1. Master Your Niche
Big box stores may have a larger amount of shelf space for inventory of all kinds, but your business can create and master a niche unique to you. Choose a business niche that the larger store may be overlooking and become an expert in your field. Customers today have the technology at their fingertips to price shop and compare online, but your expert knowledge will give you an edge when your customer has questions and concerns.
2. Create Store Loyalty
Use reward programs and treat your customers to discounts and excellent customer service to strengthen your brand loyalty. Focus on a program that rewards repeat purchases and benefits your customers. A free gift may work well for one customer and another may prefer a coupon for future visits. Choose a program that your customers respond to in a positive manner.
3. Get to Know Your Customers
Big box stores cannot focus on specific customers and treat them with a personal relationship. This gives your store the upper hand. Make each customer feel special—like you’re old friends. The best way to achieve this is to be courteous and helpful the minute the customer walks through your door.
4. Hire Excellent Staff
Your staff should be treated fairly and should enjoy working for you. Employees will treat customers the way their employers treat them. Train your employees thoroughly with the proper job expectations. Show sincere interest in them and listen to their concerns.
5. Take Advantage of Technology
Social media is a great way to connect on a personal level with your customers and keep them updated on store events. Make your posts interactive, and update frequently. It’s helpful to include content related to your products including video tutorials or Pinterest pins for inspiration.
6. Give Your Store Character
Big box stores are a homogenized recipe of plain and impersonal businesses. Make your store a relaxing place to shop and give it plenty of character to set it apart. Lighting is very important and should set the proper tone. Greet every customer that enters the door and let them know there are employees nearby in case they have questions.
7. Host Community Events
Join forces with other small businesses to boost your store’s reputation. Other stores in your area may be willing to unite for joint community events such as a shopping extravaganza or charity event. Get involved with the local schools and incorporate their colors into your décor. Host workshops and seminars to offer hands-on help. Working with the local community draws customers in and creates personal relationships that inspire loyalty.
Stay Ahead of the Game
Use these tactics to join your local community and set your store apart from the big box retailers.
Do you use any of these tactics in your store? Tell us how effective they are in the comments below!
Article written by: Shayla Eaton