Being a local retailer is more than just selling stuff. It is about contributing to the community and showing your commitment to giving people the exerpiences and products that they are looking for. If everyone only shopped on amazon then they would never leave their couch. Being a local community member is powerful, but it is important that you think strategically when possible. So what can small local retailers do to compete when these goliaths with massive budgets and enormous brand goodwill?
- Double down on local: Large brands are less likely to have a presence at the local festival or market. They are not contributing to local charities getting involved in local neighborhood events. They are not at local meet-ups and are not active in the local community.
- Get your own data: Digital rewards programs can deliver data that you would not otherwise get access to. Work with payment companies and POS systems that provide as much usable data as possible about your customers. Getting data dumps is not going to help unless you are a data scientist or can afford an analyst. Ask all of your vendors what kind of data they can provide and what they are going to do to help you use it.
- Learn how to target from the big guys: There are many educational resources that can help you better understand online advertising and how to better connect with niche customer segments. Lynda.com or App Sumo provides great online courses.
- Build and manage consistent value system: Being a local business allows you to have a clear understanding of your local community. Build those values into your brand and messaging. Leveraging your local values in every interaction that you have with customers will help you differentiate and create a place where customers want to go.
- Make your customers happier: The customer is not always right, but that does not mean that you shouldn’t try your best to make them feel like they matter if they are wrong. If a customer has taken the time to make a purchase at your store or online, make sure that they get what they want and are not just satisfied, but happy as well. This takes an enormous amount of time and focus but is a great investment which you can also track.
- Choose your channels strategically: You do not need to be everywhere; you need to be in all of the right places. This is where knowing your local community comes in. If you can better evaluate your investment in offline channels then that is great. If you want to focus on specific online channels then that is great too. Just make sure that the next channel that you choose can be properly evaluated.
seedpay was built so that small businesses no longer need to worry about how they are going to accept payments from customers or make payments to suppliers. Whether in-store, online or business to business, seedpay is faster, cheaper, and more secure than traditional retail and vendor payments. Unlike other payment options, seedpay operates on new more reliable infrastructure which lowers fraud, lowers costs, and has loyalty built into every purchase. seedpay instantly makes charitable payments on behalf of customers to buil loyalty in store and reinvests the dollars spent in local communities by partnering with local financial institutions.
More charitable, more affordable, more effective and more local.