Fifty percent of US consumers cite email as their preferred method of contact from brands, according to Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index. What makes for an effective email from a brick and mortar retailer? It certain is not a discount coupon offer. According to the survey, open rates for discount offers declined from 20 percent in 2017 to 18 percent in 2018. What does work are informative emails.
The reason why focusing on features and benefits of products does not work is because the brain craves meaning before details, claims University of Washington School of Medicine molecular biologist John Medina. When a customer does not understand what a new kitchen or bath will do for them, how it will affect their lives and how it will make them feel every time they cross the threshold, there’s little chance that talking about the number of finishes or options available will make an impact.
On Monday, October 15, Sears filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection, announced the shuttering of more than 140 stores and fired its CEO. None of these actions came as a surprise to anyone who has followed Sears recently. There will be many who attribute Sears’ woes to Amazon and other online etailers. That’s not the reason for Sears’ current predicament. In fact, Sears was Amazon before the Internet was even a pipe dream.
Common complaints among consumers shopping at brick and mortar retailers include bad customer experiences, bad customer service, having to cater to the convenience of the retailer and being directed to buy whatever the salesperson is spiffed on.
Your potential customers won’t tolerate salespeople who do not place them at the center of the universe. According to BKBG Conference workshop leader the Retail Doctor Bob Phibbs, most people believe closing occurs when a customer decides to buy and either signs a contract, agrees to pay for an item or puts down a deposit. Closing, according to Phibbs, is the end of the selling process. It’s the conclusion of a journey. In a kitchen and bath showroom, closing occurs after a customer decides, after talking with a designer or sales professional, to partner with the showroom to create a new kitchen, bath or other space in their home.
Seth Godin is one of the most admired and respected minds in marketing today. He is the author of more than a dozen books and publishes a daily must-read for anyone who runs a business. What makes Seth special is that he looks at the world through different lenses, constantly challenging the status quo to take fresh new approaches that work more often than not. He was among the first marketing minds to understand that the way people purchase had changed and recognize that it is necessary to change messaging in order to respond effectively to the paradigm shift that had taken place.
Millennials get a lot of press. They are the largest generation in U.S. history and will eventually be a major market for kitchen and bath showrooms. However, at the moment, they are not as important as two other market demographics which are:
Women are the premier purchasers of more or less everything. What are you doing to specifically craft messages, services, designs, merchandising and displays that appeal to women?
In 2011, Google coined the term, Zero Moment of Truth as the time between a consumer’s first interaction with a brand and the final purchase. If you don’t believe that the customer buying journey has undergone a complete transformation in the last seven years, consider this: consumers review on average 22 sources on information before making a purchase, and that number is more than 40 in categories such as travel and hospitality.
When you want to establish a relationship with a prospective client, be it a builder, realtor, multifamily developer or single-family homeowner, what’s better for an initial contact, email or phone call? After all, you only have one opportunity to make a first impression. You want to make sure that it is a positive one. Robert Graham, author of Cold Calling Early Customers, recommends sending an email because it does not require the recipient to respond immediately. Plus, he adds that you can use an email as a reason to make a follow up phone call.
The Retail Profit Doug Stephens has astutely observed that purchasing products from Amazon is the quickest route from wanting to receiving. There is nothing special or emotionally engaging with acquiring goods with a few clicks of a mouse. Yet, Amazon is expected to be responsible for 80 percent of online purchasing growth in 2018 and commands 49 percent of all Internet searches.
A fascinating study of 1,600 American consumers in February 2018 found that 65 percent of consumers’ shopping behavior has been affected by the current administration in the White House. This is a whopping 25 percent increase from a similar study produced in February 2017.