Amazon may well have the reputation as the one to beat when it comes to customer experience, but they shouldn’t be viewed as an insurmountable challenge. Independent retailers with ambitions for growth have an opportunity to quash the notion that ‘only Amazon can do that’
Tap into tech that will make a difference
Communicating effectively with customers doesn’t need a massive cheque book. Nor should you feel pressure to jump on the hype around a new piece of technology just because others have. With the right tools, smaller brands can deliver hyper-personalisation and targeted,
Make people feel special
Don’t be afraid to show customers you care! As we know, one of the main reason’s shoppers are opting for independent retailers over larger ones is due to the preferential treatment they receive, which makes them feel valued. Whether engaging with customer in store or online, make it personal. This should be the case throughout the entire journey, from the way you address them through to the follow up communications they receive after making a purchase.
You wouldn’t address customers en masse in a shop, so always keep this in mind and resist the urge to communicate with your online customers in this way. Whether shoppers are engaging with you for the first time or returning to make their eighth purchase, tailor the experience to their behaviour and needs.
Strive for convenience and usefulness
A large part of Amazon’s success comes down the role that the brand has carved out within consumers’ lives. It is synonymous with convenience and speed, which let’s face it, counts for a huge amount in today’s busy world. There is an opportunity to match this and serve a real purpose in the lives of consumers today if you understand what is achievable and technologies available to help you do so. Find ways to demonstrate usefulness to a consumer, whether that be through flexible delivery options, the expertise and advice you impart when giving recommendations or the reliability and quality of products you offer. Done well, you will not only mark yourself out as a convenient option, but also serve to build trust with your customer, making them more likely to return.
Flaunt your agility
Maintaining pace with the ever-evolving demands and expectations of shoppers is a challenge, but critical to show an understanding of the customer. Where larger brands have tried to challenge the Amazon giants, they often fail to meet the mark because they lack the agility of smaller retailers. As an independent, you have the scale and flexibility to adapt swiftly to changing situations, so don’t be afraid to quickly demonstrate this to the customer. This agility is the envy of many larger retailers as it goes hand-in-hand with providing a useful and relevant experience to customers that if done correctly, will soon make your brand their first port of call.