While these two elements are heavily interconnected and come with their own set of problems for retailers. Globalisation, of course, has created a huge increase in competition locally, nationally and internationally, there’s no denying that.
As a result, there are many factors that our local retail businesses need to get right in order to compete, such as the right logistics, the right pricing, products, technology and of course the right people.
It’s a pretty tall order, but if retailers can’t match global competitors or create a niche in their own local market for themselves, they will quickly find themselves outmanoeuvred by another savvy retailer who can.
One of the larger issues seems to be in the commoditisation of the retailer’s and their products.
The real differentiator to having a commodity-based product, as opposed to a more valuable one is simply people and experiences.
New research in consumer behaviour, highlights our need for fresh retail marketing tactics that connect people and empathise with their problems in this dog-eat-dog world we live in.
This ‘new customer’ seeks personalisation, education, enlightenment and likes to gather with like-minded people.
With this in mind, there’s never been a better time to offer ‘unique to you’ experiences and LIVE and specialised in-store events.
By engaging customers inside your store, you can not only increase sales but also increase profit along with loyalty and visitation too.
With so many balls up in the air, make sure that the ‘threat of Amazon’ doesn’t make you forget about your very real and local customers that are driving to and visiting your store today.
‘Unique To You’ Offer
I encourage you to become wildly aware of what your unique offer is, what’s special about you, your staff and your customers.
After all, since the real value is in people and personal experiences, it’s a mistake to further commoditise ourselves through simple knee-jerk discounting or ‘me too’ marketing.
Plan for your own business niche, don’t be pressured into another retailers niche.
Your time would be better spent on finding what deeply resonates with your very best customers and make sure they experience this when they walk through your doors.
This physical connection in-store is powerful. By focusing on providing a ‘unique to you’ experience, this means you’ll return 3 x that energy/time/finances then trying to beat Jeff Bezos at his game.
By focusing on in-store and delivering your unique brand promise, it will be your own game – the odds then will be absolutely stacked in your favour.
With the high cost of retail space and staffing, retail locations need to be a place to gather like-minded people for events and bespoke experiences.
More than ever before, remarkable retailing needs to engage customers, provide education, produce positive memories and inspire their customers.
I’m a lover of technology and gadgets (just look at my twitter handle)!
However, I classify technology as an awesome tool – that quite frankly I can geek-out on all day long.
But, as a lover of retail, people and psychology, I also understand it has a very important role in enhancing, reporting and giving us amazing insights.
But it’s just that, a tool. Human contact and experience ‘trumps’ all other strategies for me.
All too often retailers (myself included) can be distracted by the next shiny and new ‘tech’ out there.
Without clarity on your ‘unique to you’ experiences – means you can’t select the right tools and tech anyway and sometimes this can distance you from your customers even further.
It’s the actual retail experience, the excitement of something new, and the visceral elements and assortments that form bonds and bring customers back.
This is why I LOVE retail and why your shoppers do too.
So, how can retailers today quickly adapt to the globalisation and survive?
Engaged customers are more loyal, they buy more frequently and are advocates for your business.
The retailers that are surviving today are adapting to meet the changing needs of the consumer. They are creating more value, entertaining more, and adapting to what their unique consumers are demanding.
In short, they are engaging customers in-store with meaningful insights, helpful humans, technology and they are doing this all through their own special ‘unique to them’ lens.
Our retail world is globalised, there’s no going back. But if you find what resonates and moves your customers and start delivering on these promises in-store, you’ll start realising how quickly an in-store focus can impact your bottom line and put a smile on the dial of your special people – customers.
I’d love to hear what your thoughts are, comment below.
For more info on creating exciting in-store experiences, check out, “5 Key Elements of a Successful LIVE event” or “How LIVE events can Increase Sales“. If this article interests you, download the first 3 Chapters of my book, The Retail Experiment free.