Independent retailers wear many different hats to maintain day-to-day operations and deal with factors dependent on the economy’s health. The local hardware store or home center is a unique business niche that caters to a specific segment of customers. Many of these family-owned businesses have been in the exact location for generations. They continue to exist when others have failed because they understand what customers want and expect of them.
In today’s volatile business climate, retailers should continually look for growth opportunities by investing in the business and employees. Customer behavior is constantly changing. It is essential to periodically “refresh” your business and update employee training to be relevant in today’s shifting retail environment. Being customer-focused must be a priority. Positioning your store as the local “go-to” place for DIY homeowners and pro contractors often requires additional resources to sustain the relationship.
The one-on-one engagement a customer has with the retail staff continues to be the most significant driver of customer satisfaction with home improvement retailers,” said Christina Cooley, director of the @Home practice at J.D. Power. “Now more than ever, customers are looking for the guidance they need—but they’re also looking to get in and out of the store quickly. When customers receive speedy, knowledgeable, and friendly service, they are more likely to return and recommend the retailer. However, if they wait five minutes or more minutes to receive help, satisfaction scores tumble.”
Remember to visually merchandise your physical and online store to reflect the season. It will keep customers engaged while they shop and give them ideas they can use at home. The rule to keep it simple still applies since it’s best not to overwhelm shoppers with too many options. Your eCommerce store should also use colors and graphics to promote seasonal merchandise. Enhancing the shopping experience dramatically impacts how consumers view your brand.