As you are planning to have a big 2024, I’m sure you and your team have a long list of improvements to focus on. You may be wondering how to prioritize that list based on what is most important to your customers. Well, we have some valuable data to share about the ever-changing needs of your customers! In a recent Farnsworth Group study conducted at one of our client’s stores, 300 customers were asked what was most important and most impactful for them, and the findings may– or actually may not– surprise you. The customers were asked to rank fourteen factors of retail on their importance and impact. The survey data displayed below highlights three factors as delivering both impact and high value to hardware retail customer needs.
From this data, we know the 3 things retail hardware customers want are:
- Product on the shelves.
- Someone right there to help them find it.
- A knowledgeable employee to help them problem solve.
Let’s Break These Down
Now that we know what customers find important and impactful, it is crucial to understand exactly what these factors mean, what they ask of retailers, and how we can satisfy the customer’s needs.
“Has the products you are shopping for in stock”
- What: This one probably doesn’t surprise you, but today’s retail consumers, from Millennial to Boomer, want their products immediately.
- Why: Not only do OOS items result in customer dissatisfaction, shopper defection, and lost retail brand reputation, but In-Stock items are shown to drive foot traffic resulting in a much higher conversion rate with customers. ‘Just over half (51%) of retailers offer same-day delivery, and this figure could rise to as high as 65% in 2019. For retailers worried about covering the costs of this service, there is some good news: a large majority of consumers, 88%, are willing to pay for same-day (or faster) delivery services’. This is the single most significant competitive advantage in the fight with Amazon and other online retailers who can deliver the next day at the earliest vs. the same day for you!
- Who: Whether it’s the people answering your phones or your website and social media contact forms, please ensure that your entire team knows how important it is to respond that you have what they’re looking for IN STOCK!
- How: Design your phone scripts, educate your floor associates and rewrite the messaging on your digital channels to have a call to action for people to check to see if they can ‘Pick it up in-store TODAY!’.
- Where: Your ‘In-stock’ messaging should be included on your website, social media channels, huddle agendas, team training, window signage, and delivery vans. All of your outward-facing marketing efforts should keep this top of mind.
“This is the single largest competitive advantage in the fight with Amazon..”
“Has employees available to assist you”
- What: People don’t want to wait for the products AND they also don’t want to struggle to find them.
- Why: One in four customers is willing to pay up to 10% more in almost every industry if they know they will receive excellent customer service. This is one of the largest competitive advantages in the fight with big-box empty wastelands that frustrate their consumers with a severe lack of available associates!
- Who: This information has floor manager written all over it, and if you’re reading this, they’re already on top of it! This data only goes to support and reinforce their current efforts.
- How: You can’t say it enough, “Engage the customer as quickly as possible.”
- Where: Again, messaging about helpful associates being available should be included on your website, social media channels, huddle agendas, team training, window signage, and delivery vans. Once again, all of your outward-facing marketing efforts should keep this top of mind.
“Has knowledgeable employees”
- What: Well, we can go back to the remodeling retiree or the first-time homeowners who rely on Pinterest, Google, and Youtube to get them a general idea of what they need and YOUR ASSOCIATE to help get them over the finish line with their project.
- Why: This is the big difference between simply being friendly and going above and beyond to be helpful. Using the prior study by Shephyken, “when we asked our consumers if they would be willing to pay more for convenience, the number increased to 70%.”
- Who: We can’t think of a single person within your organization who shouldn’t know all 3 of these facts, but if we had to choose one group, it would be the department leads that can inspire and motivate based on this prideful info.
- How: Every huddle should reinforce, empower, and affirm that the knowledge of OUR team is what makes us unique.
- Where: Messaging about your knowledgeable associates should be a big part of your social media branding efforts that position your store as the go-to place to solve hard problems. We also recommend creating DIY videos for your Youtube channel, uploading short videos to Instagram and TikTok, public events that train your customer’s on specific projects, and window signage and apron bling that reinforces your team’s expertise!
Gain Advantage By Understanding Their Needs
Although we don’t like to refer to Home Depot and Amazon as competitors, we do like to keep them in our line of sight. In doing that, we know that OUR client’s customers become loyal brand advocates because of these differentiators.
If you’re curious about how you can adopt tips like these into your marketing efforts, click below to set up a meeting with Rand to chat about your marketing.