The launching is the last step of your adventure, but not the least. In fact, this is key in the retail industry: you have to be ready when welcoming your first clients. Otherwise, they may never come back…
The first thing you have to do is to figure out how to attract your first customers, then you have to keep them and gain their loyalty to finally turn them into ambassadors.
1) Pre-launching: spread the word!
Don’t wait until the last minute to start driving attention to your store. The promotion of your store starts a long time before your opening. If you have not figured out yet how to seduce your audience and how to attract customers into your store, please (Learn more). If you have, before the opening you have to intensify your communication. You have to make sure that the largest number of potential customers knows when the big opening is.
• Get your contact list together. While you have been preparing the launching of your own retail business, you should have collected a lot of email addresses (from influencers, potential customers, etc). It is time to use them and invite them all to the opening. Use Mailchimp to track who opened your email and who did not.
• Social medias. Definitely one of the most effective channels to communicate with your target audience, you have to get really active on Facebook, Twitter and the other social networks you are using. Tell your followers which day will be the opening and invite them to book their tickets on the Eventbrite’s event page you have created. A good tip to persuade people to buy their tickets early is to set-up deadlines or limited numbers associated with prices. Early birds get their tickets for $5 when regular price is $10 for example.
• Local medias and influencers: these medias are the ones that are going to eventually cover your launching. They are your best allies, so help them to create content about you before the launching! Send them all the pictures and information they need to write a good article about your business.
• A great window display. We have already talked about how important it is to attract customers. Do not hesitate to use it to welcome people to join you during the opening event: this is the best way to attract new potential customers. People are attracted by people and music, so push the volume.
• Potloc. If you have used Potloc to find your perfect location, you already know how efficient it is as a broadcast platform. You can use the newsletter tool, the blog or Potloc community to guarantee the success of your opening! Click here if you need more information.
This is the first step you have to do to attract the first customers into your store. Now let’s figure out how to keep them and gain their loyalty.
2) Build your customers loyalty
Once you have attracted your first customers into your store, you have to make sure they want and will come again. Working on retention means working on how you transform a regular client into a recurring one. Having a high percentage of recurring customers will allow your business to be stable and successful: loyal customers spend more, provide free word of mouth promotion and visit more often. This is why building loyalty is one of the most important challenges for a business. Here are four simple ways to increase loyalty and build profits:
• Excellent customer service. You have to be sure that you have an enthusiastic customer service: nice, smart and expert. Most of the customers remember better the first and last moments of their interaction than anything that happens in the middle. It means the way you welcome each customer is critical, so take your time to greet, smile, thank and say goodbye to each customer.
• Listen to customer feedback: You have to be sure it is a great experience for them. So ask for their feedback every time you can. In fact, one great way to keep your customers loyal to your brand is to constantly improve it. Create pools, use social medias, create a guest book, etc. Don’t forget to give them credit when they come with a good idea or suggestion: make sure to thank them on your marketing channels.
• Involve your customers in your content: Every time one of your customers share your content or said something great about your brand in social media, put them in the spotlight and let them know how much you appreciate them. Once they see the reciprocity, they will feel special and grateful and will become one of your most valuable marketing assets.
• Give customer an upgrade. You will certainly have some of your customers that will actively interact with your brand on a regular basis. If you have, you should thank them by offering them something they have never tried in your store. For example, if you have a premium service, give them an upgrade for free next time they will pay you a visit. In fact, the actual cost to you is almost nonexistent compared with the impact those customers can have on your business. Do everything you can so they speak to their friends, family, colleagues and social followers.
Do not forget that the more your build your customers loyalty, the more they are going to provide free word of mouth. They are the best brand ambassadors and they are going to incent new customer to come and discover your store.
3) Increase your community
Above you can find some ideas to increase your community: if you keep your loyal customers happy, you can be sure they are going to talk around them and incite new people to come to your store. But you can also take some additional measures to push them to spread the word:
• Organize some contests. Social media is, one more time, one of the best marketing channels to use. In fact, by regularly engaging your community with contests, you are creating a lot of buzz. Try something like “Like and share that post if you want to win a free something”. It is a win-win strategy: your customers share your brand and invite their community to « like » your page and the winner gets rewarded.
• Surprise your community. Your loyal customers take an interest about you and there are there to support you. It is fair for you to do the same. You can send them a gift card or a product for their birthday, offer special discounts to them and their friends, etc. They will definitely talk about it through their social accounts and, more importantly, they will talk about it in person to their friends, family, colleagues.
• Distribute coupons. You can give coupons to your current customers or create a referral club: if they refer someone, both will have a discount. If need to know more about coupons, please click here.
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