Street businesses face a scenario of change on many fronts: on the one hand, there is the post-pandemic world that has represented profound changes in consumer needs, habits and demands; on the other hand, there are the considerations about the advance of digital commerce that has significantly expanded the options for buyers, making them less loyal.
The challenges are enormous. Therefore, only those entrepreneurs who are capable of understanding them and making the necessary adjustments to the value proposition of their stores will be able to get ahead and grow. Health security cannot be missing from the new strategies (because the pandemic is still among us), the convergence of offline and online strategies and the creation of experiences. Let’s see what this is about.
#1. health security
Given the new normality, physical stores have the obligation to adopt measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus within their facilities; to bring peace of mind to the elderly or most vulnerable, especially at this time when most people have relaxed with the use of face masks.
Do not forget to maintain the main health safety protocols in your premises, such as:
- Mandatory use of face masks for employees and customers
- Limit the capacity
- Respect the healthy distance of one and a half meters
- The use of antibacterial gel
- Frequent cleaning of all work areas
#two. The creation of experiences
What experience can your customers live only in your store? This is the time to think about offering experiences that connect them with their senses and that allow them to get closer to your brands and show them their benefits without trying to sell them directly .
For example, if you sell cosmetics, women are always looking for an expert to show them the ideal foundation for their skin type and skin tone. If your thing is food, you need to do tastings or prepare live recipes . There are other options such as settings, raffles and the announcement of last-minute offers. Here the important thing is creativity, you do not always need to invest a large budget in this type of activation.
#3. The convergence of physical business and the digital world
Even if you want them to visit your store, you must understand that your customers spend a large part of the day on the Internet; therefore, you have to coordinate your efforts to communicate with them in both worlds, whether you have an e-commerce or not, since for consumers your brand is one.
If you have an online store , you can allocate a section of the store to display products that are only sold on that channel (for example, furniture or other items that are very bulky and too expensive to store). Also, show announcements of special offers for those who buy via the Internet . On the other hand, you can offer pick-up options at no cost in the physical store and, of course, the possibility of seeing and trying the products before buying them for the first time.
Remember that most often customers want a complete shopping experience . So they value the good that they can take advantage of each channel. And if you don’t have an online store, reinforce the communication capacity of the brand through social networks.
#4. The adoption of more technology
Faced with an over-informed, impatient and increasingly demanding client, physical businesses need to improve their systems for data storage and management; not only to provide you with better service , but also to get to know you better and make the necessary adjustments in the sales strategy.
Let’s look at some concrete examples. Today, no business can afford that the client has difficulties in obtaining a tax receipt, so it is essential to have a good billing system . In addition, it is important to be able to quickly confirm to the client whether or not we have a product in the warehouse, and this is only possible with a business administration system that has an inventory module incorporated. Finally, to provide good service on the sales floor, you must have the necessary personnel to keep strict control of attendance and arrivals; as well as for the administration of payments you will require a payroll system .
The good news is that today there are many companies that offer platforms adapted to the needs of SMEs, so do not miss out on this fundamental investment for the growth of your company.
#5. Renewed loyalty programs
Did you know that more than 70% of customers repeat their visit to those stores that have loyalty programs, such as points cards, cashback programs (which return a percentage of the ticket) or shopping clubs? But, of course, these incentives cannot be the same as those of your competition , so here you have to use creativity so that your brand stands out from the rest.
In this strategy it is vital to know in depth the different buyer persona profiles of your clients, to offer personalized rewards according to their new needs, the time of year and temporary phenomena, such as inflation. For example, if you have a shoe store and the start of school is approaching, you can offer double points for the purchase of children’s shoes.
If you sell office supplies and you know that most of your customers now work from home, you can offer exclusive products in exchange for points that allow them to improve the atmosphere of their office or work more efficiently .
In addition, the loyalty experience should always be simple. Ideally, you don’t charge for a points card. And if those points have an expiration date, continually remind your customers so they don’t feel disappointed when they can no longer use them.