I was talking a store owner the other day about their lack of store traffic, which obviously is having a negative impact on sales.
As a way to goose the business, they hold events among other initiatives to drive store traffic. They’re also reaching out to professionals in their industry to offer deals to in order to drive traffic.
But while these tactics may impact the business for a day, they’re not long-term fixes because they’re targeting such a narrow audience and diverting attention [and time and energy] from the bigger issues of driving ongoing general consumer traffic.
THE REAL WORLD RETAILING TAKEAWAY
Sometimes it takes a fresh look to refocus your concept.
Every retail store has one target customer: consumers.
And the goal is to get the biggest, broadest awareness among consumers, the very people that come in day in and day out to purchase your goods.
Ask yourself: “What’s the fundamental reason I exist as a retailer?” The answer is because you have a unique brand that is well differentiated from your competitors, making you the must-visit destination in your category.
If you have that, then you have the foundation for a successful retail concept. Of course there are a million other things that can make you successful [or trip you up too]. But a successful brand is one that has a point of differentiation.
Maybe it’s time to pull out the glasses and take a closer look at your concept, to see what makes it unique, to find that element which truly differentiates your concept from your competition. Maybe it’s your mix of merchandise — you have unique, boutique lines that aren’t found many other places. Maybe it’s because your staff is so well-educated and trained that customers flock to your store for expert advice. Maybe it’s because you offer the best deals.
If you’re unsure, grab a sheet of paper and write down the points of differentiation or better yet, ask your customers why they shop with you. You’re going to find one or two reasons that consistently come up.
Whatever your point of differentiation is, you need to find that element, then start marketing it to the general public, as broadly as possible.
Keep in mind that in our fragmented world, marketing via one channel simply isn’t enough anymore. How are you using social media, public relations, your database and more to get the word out to the general consumer marketplace about your concept and its point of differentiation?
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