Store Traffic is the Lifeblood of Retail Capitalism
Perhaps the goal of retail management is to put consumers on guard as they enter and leave a store through either a “shout out” or through security checkpoints. I think there is mammoth room for consumer valued retail change, change to be amplified, socially released and post auto-shared by grateful customers. For the record, I was unable to sell Circuit City management on the colossal marketing power of cash register associates. I was also ineffective in convincing them to require the following words after every transaction: “Thank you so much for shopping Circuit City and we look forward to seeing you again soon.” Why did I fail? Management's answer: “Our sales associates are young and unwilling to deliver a sales pitch repetitively to our customers.” So much for brand ambassadors at the last three feet of the sale, so much for enjoying and amplifying a consumers happiness as they grasp their shiny electronics, so much for boomerang store traffic, so much for Circuit City.
In physical stores, separate from the speeds and feeds of retail cloud-weaponry such as social networking, SEO, SEM, mobile apps, SCRM, e-commerce, data mining and digital transaction measurements, we are left with good old adjuvant customer care. Which is broadly defined as caring and sharing human interaction: inexpensive to deploy, yet powerful, effective, logical and consumer valued.
WARNING: The following Gen One Ventures retail principles requires leadership to articulate, docent, motivate, mentor and accent brand ambassador actions as part of every employees job description and evaluation. View each simple principle as expected from your most valuable shoppers. Read as delivered from the mouths of consumers, through the voices of social networks hunting for brands, products and services hopefully destined to your retail store:
1. “Smile, please kindly smile to acknowledge my value to your brand. Smile whether you are the guard, the floor associate, the manager, the most important employee in the store behind the cash register.”
2. “Help me: be accessible, but don’t hound me. Please do not make me chase you around the building and feel bad or humiliated because I have a question for you.”
3. “Offer me free delivery if I spend more than X. Offer me coupons and promotions at the cash register to prompt my return. Offer me special services and rewards based upon my annual spending.”
4. “Please be knowledgeable and relevant on all your store products, promotions and services.”
5. “Dress for success, dress invitingly, dress to serve and support me not to scare or avoid me by looking like a wonk.”
6. “Please don’t be pallid, be affable. Show me you care about your store, care about your brand, care about me as your consumer by showing me, by convincing me why.”
7. “Be digitally informed and fluent regarding products not available in your store with easy access to purchase products on your web site right now, right in front of me.”
8. “Please make your store environment, store personality exciting, energizing, a destination I dream to come to, I dream to shop in.”
9. “Remember me. Find a way to remember me, reward me and stay in touch with me locally as I only live 2 miles from your brand building. Remember me as special, especially during holiday and drive periods.”
10. “Wear a name tag so we can get to know each other, so I can feel more comfortable, so I can respect you by calling you by your name and building a valuable consumer to associate relationship.”
Peter Weedfald is president of Gen One Ventures and author of Green Reign Leadership
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