When they walk into the store, first, you want them to feel welcomed. Two, you want them to feel at ease – no pressure and to-the-point. Three, you want them to freely browse around and find something that they want from your store. Even if they leave without purchasing something from you, the feeling that you want them to leave with them is that they are more than welcomed to come back any time that they want when they are in the neck of the woods.
‘Consumer behavior’ has come under the microscopic scrutiny of marketing experts since the beginning of time. Back when people did not have the means nor the scope to analyze and collect data from consumers, they asked around through word of mouth. In the modern day, needless to say, things have changed and we have enough data now to classify each decision, each action and each influence based on consumer behavior.
There are no one-size-fits-all solutions and all industries have to depend on a deep understanding of their target markets and demographics. Methods that hold sway in the brick and mortar environment may not work in an offline one, and vice versa. But vying for our target market’s attention and clocking in reminders to them on a regular basis is a given.
Marketing and the First Impression
Attending exhibitions, participating in promotions and partnerships, placement of advertisements, pasting of posters, handing out of brochures, engaging in potential customers on online platforms and sending of newsletters are all different effective ways to reach out to your target market.
What everyone in the marketing and advertising industry can agree on is that most consumers purchase based on their emotions, instead of needs. Standing out at first glance makes the best and most lasting impression – whether it is on Instagram or in a newspaper advertisement. People make decisions when they are done weighing all their options, often not on impulse.
One example would be this: a woman could be yearning for that kitchen appliance for months. She held back. A few months later, she purchases the first thing she remembers in an advertisement, but only when she feels that she either NEEDS the appliance to make HER life better, or it has reached an URGENT level.
So, the question is: are you and will you be there for her when she’s ready to buy?
Target Audience and Purchasing Power
The general consensus is that yes, everyone wants a nicer or newer car, house, kitchen or sofa. But not everyone can AFFORD to get it on the whim. Your target market, hence, depends highly on your product branding and placement.
An example would be a company attending an exhibition. If you’re an airline or a hotel participating in a Travel Fair, similar to our Malaysian MATTA Fair, you’re targeting the right people. The attendees of the fair attend the fair based on their purchasing power, have a budget for a break, and are ready to spend money (albeit, with attractive discounts) on a holiday. The fair already has their segmented target group of people.
In the online world, most social media networks allow you to target your audience, although not as precise as the example above. In the offline one, handing out brochures and samples in a mall frequented by elite and wealthy prospects (based on the type of retail outlets and brands there are in the mall) will help you sell more extravagant goods as compared to budget items.
Bottom line is, know where your audience is, be there and STAND OUT.
Give People A Good Reason To Come Back… Soon!
You don’t need a marketing expert to tell you that you need to give people a reason to come back. Stand a day behind the cashier counter of a retail outlet and watch people come in, go out time and time again, the whole day, and realize that a large percentage of your customers have been to your store before. Most real customers are returning visitors.
This is particularly important if you do not have an online presence, where you rely exclusively on people who walk in through your front door. A reason to return could be something as simple as a coupon, a friendly smile, or a brochure for them to look at when they’re waiting at the bank. Some shops hold successful open houses and exclusive events and it works!
Placement of Promotional Items For That Impulse Purchase
This is a no-brainer but it bears a reminder. If you have something on promotion, place it strategically at the counter near the cashier. As you’re crunching the final numbers, your customers’ eyes are roaming around the surface area of the countertop and this is the perfect chance to grab that ‘hard to resist’ promotional item and pop it quickly into their basket. In modern day term, this is FOMO in action. Google it.
This works especially well if you are clearing your inventory, have a new product sample to offer, or are promoting a new product. Customers, when they are at the final leg of their shopping, feel limited by time and inventory, hence, they are more likely to take the deal that you’re suddenly offering at the very last minute. The adrenaline is surging and they feel the urgency to make a decision – and they’re likely to make a quick ‘cheap’ purchase at the end of it. The data says it all, and that’s why you commonly see retailers taking advantage of that limited time frame to squeeze something extra into their customers’ baskets.
Call Out To Them With Enticing Design And Colours
It’s been shown that a colorful, well-thought-out and easy-to-navigate store is much more inviting and enticing than white-walled ones with nothing calling out to them. Your store tells a story by itself, from the windowpane to the cashier at the end. If your location enjoys foot traffic, encourage them to step in (without pressuring them) for a look-around with designs that call out to them.
Design a window display that tells a short story about what they can expect to find in your store. Tug at their heartstrings, bring them in with just a suitably-themed window display or a well-positioned poster.
And if they don’t walk in the first time, chances are, they might the next time they pass by.