If you own a restaurant, salon, garment shop, or any kind of retail business where you interact directly with end consumers and come into the category of services industry then we believe it is important to read this article and see if your business fits into the future of retail businesses. If not then you should definitely focus on things mentioned in this article which we believe are important for the success of your business in coming years.
It is all about customers in any business and knowing about them, their interests, likes/dislikes, spending power and various other aspects are important in the success of the business. Once you have this knowledge, you can leverage this to create better products/services for your customers and grow your business. So what all information you should know about customers — a) who they are; b) what products/services they use at your stores; c) why they buy those products/services. It is worth putting good efforts in finding such information about the customers as the more you know about customers, the more effective your efforts will be to build your business.
Welcoming all guests with a big smile at the entry gate can be assumed as a great start for personalization but such welcomes are done for all guests, no? The kind of personalization we speak for is to analyse the information collected from “Knowing Your Customers” and assess it to decide what you should be talking first with guests yet different for each customer individually. People want to spend more time and money at places where they feel welcomed, staff know them, their personal preferences e.g. what did they buy last time, what they might require today which they didn’t think but you were able to remind them. For example, if you know a particular customer had bought a nice shirt for his special business meetings and this time you showed him a set of cufflinks which will go perfect on that shirt. The customer might not even have come with the intention of buying cufflinks today but such personalization definitely leads to great conversion of sales and helps in customer loyalty.
This is a no-brainer but sometimes we do miss out on this big time. Few businesses prefer doing standard festival greetings and basic email/SMS marketing with promotional offers which are sent to everyone “again” (refer “Personalization” if you feel there is nothing wrong about such standard marketing efforts). What we do mean with “Keep in touch” is to go an extra mile and remember special dates for customers, new events with their lives, connect them socially/professionally over Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn and various other social networks. For example, if you come to know that your customer’s other venture has got newspaper mention on a large order received from a large multi-national company. The venture might not be even relevant to your business but a special congratulation message from your team can get you huge loyalty points from that customer for life.
Yes, today’s customers prefer convenience in all aspects whether it is about paying from their digital wallets instead of paying in cash or whether asking for home delivery of items at their convenient time only. Sometimes, you might not even get additional money in return for few activities e.g. Home delivery, or additional 1% for payments through credit cards but that should be fine with you all because if the customer sticks to your business, you shall get all such expenses recovered through new sales. There can be cases where you might not be even offering few services but customers want it from your company so that they don’t need to follow up with multiple vendors for one item. We believe it is worth going that extra mile to provide such packages to customers — it is even OK to charge additional payments for additional services which you sourced from third parties and provided them as a full package.
Well, all the 4 points above require attention from all retail businesses but given the level of data collection and analysis required for this, it won’t come cheap if you plan to do this all by yourself especially if you wish to do all these tasks manually!!
Without technology, it would be impossible to expect favourable results from above points. We believe technology will be the most critical part in success of execution and businesses, which are not investing in technologies, either need to start exploring relevant technologies for them or they will be kicked out of the market from competitors soon
We at FreeG WiFi would love to know what technologies you all are using or exploring to achieve greater success in your businesses and how effective they are. You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop your contact details on our contact us page and we would be happy to take it forward from there.
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