We’ve covered the importance of relationships in a previous article, but it’s such an important aspect that we’re keen to explore new ways you can build that loyalty from your customer base.
We know that a word of mouth referral is a very powerful thing. Quite possibly the best marketing tool you can have is your existing happy customers talking to their friends and relatives about how amazing your store is. But what about inside the store? What can you do to influence your customers towards certain products?
Traditional marketing courses will focus on you selling the benefits rather than the feature, which can be very useful for face-to-face discussions with customers, and great for POS materials positioned around a product, but it’s possible to take the recommendations one step further.
Here’s an idea that will be far more engaging for your customers to read when browsing your shelves: Have a stack of cards available, ideally printed with your logo at the bottom, but blank if that’s all you can get, in a format that suits your shelving sizes, and encourage your team to pick their favourite products and explain why. These handwritten cards will really connect with shoppers and they feel like very personal recommendations.
You could also consider extending this by asking your regular customers to complete a card about their favourite products, as these recommendations will be even more credible if they are written by other shoppers who have an unbiased viewpoint and can offer a genuine review. It’s like an offline version of Amazon product reviews.
You might have seen a similar system being used with miniature chalk boards (very cute if you can get them) in chain book stores around the UK.
Remember to keep things fresh and rotate to new products regularly, try to limit numbers so that it’s not overwhelming, and you want the cards to read along the lines of “it worked for me” or “I love this product because…”.
Monitor the featured products and see how they affect your sales over a period of weeks, and make sure you record this activity and its results in your marketing planner.