It started with “groceraunts” but has since spread to all aspects of the retail industry. Community spaces in retail stores have been proven to increase foot traffic and provide a better customer experience. Community spaces can be a cafe or wine bar, a bistro, or just a place to relax with Wi-Fi. They help retailers stand out and increase customer loyalty.
A community space can be a great way to accomplish several things in your store.
A strong sense of belonging is key
You give shoppers the chance to make new connections and strengthen existing ones by creating a space that is open to them. The retail space becomes a place where friends can gather and have a drink. Students can use the Wi-Fi to work on projects. Clubs can also meet in the area. This creates a community and a sense loyalty to the group as well as the place.
These types of tight-knit communities are what drive customers to go offline and shop in physical stores. A customer-centric space is essential when you want to compete with ecommerce. It allows people to interact in a way that’s not possible through online shopping.
Encourage customers to return
You can encourage repeat visits once you have attracted customers. By personalizing your marketing campaigns and allowing customers to choose the products that interest them, you can tailor your offers to suit their needs.
To entice them back to your cafe, offer specials on their favorite drinks if they spend a lot of time there. You can also offer themed nights in your cafe to entice customers to return. Customers will be drawn to your cafe if you provide a welcoming environment and offer amenities such as free Wi-Fi.
Encourage customers to spend more
Your store will make more money if customers return to it more often. Customers who stay longer are more likely to come back. Customers will stay longer if they feel that your store is customer-oriented. Customers can browse your products and discover something new.
Your loyalty program can be leveraged to increase customers’ average spending by allowing points to accrue based on dollar spent. You can offer customers a $5 coupon for a smoothie, or a free cup of coffee when they reach a certain spending threshold. This will encourage them to spend more.
Why it matters
In the end, customers will notice that your store is customer-centric. Online shopping is so easy that customers can find almost anything they need online. The actual products you sell are secondary. Customers should have great customer experiences. This will drive loyalty. This can be achieved by creating a relaxing environment for customers.
Sam’s Club is gaining loyalty because of private-label products
Customers will be more loyal to your store if they can only purchase their favorite products at that location. Chandra Holt is the senior vice president and chief operational officer of Sam’s Club, and SamsClub.com. This was discussed in a session held at Groceryshop Monday. Krystina Gstafson, vice-president of content at Groceryshop, interviewed Holt.
Holt joined Sam’s Club as a member in 2015. The membership-only retailer owned 21 private-label brands before Holt joined. Holt’s strategy was change. In the end, he embarked on a plan to reduce the number of Sam’s Club’s privately-label brands down to one.
Holt stated that Sam’s Club’s private label was a traditional approach when he joined. It had many brands that focused on products with a lower price than a national brand. When I arrived, we did customer research, and heard what our members wanted from the private labels. We knew that we had to do more.” Holt and Sam’s Club combined all these brands under one private label called Member’s Mark.
Gustafson wanted to know Holt’s strategy for promoting Member’s Mark online and in-store. Holt explained that the two strategies are quite different.
Holt replied, “In shops, you’ll find retailers have traditionally placed private labels next to the national brands. As people look for national brand, they see private label and it might [cost less] and so they’ll buy it.” Online, you can have a completely different experience. There’s less browse and more search. To ensure that customers can see all we have to offer, we provide […] space online.
Holt stated that consumers tend to search online more than they browse and that a lot of people will search for “Member’s Mark” on Sam’s Club’s site.
Holt stated that members shop in the club and sometimes don’t have the time or the desire to visit the club. “Members also know Member’s Mark because it’s the only brand we offer,” Holt added. They’ll search […] for it by name.
Holt explained that even though customers don’t search Member’s Mark by name, they still search for products like dog food. Because they perform well, Member’s Mark products often rise to the top of search results pages.
Sam’s Club’s private-label brand has been a huge success, but it’s bound to be a concern for national brands who share shelf space with Member’s Mark products. Gustafson wanted to know how Holt responds when brand partners are concerned about the growing influence of Member’s Mark with consumers.
Holt stated that Sam’s is growing and reminds suppliers […] that even if a private label wins, national brands still lose. “Everyone is growing and we discovered that suppliers can be very resilient in growing our business if they understand our strategies and prioritize our goals. Everyone can grow, and it all depends on what our members and customers want.
A successful private-label business means that customers will continue to come back to Sam’s Club.
Holt stated that when people begin to buy our private label, they tend renew their membership at a higher rate. Exclusive items are a great way to build loyalty. The stickiness of private-label items keeps customers coming back for more. It has had a tremendous positive impact on our overall business.”