If any of you have read my articles previously you will realise that I try to relate to real things that I pick up when I am out during the day. It might be an encounter with a person, an exchange with a business or something I saw somewhere.
Today's article will be short but I really wanted to share it because it made me think for a little while.
So.. plagued with an ear infection - I had to drive to the local supermarket to get some pain killers. My shopping being extremely poorly organised I visit my local supermarket every two days sometimes twice a day - often enough that the security guard knows my name. On my way to the supermarket, there is a local shoe shop with written in the window "Discounted shoes for women - buy 2 get a 3rd pair free." I have been meaning to stop a few times but somehow didn't because I thought the proposition sounded a little desperate. The front of the store is quite old looking and the signs are all handwritten - the shop doesn't seem to have its own name or any kind of distinctive signage. Today however I stopped because I had to wait for my script.
To my surprise - this little store stocks a massive amount of some of the best shoe brands in Australia. I like beautiful shoes and if anyone had told me that there was a store next door to my house selling discounted designer shoes - I would have probably lived there. For those of you who like shoes, social proof below.
So Where Did This Business Go Wrong?
Great for women who like beautiful shoes - they had lots of sizes, colours, shapes and they have a quality product. They also stock shoes for men - high quality work shoes and going out shoes. The interesting thing is when I walked in and grabbed a few pairs and told the lady that her shop was the best thing that happened in my world of shoes - she was surprised and didn't seem to believe me.
The only reason I stopped was because I was waiting for my script and because I am a naturally curious person - the shop front, signs and lack of lustre didn't sell their products and the quality on offer. The parking is always empty. A great product isn't enough - you can built it but that doesn't mean they will come. Had this business presented themselves better - more customers like me (their ideal client) would stop by. Businesses going viral without marketing (at least initially) are rare. For the rest of us - we need to put in the hard yards. Some might argue that we don't but we all make decisions based on perceptions. Especially when you are a new business - it's quasi impossible to have word of mouth and reputation backed up by your non existing list of clients so make sure that you position yourself accordingly.
The Business Outcome
Did I buy great shoes? Yes I did. Did I have a great experience? No I didn't. Was I asked for my details for future communications even if I bought 4 pairs of shoes? Nope. If I had an ideal client come into my store/shop/business and buy 4 or 5 of my products I would ensure that they had a remarkable experience and I would want to capture their details. 'You're a marketer Sharon.' Yes I am but this applies to any size business - wow your customer, be remarkable, deliver on time and with amazing service and start the relationship - have the right system in place to make these things happen. Think of little things you could do to amaze them - they don't have to cost a fortune.
Depending on your business - your shop front might be your website, your office or your store.. etc. Just like this little store - your shop front is your first promise to your customer - it sets the expectations and tells them about the type of business they will enter a relationship with. So.. what does your shop front say about your business - is it helping you build credibility and trust? Does it correspond to your service or product? Has it got this wow effect to make your ideal client stop by?