“Buyers don’t come to us, what to do?” - this question was asked at least once in a lifetime by any store owner. For those who are tormented by this problem right now, we have good news: they do not come not only to you. And for those who are more concerned about what to do, we have excellent advice: stop spending money on impersonal “for everyone and anyone” mailing lists and contact customers as personally as possible. How to do this exactly, says Yulia Veshnyakova, general director of the Academy of Retail Technologies.
Julia Veshnyakova, Director General of the consulting company Academy of Retail Technologies, practicing procurement specialist for a collection of fashionable clothes and accessories at specialized exhibitions. Practical experience in the fashion industry - 19 years.
Company Academy of Retail Technologies - Consulting company focused on the fashion industry and on entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized businesses. Provides counseling and business training services.
Why don't they come?
“Customers are now less likely to go to the shops!” - almost all of our customers with trendy stores in Russia unanimously complain. And they are not alone in their problem: the decrease in the traffic of shopping centers, especially in the regions, decreased by 10%. “If in 2008, consumers went shopping on average 158 times, now now they go up to 144 once a year. And that number continues to fall, ”says Nielsen, a consumer research company. Analysts conclude that low attendance is related to the conviction of 72% of respondents that the crisis continues. In addition, there are other factors, for example, frightening gas prices and over-employment of people. There is also a deterioration in the financial situation of consumers: wage growth turned out to be lower than expected, and if you remember that many people still have a “sword of Damocles” in the form of monthly loan payments, then restraining the purchasing power of the population ceases to seem so unexpected.
Of course, reduced consumption is detrimental to retailers. This situation is observed not only in the fashion business. For example, X5 Retail Group, the largest player in the food retail market in Russia, has announced that this year its profit margin will be a quarter lower than planned. This means that people save not only on the purchase of clothes, shoes or accessories, but also on the purchase of products. A significant reduction in the number of shopping trips is becoming the norm, and there is nothing to be done about it - you need to somehow adapt to this situation. There is no place for the blind, deaf and dumb in business: success in retail trade strongly depends on the entrepreneur's ability to adapt to a changing external environment. In the business world, it is impossible to wait until the “normal” situation returns, because something else has already become the norm.
What to do?
To attract new customers, you need to regularly give massive advertising in all types of media and at points of sale. But advertising is expensive and troublesome, and does it make sense in terms of costs and returns for a small store? It’s quite difficult to track the effectiveness of advertising in the shoe business, because it is not always clear whether buyers came from advertisements, due to changes in the weather, or for other reasons only to them. In addition, one can evaluate the success of the action only by the result of sales, that is, it is simply impossible to know in advance if a hundred or two thousand rubles will be spent in vain. If the budget does not allow rileatherg so that later, perhaps, drink champagne, you need to look for other ways to increase sales.
It is known that retaining a regular customer is three times cheaper than attracting a new one. Therefore, working with an already developed customer base with the right approach can solve the problem of low sales. What is meant by the “right approach”? Today, an increasing trend is gaining momentum in promotion, the essence of which lies in the maximum personal appeal to each consumer. The most effective advertising on the Internet takes into account the user's search queries history and his personal data taken from social networks, and offers the potential buyer something that may suit him. Offline, personalized calls work no worse, just rarely who uses them. And this is strange, because for an address contact with a customer, the store most often has everything you need - CRM systems, discount cards, loyalty clubs and customer surveys. Unfortunately, most often store owners do not use the potential of these tools to the fullest and do not rank the customer base for specific criteria. Instead, they launch the newsletter to the entire audience at once, annoying customers and wasting their time and money in vain.
Who and how to attract?
In order not to bore customers with regular SMS messages, the main message of which can be formulated only as “come and leave us your money”, segment the audience of your store and send messages to each group that take into account its features. So your newsletter will not be so annoying, and its effectiveness will increase, because now the message will look like a real concern for the buyer. You can segment your audience by several criteria, and the CRM database program will do this automatically.
Sign one: the frequency of purchase. On this basis, all customers are divided into one-time, episodic and regular.
Disposable Customers feed only owners of train stations, wedding salons and funeral homes. For a shoe store, an attempt to make a one-time customer permanent is meaningless, because these customers will no longer appear in the store for irresistible reasons: for example, they just live in another city and ended up here by accident. However, you can get the most out of one-time customers: try increasing their check and serving them so that they talk about your store in their homeland.
Episodic Although customers live within reach, their behavior is unpredictable. Sometimes they come to you regularly, and sometimes they disappear for months, and it is not known whether they will appear again. Their inconstancy is due to the fact that they either wear shoes for a very long time, or prefer to buy it according to their mood. As a rule, it is this type of buyer who prefers to come to your store during sales or promotions, and during the high season he always asks for an additional discount and blackmails the sellers so that if they don’t give him the required discount, he will not with the foot. You need to attract occasional customers in the same ways - not costly, but convincing that it is more profitable to shop at your store. The most effective methods in this case are the cumulative discount, coupons, a gift for the purchase, the “buy one, get another free” promotion, a discount on a certain number of purchases, and others.
Regular customers unlike episodic ones, they can be predicted because they consume your goods constantly. In the field of fashion retail, getting a regular customer is quite difficult, because shoes and clothes are not indispensable goods such as bread or stationery for the office. The customer of a shoe store will be made regular only by excellent service and the exact fit of the assortment to his needs. You can keep a regular customer with concession benefits and elitist attributes, for example, inviting him to sell one day before the official start and servicing with a "golden" bonus card.
When distributing customers according to the frequency of purchases, remember that belonging to a group of episodic or regular customers does not guarantee the next purchase. This segmentation is more likely to predict the very probability of a purchase and, possibly, its approximate time.
Symptom two: purchase size. According to the size of purchases made, customers are divided into rational and VIP-customers.
Rational customers although they drop in at a store with a certain frequency, they are not inclined to leave large amounts of money, so work with them should be aimed at increasing the check. But this is a topic for a separate article. Here we only note that you need to attract rational customers to the store on the basis of what type of customers in terms of frequency of purchase they belong.
VIP clients — These are buyers who purchase goods at your store regularly for a long time. Unfortunately, they do not often please us with visits, but the amount of their purchases is always large. Therefore, when working with a VIP client, the store owner does not have the task of increasing the size of his purchase, because it is much more important to make such a client just come more often. By the way, if the VIP-client already has a discount card with the face value of 25-30%, he will be interested to know that in the period 2 weeks before the official sale he will receive another 10 or 15% in addition to his card. Do not think that such a buyer is not interested in profitable offers: if he makes enough money, this most likely means that he knows how to manage money wisely, so your “smart offers” will be close to him. In addition, referring to VIP-customers can emphasize their status. For example, one of the stores that our company advises launched a newsletter in the spirit of “Do you drive a BMW?” We have a collection of matching shoes for you. ” Of course, these messages were sent only to those who really drive a BMW and this is listed in the CRM database.
Sign Three: Age. Since the psychology of customers varies depending on age, approaches and treatment should be different. Here, however, there are no specific patterns, so I will share observations.
Young customers, which do not yet have a stable monthly income, as a rule, react poorly to stocks with the “pay and get one more” mechanics. They are already limited in funds and buy something when there is money, so they are not interested in “scraping” rubles for an additional purchase. Instead, they can be interested in the original collection for a specific occasion (graduation party, New Year's party) at a low price.
Middle-aged people each expenditure is weighed, therefore for them, on the contrary, offers of an additional purchase make sense. For example, women can be persuaded to go to the store by offering a good discount on women's shoes when buying men's shoes from a certain amount. This, at the same time, will serve as a psychological justification for the waste: they went to buy shoes for the husband, and at the same time bought several pairs for the wife.
Senior citizens Unfortunately, in most cases they do not pay attention to SMS mailing, but they are happy to read free newspapers, flyers and other accessible materials that they find in clinics, district dogs and other institutions. People aged for 60 mostly buy shoes only when the old one is worn out, so you need to work with them as episodic customers. I would also like to note that they don’t understand stocks with complex mechanics, and sometimes they don’t even know what the word “stock”, “discount” or presale means. They must be contacted using the words "discounts", "sale" and "free."
Fourth symptom: individual characteristics. Be sure to note the personal characteristics of the client in the database and do special mailing on them. For example, women with too big or too small foot sizes will come even to the edge of the city if they find out that there are several pairs of 34-35 or 41-42 pairs left there. The same applies to buyers with a wide or narrow foot and people with sore feet.
It is important to consider
How to divide customers by segments? Use the ABC analysis, which is based on the Pareto principle: 20% of customers bring 80% of profit, and all the rest - 20% of profit. By ranking your customer base, you are likely to make sure that about 20% of your customers are VIP customers, and all the rest are just rational. They, in turn, are divided into regular and episodic (one-time clients are hardly taken into account by your loyalty program). As a rule, from 30 to 40% of the base of rational customers are those who go from time to time, and from 40 to 60% are those who buy constantly in your store. You need to strive for an ideal where 50% are regular customers and 30% are episodic customers.
By dividing your customers into groups in this way, you can plan your advertising budget and determine the marginal cost of attracting a specific category of customers. The newsletter, taking into account the psychological characteristics of each group, will be more effective than the newsletter "for all and no one at the same time." Send messages to customers from each segment at least two, but no more than three times a month. You may find that the frequency of distribution has increased, but buyers will receive your advertising messages less often. In addition, the cost of each of the calls will decrease due to an individual approach that will more motivate you to come to your store.
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