Something from Mary!

Retail isn’t dead. Small Businesses aren’t dying.

On-line shopping isn’t going away.

There is room for both. Room for both doesn’t mean there isn’t a need for change. AHHHH- the dreaded CHANGE word. How about Refresh? Update? Possibilities? Transformation? Revolution? Revenue?

There is a shift in retail happening and it’s in the wheel house of retail business owners… show off your uniqueness!

In a couple of articles from the Star Tribune’s October 8th and 15th Editions, stories were shared about small businesses providing an experience for shoppers and using lighthearted, attractive, and inviting displays to encourage passersby to notice and stop in.

Yes. You have to remind people your business exists.

Pamela Danzinger, market researcher and author was quoted by John Ewoldt. “Small retailers have a secret weapon. They’re face to face and eye to eye with customers.” Ewoldt’s article “Selling La Vida Local” also included information from local businesses who commented shoppers are asking for a very localized experience.

What can a business do to be more: localized, eye to eye and attractive to customers?

Here’s some ideas:

  • Create a surprise in your window/entry
    Perhaps people are used to seeing something specific, whether it be items, or style of display. Change it up. GET their attention. Need some fresh eyes to help you discover new options? Call the Chamber 587-5252.
  • Add Special Touches to your Customer’s Experience
    We don’t own our customers, we EARN them. What special touches do you provide to the people who walk in your door? If you need to brainstorm, call the chamber 587-5252. A quick litany of ideas: personalized thank you cards or emails, gift wrapping, personalized shopping assistance, a small “gift” candy with each purchase. Frequent flyer/shopper cards, VIP shopping experiences. See more on our pinterest board
  • Provide Customer Service Training
    YES! What do you want YOUR BRAND to be? Is it a sales clerk who sits behind the register and sighs when they HAVE to get up and check someone out, or is it someone who knows the name of the customer and the reason for their special purchase because they took the time to engage that customer, or know them personally from repeat visits? YOUR BRAND is YOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE as much as it is your logo, product, or service. Need a secret shopper to pop in and help assess opportunities? Call the Chamber 587-5252.
  • Have a Social Media Presence
    It’s where the younger generations are. It’s how they get their news. Your business is news to them. If you have noticed your clientele getting older, with fewer “youngsters” coming in… I encourage you to consider if you aren’t speaking to them on social media, they do not know you exist. If you aren’t using social media and it scares you, I invite you to call the chamber 587-5252 and ask us to help you! Please let us help you reach a new generation of shoppers who will love you!

Okay, NOW…. you’ve got this! You can make it happen- you have been all this time… you can KEEP doing it! If we can help, let us know. Your Business is Our Business and we believe in you!