Retention is the single most important thing for growth – Alex Schultz – Growth and Internationalization, Facebook.
Not many retailers know the monetary value of their customers. I know it sounds off, trying to place a figure value on each of your customers, but knowing this approximate figure could help you easily decide where to concentrate your business efforts.
Take for example, if your best customer comes around your store on Thursdays, whatever happens, you would want to make your store sparkle on that day, you would also want to make sure your staff are looking the sharpest.
Another important thing fashion retailers should be aware of is the how much it costs them to get a new customer. Every retailer’s would always want to have more customers, but this comes at a cost.
In most markets, it generally costs much more, up to 5x more money to get a new customer, than to retain an old one.
That’s bad enough, it gets worse, when retailers expend the same cost to the same customers more than once because of high churn rate. (“Churn” is growth term for when customers discover a new product/service, but they don’t stick with it.)
Yes you need customers to be in business, but to get new customers, you don’t have to always go after them. I know that sounds usual. The natural thing is to go after customers and get as much as you can. However, when you get a good number, you should come up with a customer retention plan that puts in place a system to make the customers stick around and also brings in more customers. Without such a system in place, when trying to get new customers, you would be spending money to get the same set of customers again.
How to Retain New Customers: The 2 e’s of Customer Retention
The sheer competition in today’s fashion market never stops increasing. There are several options for the consumers,
but for the retailers, trying to compete with the competition should not be an option. Retailers can distinguish themselves by the kind of experiences and engagements they deliver. Let’s take a closer look at this 2 e’s.
Take a look at the most valuable company in the world, Apple – worth over $710 Billion. Best believe what they sell is experience. It’s not really about devices they sell, it’s HOW they sell it. Apple does not dominate the market with the highest number of customers in the phone or computer market. They are probably not in second place, still they are able to get maximum value from the relatively little customers they have, and that has made them become the most valuable company – all by delivering a good user experience.
It was Maya Angelou who said; “ I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Sadly many brands don’t deliver anything “feelable”, so their customers forget them and leave.
Delivering remarkable retail experiences do not require remarkable budgets. Actually the best experiences are in the little but very thoughtful things. You’ll be surprise how little gestures like asking for your customer’s name can create wow effects.
Not the one that means being betrothed to someone. Customer engagement involves making your business not just about you and your team, but also about the customers that keep you in business too. It is a dialogue with your customers and it goes along with creating a good experience.
Beyond the conversation, customer engagement is actively listening to your customers and interacting with them using relevant and personalized information about them. At any point you interact with your customers, they should feel the same level of care and engagement from your brand.
The direct result of this is that, you are able to create a higher impression in your customers’ mind and this translates to customer retention – They will always want to swim when you make them feel good.
There are several other customer retention tactics being applied today, they only require a creative mind and a system that supports these creative ideas to make the customers stay and bring new ones. Best of all, they can be applied to any kind of fashion business, big or small and since not many businesses bother to engage with their customers, it’s easy to make your brand exceptional.
Would be sharing more on customer retention using rewards in the weeks to come. You can sign up here to receive the post in your email boxes.
Finally, I want to challenge you reading this, hopefully you are a fashion retailer that has sold at least one item. Would like you to come up with a customer retention plan for your business, tell it to some of your customers and ask them what they think about it. Feel free to ask for my opinion, would be happy to give feedback.
Remember, you don’t have to have the highest number of customers, the best brands capture the most value from the customers they have, and by engaging and delivering good experiences to your customers, you can become the “Apple of Fashion Brands.”
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