As more and more choice drives UK customers to shop around, the pressure on convenience retailers to maintain and grow footfall is mounting.
In fact, as they are a lifeline for local communities, many who have lost jobs looked to buy convenience stores and set up locally.
Many of the factors contributing towards footfall are out of retailers’ hands. Ninety two percent of shoppers say location is a big driver when choosing to shop at a particular convenience store, according to research conducted by HIM!.
Despite this, there are still approaches retailers can take to boost the number of people visiting their shop. The key to this is developing consumer advocacy.
Improving customer loyalty, increasing word-of-mouth recommendations and building long-lasting relationships with the community will help to create consumer buzz. This will play a crucial role in driving consistent long-term footfall.
Understanding the customer
As English novelist Aldous Huxley said, “there is no such thing as the average man”, so understanding the growing range of customers and their needs is key.
Retailers should ideally be in an iterative process of assessing the products and service offerings they have available in store in relation to the specific needs of their customers.
Technology, like the new PayPoint One retail platform, can provide insights into customer purchasing habits to help retailers gather this knowledge.
Capitalising on this by stocking products that are currently in demand is what will set a particular store apart from its competitors. It will encourage people to overcome that barrier of location, and walk that little bit further to get what they really want.
Valuing the customer
Feeling valued as a customer is the number one factor in creating brand advocacy in the UK, according to Global Web Index. It’s therefore highly important that retailers have an expanding arsenal of services, and are flexible in their approach towards customers’ financial requirements.
For instance, a PayPoint One provides access for a retailer’s community to over 1,500 utility companies, transport firms and mobile providers, giving that store the leading edge over other retailers.
As technology develops and newer payment methods such as Apple Pay rise in popularity, it is even more important that all methods of payment are provided for. PayPoint’s proven track record of tech-led innovation means retailers are financially inclusive, offering multiple payment options for customers.
Offers for the customer
Reward schemes and promotions are another important way of building advocacy. Forty five per cent of people say rewards such as discounts and free gifts have a positive effect on advocacy.
Creating a loyalty program to incentivise repeat footfall and develop relationships with individual customers can be invaluable.
These relationships, coupled with community engagement through social media can then bear further insight and understanding into true customer needs – and then the cycle repeats.
For convenience retailers, creating consumer advocacy is the secret weapon for driving footfall in stores. Through focus on the customer and their needs, a wide product and service offering, and an inclusive approach to payment, retailers can maximise the loyalty of their customers and increase sales.
For more information about PayPoint, visit paypoint.co.uk
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