Three Brick-and-Mortar Survival Tactics Centered Around Customer Loyalty

Jun 25

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6/25/2014  RssIcon

In today's modern world, individuals can shop for anything they need online, from the comfort of their homes. In most major cities, one can have everything from movies and clothing to health products and food delivered right to their doors – sometimes within the same day. As the owner of a brick and mortar store, you need to find a way to compete with those online businesses and get customers through the doors.

Despite the popularity of online shopping, the majority of people still turn to local neighborhood shops for their everyday necessities making customer loyalty critical to your success. Below we'll share a few tactics to help build loyalty and repeat business.

Use a Low Annual Fee

While it might seem a little crazy, some businesses have found success in charging their clientele a membership or annual fee in order to receive discounts. GameStop is a retail business that found success through a paid loyalty program. For less than $20 a year, customers received discounts on products and other benefits. In the online space, Amazon introduced its Amazon Prime program as a way to reward frequent shoppers. Those shoppers pay slightly less than $100 a year to receive access to television shows and films they can watch online, free shipping on most purchases and other benefits.

Customers will pay for a good loyalty program that gives them frequent discounts and coupons that they can't find elsewhere. Make sure that those shoppers know the type of benefits that your paid program offers.

Partner with Other Local Businesses

Forming a partnership with another local business allows both sides to gain customers and increase sales. It's important that businesses look for noncompeting companies that won't take away from their sales. A local pet grooming shop might partner with a veterinarian to give customers discounted prices when they use services from both companies. Many movie theaters form partnerships with local restaurants. Diners get discounted movie tickets, and movie lovers get discounts on the meals they eat after the movies. Give some consideration to which products or services your customers use that you don't offer and get in touch with local businesses to see if a synergistic relationship is possible.

Offer Different Reward Tiers

Several large airlines have tiered loyalty programs that give customers the chance to move up to a higher tier after spending money on flights and other travel costs. Smaller businesses can do something similar with tiered loyalty programs. Give all customers the chance to join the loyalty program at the basic tier for free. This tier might come with a free coupon on their birthday and discounts every few months. After they spend a certain amount in store, the customer then moves to a higher tier, which unlocks better discounts or a premium level of service.

Many companies also give customers the chance to win prizes when they shop. Those in the lowest tier can enter a contest for prizes when they hit a certain level of spending, and you can let frequent shoppers enter each time they make a purchase.

These are just a few ideas of how to build your brick and mortar business using customer loyalty as a retention tactic. For further advice, give the Retail Hero team a call at 1-888-RTL-HERO and we'll be happy to share our expertise.

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