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Articles for Retailers - by Tom Shay
Keeping Customers Interested in Your Business
This is the third in a series of articles by Tom Shay that appear NAMTA’s eNews issues in 2016. These articles address everyday challenges in the Art Materials business and are designed to share with your staff.
Art materials business owners can learn a lot from each other. But they can also learn from other retailers. No matter what they sell, retailers have one thing in common - customers.
All business owners must attract, service and retain customers.
Why? Because they all have customers that they want to please.
A customer shops in one store the same way they shop in another. The retailer that wants their business to stand out from the competition should look at retailers selling different products to observe how they appeal to their customers.
This tactic can mean providing your customers with more than just a place to buy. Retailers must continually come up with new products and/or services that will keep the customer interested. The more the customer depends on a retailer, the better.
Money in the form of product sitting stagnant in your storage room is not doing you any good. A smart retailer puts that money into action by developing and offering additional products and services.
But knowing which products and services is the key to this customer retention dilemma. First, make sure your sales team keeps you updated on customer requests. Obviously, investing that storage room money in some of these requests will give you a greater return on your money.
Even if you can’t see a relationship between your list of customer requests and your current stocked items, consider the source. If customers thought you might carry them, maybe you need to carry them. If you do, you’re concentrating on your customers, not on your products. This is the evolution of retailing.
The next time you go to market, see if you can break from only your tradition lines. Many of the retail buyers who recently attended NAMTA’s co-located conference with CAMEX purchased products from CAMEX exhibitors and, subsequently, created a new product line in their store.
A new product line is a great way to give your customers another reason to visit your store more frequently
Tom Shay is a fourth generation small business owner, author, columnist, coach and speaker who has authored several training manuals for retailers that can be found in the Resources section of the NAMTA website – namta.org. His knowledge of small business marketing, business strategy, staffing, and financial management have provided small business owners with the help necessary to increase their profits plus build their business for the future. You can learn more here - www.profitsplus.org