Importance of knowing your customers

Customer is the king!

We all have heard this many times, but how often do we treat our customers are the kings or the one’s who gets to make the call?

Their satisfaction gives a reward in terms of their faithfulness and their regular visits will give more repetitive business.

From the first day of running a retail store, the business is run by customers. Their existence is the reason that your business runs smoothly and only because of them your retail stores have been growing and expanding. Retail business deals with both products and services, while products are consumed and the services are experienced. 

In traditional stores, the retailer provides personalized service to each and every customer. This helps in getting to know your customers, to achieve the store’s goals. Building a long-term relationship with the right customers will not increase the trust and loyalty to give more repeated business, but also can lead customers recommending you to their friends and family members. While understanding customers is the key to giving them good service which in turn results in strong customer relationships and new sales through positive word-of-mouth recommendation. However, understanding your customer’s minds is not an easy task and most of the time it requires thoughtful analysis to identify their preferences and buying patterns. So, you get to know their needs and provide them with solutions. As a business owner, you need to understand what type of person is most likely to need or want the product or service you provide. Retailers or managers that know what their customers want and what they expect can also work on customizing the customer experience to create loyalty and repeat business. 

Like in old days.
Do you remember visiting your local grocery store, and the shopkeeper greeting you with your name and asking how things are going with your college or how your father is doing?

That was the experience that local shopkeeper built for you, as he knew who you are and what your story is. He knew exactly the frequency you will be visiting his store and he knew the exact things you may need. & when you visited him, he made sure you get what you need and may be something extra for a low price was offered to you by him, it made your experience more amazing and you went back home happy. This experience, this fundamental, is what is required to be done at scale in current modern retail. This is where technology will play a major role in knowing the customers at scale.

Presently, retail stores are growing and expanding, their physical space is getting huge. The stores are adopting technology to run smoothly. With the expansion, it becomes difficult for retailers to provide a seamless experience on their own or to contact each of them. This not only destroys the business in monetary terms, but it can also ruin your brand name which is indirectly a huge loss for the owner and their goodwill. Increasing the total count of customers of a store does not happen overnight, store and their employees provide the best customer experience to gain loyal customers. As we mentioned that the retail industry is being run by customers, not by retailers or their managers. Here technologies maintain valuable relationships between store and consumer. Technologies are used to increase the personalized experience for each customer and not only this it attracts other people and makes them visit the store. 

Before showing some examples, you need to think that “Why does your customer need you?”. “Is there any special or unique commodity or item you have?”. “Why they shouldn’t go to your competitors?”. 

Every store needs a reason for their customers to visit their store and buy or purchase goods, not from its competitors. This can be done if there is something unique in your store that attracts customers. This is called Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Your USP will make you different from your competitors. Your brand should be known by your USP in the market and your USP can change according to market changes as well as there may be many USPs according to products. You should be flexible to easily accept those changes and it may not affect any business-related activities. 

For instance, a pharmacy in an area provides delivery within 30 minutes after getting an order. Also, they provide discounts if a customer gives an order of amount more than ₹1,000. A pharmacy should make sure that they are having medicines of all the diseases and customers shouldn’t opt to try another store. 

Now, I’ll show you some examples who merge with digital technology to provide better-personalized experience. 

In 2017, Apple announced its “Town Square” concept, these new stores were developed in an effort to merge retail with the community by providing workshops and events alongside their products. Brands that had run their entire business through e-commerce has decided to expand their physical footprint. Target has prioritized its small retail stores, which have a more targeted inventory presented to the local population. 

Let’s not forget that even Amazon has branched out into brick-and-mortar through “Amazon Go”. Gone are the days of the dim, gloomy department stores – today’s most innovative stores seamlessly merge the digital, technological and physical worlds which brings a traditionally absent experiential element to retail.

In 2011, Bluestone was established. BlueStone is India’s leading destination for high-quality fine jewelry with strikingly elegant designs. In 2013, they launched “Try at Home” Service, in this, the customer can order jewelry and you can also return it. Their policies offer free return shipping and refunds of all products within the 30 days money back policy. 

Another example is, Gumroad. Gumroad is an online platform that enables creators to sell products directly to consumers. The company was founded by Sahil Lavingia in 2011. All types of creative people like authors, filmmakers, musicians, designers, and software developers use Gumroad to sell products. Mostly digital contents like albums, comics, ebooks, films, games, music, or tutorials. 

Through this, we can see how owners of retail chain stores are using technology to create a seamless experience and giving their full to reach a maximum number of customers. These examples clearly state that today in retail, the line between digital and physical stores is a blurry one. A customer might make online purchases but opt to pick up the item in-store. When customers are shopping in-store, many consumers use their phones to look at product photos on the internet, compare prices, or check customer reviews. Consumers quickly switch between from physical to digital, and they expect a consistent experience no matter how they are interacting with a brand.

Retailers should step-up and invest in technology. Truly consumers don’t differentiate between a brand’s various channels, they want to have a pleasant experience whenever and however they choose to shop, and they expect brands to deliver an integrated omnichannel experience. 

Consumers Go For Shopping To Feel Personal Connection

Brick-and-mortar business offers the opportunity to build community and enrich relationships with customers. The customer wants to feel connected with the brand they choose. Telling from our experience and with our on-going research has indicated that personalization is very useful and improves the customer experience. In the store, it looks like digital fitting rooms, product customization, or store associates that can pull up information on previous purchases or saved things. Our research says consumers will increase their in-store spending if they provide better and more personalized service. 

The brick-and-mortar store remains a great method for connecting with customers. While many brands and retailers are investing in online personalization, it is just as important to integrate personalized elements into the in-store experience.

Every customer takes a unique path to purchase, and the brick-and-mortar store remains a gripping stop on the shopping journey, particularly for final purchases. Today’s brick-and-mortar stores should merge the physical and digital worlds in a way that reduces grudges and provides the customer with a personalized experience.

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