The saying, “Retail Apocalypse” is outdated and should be replaced with “Retail Rally”. A recent Deloitte study examined the retail environment by surveying over 2,000 participants, studying official data, tapping into the knowledge of clients, industry contacts, and Deloitte’s own industry specialists.
Their key finding had to do with one thing: customers’ economic well-being.
Do You Really Know Your Customers?
We talk a lot about clienteling, which is all about establishing long-term relationships with customers (based on their preferences, behaviors, and purchases). All that really means is that you need to know (really know) your customers.
But how do you do that?
- Provide your sales team with client management tools that are built for retail. Preferably a system that allows a customer database, messaging, and so much more.
- Create an environment and experience that promotes a mutual relationship.
- Take the information that is gathered from the client management tool to learn more about your target customer. Like their product preferences, their interests, and if possible, their socioeconomic factors.
Yes, I did happen to mention socioeconomic factors. I know that might sound a little bit weird or intrusive but the goal is to be able to provide the best product and experience for the individual customer.
This isn’t something that I just came up with out of thin air, but rather this was the focus of the Deloitte study.
“The winners appear to be those retailers that can capitalize on consumers’ experiences of their economic well-being—or lack thereof—to offer a value proposition that aligns with consumer needs.”
What does this have to do with clienteling? Clienteling makes your customers feel like they’re [personally] getting premium service and a premium experience.
How to Align Your Customer With Your Brand
Staying in tune with the study I’m going to split the retail world into 3 categories:
- Price-Based Retailers: You deliver value by providing the lowest priced products
- Balanced Retailers: You deliver value through a combination of price and promotion
- Premium Retailers: You deliver value through a premier product/experience
Deloitte’s study found that over the past 5 years price-based retailers have seen a steady increase of 37%, balanced retailers have seen about a 2% increase and premium retailers have seen an increase of 81%!
These results make a few things very clear. One, that retail is not dead and two, that customers prefer price-based or premium retailers. What type of retailer are you?
As a store owner, you know the value of your product but do you know the value of your customer? Who is your customer? What problem are they trying to solve?
If you can answer all of these questions you can align your brand with your customer.
Retail Rally Time
If you want to make sure that your brand sticks around for a long time, you need to know your customer. Ask for feedback on your customers’ perception of the brand.
You might have an idea of what your brand is but that might not align with what your customer thinks. And that will make the biggest difference. It’s all about the relationship. Let’s rally.