Why would today's consumer choose to shop with a main street business vs. the growing and highly competitive online market place?
1. Be the first to judge your storefront by it's cover.
The internet, facebook, and other social forums have made it easier for consumers to do the necessary comparisons well before they step foot one inside a brick and mortar store. Listed are 5 customer tips to help your pond retail store differentiate from the appeal of shopping online.
Does the retail storefront reflect the direction the business is headed? If you sell ponds, try using a display waterfall to sell more. Download the Guide to Building a Cascading Falls.
2. Make it easy to navigate your place of business.
Having clear direction to find your pond department, calls to action, pond tips and specifics called out just so customers notice.
3. A greeting can be worth a thousand words or a quick head turn.
Saying hello is great because online they won't; but try putting a spin on your customer greeting- "How wonderful for you to shop with us today...can I show you what's new?" You are implying your gratitude for their decision to shop and in return offering them value with showing something new.
4. Offer something that an online merchant cannot.
If you are a one-stop pond retailer or distributor you must also sell stone, gravel, plants and possibly fish. Will an online pond supplier put together a deal like "Buy a Pond Kit Receive $200 in Stone"?
5. Suggest In-Store Classes and Education for Individuals or Groups.
As a group, the positive energy increases and the idea of an online forum with avatars all of a sudden becomes less appealing. Start small and eventually the group size will grow from referrals.
If a pond owner can tell the moment they arrive the type of business, the quality of service they may receive and how the environment makes them feel, a retailer may have just that moment to gain a customer for life or lose them to the conveniences of at-home-shopping.