In our last blog, we focused on the diverse and interesting atmospheres offered by three of our favorite Orlando coffee shops. Rather than just talking about the quality of their coffee, we focused on highlighting the unique elements that make their stores a local favorite.
Let’s take it another step further! Let’s deepen our focus on the different ways small business owners can offer value to customers by enhancing their in-store experience.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING VALUABLE EXPERIENCES
To add value is to increase the worth of an experience, and today’s customers (primarily Millennials) are wanting more from their experience than just a good deal on a service or product. Customers are now looking for exciting, immersive, fun, and one-of-a-kind experiences to go along with the cup of coffee, or book, or meal they are purchasing.
Valuable experiences are what now drives people back to your business. It’s also what drives them to share their experiences on social media sites and review platforms like Instagram and Yelp.
The first step in creating valuable, memorable experiences is to figure out who your target audience is, then take time to dive deep and research what exactly that audience values.
Here are five important ways your small business can begin providing valuable experiences.
1. Create An Inviting Atmosphere
Having an inviting atmosphere will make for a great first impression, and as (marketing wizard) Seth Godin says, “first impressions are crucial!” To create a memorable first impression, envision an atmosphere that will enhance your customers’ experience. One example of enhancing customer experience through an inviting atmosphere is Barnes & Noble (B&N).
B&N sells books with an experience. They don’t just want you to visit, purchase the latest novel, and leave. They craft an experience that customers will share by making them feel welcome - to read, study, converse.
B&N understands this very well. It’s why they sell coffee in every one of their stores. When you walk in to any B&N you’re instantly comforted by the caffeine aroma. This hits your senses and provides a comfort that adds value for their book loving customers.
Reading a book with a warm cup of coffee makes the book buying experience inviting, memorable, and worth having.
2. Ask Your Customers What They Want
Find out more about your shopper’s experience by asking them directly. Spark a conversation with familiar faces, and learn to connect with the customers that constantly support you.
This dialogue will allow you to offer better products and services in the future. It might also inspire customers to tell others about the interest you took in their thoughts and experience. Imagine how you’d feel if a business owner took the time to listen to how they could improve your experience in their store? You’d probably tell a friend or family member!
Having your customers converse about your business is the best way to keep traffic coming through your doors. Patrons love to talk about their favorite place, and that could be your business!
3. Start A Conversation Online
In today’s digital age, it’s important to stay up-to-date with relevant news about your industry because most online audiences engage with voices or brands that appeal to things of interest in their world. Using the platforms that your shoppers use is a great way to engage them digitally.
A crafter looking for engagement for his T-shirt company would want to use Pinterest - an online platform where users share DIY projects, goods, and style inspirations. Once you find the right audience, start a dialogue. Ask questions to get their thoughts on topics about your business and their community.
Becoming a resource for the online community will open up many doors for growth.
4. Host Events For Your Business
Imagine all the new faces you’ll be able to talk to by opening your doors to community events. As a small business owner, collaborating with your community, will make you a resource for your neighborhood and do wonders for your business engagement.
Customers will feel attached to your shop and start using your business space to connect their community. These connections will impact your bottom dollar while capturing more fans that celebrate your business!
5. Offer Supplemental Products
Take time to research other products that could enhance the experience of the goods in your store. For example, if you own a tire repair shop, you should sell tire shine, car cleaning kits, and car fresheners. Having secondary products improves your product ecosystem by simplifying your customer’s experience. Strive to make your store a one-stop-shop for your customers.
Apple has done a really good job providing an effective product ecosystem. All of their products fit and work well with one another. Shoppers can only help but buy more and more of their ecosystem. Apple fans really enjoy this because it makes all of their products easy to use together.
By striving to make your store a one-stop-shop, your customers will love their experience and likely recommend it to others - helping your bottom dollar.
The idea of value is a different way of thinking about your customers’ needs. By offering more value, customers will be inclined to promote your business and empower others to purchase from you.
The ultimate goal is to cultivate a community that supports your business so that you can maintain profitable growth over time. This simple step of adding value can be the improvement you’ve been looking for.
These five suggestions should open the doors for your customers to not only keep returning but share more about your business. Try one and see what works best for your small business today!
In the mean time, watch below to discover what Dave, our Director of Marketing, has to say about value.