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Befriend the customer

A good rule of thumb is that what’s good for the customer is, in the long term, good for the retailer. To get in the good graces of their customers, retailers need to show that they’ll do their utmost to offer the customer what they need and desire. This often involves breaking down old, ingrained habits.

Avoid talking about the store and its customers as ‘us’ and ‘them’. Instead, it’s more helpful to think of the two as parts of a whole. It then becomes much easier to learn, together with the customer, what they’re hoping to get out of your store.

Armed with this knowledge about your customers, you’ll be able to serve them much better, and this translates directly into retail success. Get the upward spiral going:

– The customer tells you what kinds of products, services and offers they’re interested in.
– Your store and its staff gain new insight into its specific clientele, and the store’s offerings change to match.
– The results speak for themselves: increased visitation, larger purchases, repeat visits, etc.
– Both parties benefit.
– You become the customer’s first choice.
– The customer starts giving you even more info about their product or service preferences, etc.

Most retailers try to reward their biggest customers, usually with exclusive discounts on select offers – you’re likely familiar with these, think “loyalty club” or “frequent buyer card”. But few retailers take the step of making common cause with their customers! Befriending the customer might sound like an outlandish notion, but more and more brands are trying it out. It’s a lofty goal, perhaps, but certainly worth striving for!


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