This is the start of an ad hoc series of personal experiences I have with brands and some recommendations to help improve the experience.
Running a small retail business is tough, particularly in today’s climate. It’s even tougher in the competitive retail wine business in a small muslim country with high taxes on alcohol. Key to building a profitable business will be the relationship between the company and their customers.
Yesterday evening I walked into my local wine shop where I have shopped off and on for 5 years and was greeted with a “Hi, we haven’t seen you for a long time.” I mumbled a reply and the clerk nodded and carried on reading her magazine. This is not the first time I have gone ‘AWOL’ but the reason for my absense is the same. I haven’t been there for a while because about 3 months ago I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse and bought 5 cases of wine from another company.
Although I got a great deal on the wine there is no reason why my regular wine shop couldn’t have given me the same deal. But of course they didn’t know about it because they don’t make an effort to collect data on me. They just hope that I will come by every now and then and buy something. And if I don’t, never mind, there will be other new customers to replace me. To a certain extent this is true but wouldn’t it make more sense to look at ways to encourage those people who are already customers to come back again? And get to know those that come on a regular basis to increase share of wallet and develop brand ambassadors?
Here are 5 useful tips for any small retail business looking to be more profitable
1) You have a 15% chance of selling to a new customer and a 50% chance of selling to an existing customer. Distribute your resources accordingly.
2) Invest in database software that will allow you to store data about your customers
3) Don’t be afraid to ask for contact information from new and existing customers
4) Invest time in keying in customer data that you can use to determine buying patterns, product preferences and so on
5) Train your staff to get to know your customers.