ever that a company knows its customer base inside out. With the digital age and the staggering popularity of online shopping continuing to beat a path to the door – it is now more vital than ever that retail companies know how to successfully conduct and use market research data.
The retail landscape is changing, says CACI.co.uk expert Jonathan Burston. Companies can no longer rely on the consumer need to try before they buy, or to see a product before they decide it’s good enough. They can no longer guarantee that customers will be coming through the door and not simply spending their cash online. It’s a delicate situation and one which many big-name retailers have gotten fatally caught up in, but it doesn’t have to be a death knell for the retail industry – not if companies can learn to utilize invaluable market research data.
Going The Extra Mile
According to MarketingDonut.co.uk journalist Antony Welfare, providing great customer service starts with understanding your customer. He believes that getting to know your consumer base is the first step towards running any successful retail business. Going the extra mile for individual customers can mean the difference between a satisfactory but impersonal service and a service that customers are going to go home and tell their friends and family about. Don’t be afraid to ask consumers what it is they want from a retail business like yours – ask them what it is they like about your products and what it is they would change. If you can identify exactly what it is that customers really want – you can give it to them. Also, never underestimate the power of tiny details like remembering a regular customer’s name or the last conversation you had with them. It’s stuff like this that keeps people coming back.
Keep In Touch
Use the personal information that you gather from customers to incentivize shopping in your store. Don’t be afraid to distribute promotional literature through the mail but do be careful not to plague consumers with irrelevant or useless information – nobody likes to receive mountains of junk mail. If it’s a wallet’s worth of free coupons or money off vouchers though, plenty of people will be happy to use them in store. Avoid targeting new customers too often with this technique – it’s bound to be a lot more favorable to people who already love your products and it’ll help to cement your relationship with them, say the experts at MicrosoftBusinessHub.com
When it comes to retail, it’s important to realize that your customers are all going to have different motives and reasons for shopping at your store. The only way to find out what these motives and reasons might be is to find out who your customers are. Are most of your customers old or young? What economic class do they belong to? Do they have a little or a lot of money to spend? Are they male or female? Do they buy for themselves or for others? Once you have this information to hand, you can begin to construct an accurate portrait of your customer base and the areas in which you regularly fall short. For example, if your business has declined in popularity with young people over the last ten years – find out why. It could because younger generations are more prone to online spending. Why not experiment with ways in which you can cater to all or as many demographics as possible?