How Retailers Can Build an Engaged Customer Base
Building a credible relationship with customers is crucial for every retailer. Such relationships build trust, and without trust, retailers find it challenging to make sales. Brick-and-mortar retailers have the opportunity to create physical communities of those loyal customers. These communities provide tangible value that keep customers in stores longer, bring them back, and spread your brand story through word-of-mouth referrals.
But building a community takes more than just building trust. It takes the right physical space, the right cause and dedication from your entire team. And here are some ways retailers can move forward with creating a community around your brand and building an engaged customer base as a result.
If you want to establish a community within your retail space, it must be authentic and transparent. Instead of approaching it only as a business opportunity, consider the community you cultivate to be true to your brand’s voice. If you have the goal of attracting people to events with the intention of making a sale, your community members will quickly catch on.
Establish commonalities in the values and passions of your brand’s story and your ideal customers and consider community-driven efforts towards those topics. It’s key to establish a strong brand identity to guide your company values. From there, you can establish a basis for your community. Knowing your brand identity can also help you establish an identity for your community.
Look Outside Your Store
Your community isn’t just limited to your physical space only. Instead, allow your community to extend beyond your storefront. When you reach your community through multiple communication touch points, your relationships with customers will strengthen.
Here are some ideas to get started:
- Create a dedicated newsletter for people who attend your community events and gatherings. Interact with them and avoid trying to sell your products—prioritize the relationships and encourage conversation.
- Start getting active in your community. You don’t have to start from scratch and build a community around your store. Instead, look to other local businesses and organizations you can partner with. Then invite your community to visit your store after you’ve cultivated real relationships.
- Organize litter clean-ups and build your own community by protecting your local community
Talk about your community on social media, but in an organic way that shares your excitement about the community. You don’t need to overtly persuade people to join; simply seeing the community you’ve cultivated in action could be enough. For example, Oscar POS has created relationships with several retailers and its trusted by many store-owners across Pakistan. Oscar’s Facebook channel also helps its community stay engaged and up-to-date with the latest developments. Like Oscar, you can also create social media channels for your brand and help build a community of your own:
- Create public Facebook events for your community gatherings. People are able to find them more easily, even if they don’t like your page, and anyone who’s indicated interest will receive notifications.
- Maintain community management on your social media channels to show people you’re engaged with your community both on and offline.
- Use paid social ads to geotarget people nearby who can become part of your community.
- Post photos of your community in action.
- Create and manage a private Facebook group where your community can engage with one another in a safe online space.
Promote your community on your website, whether you sell online or not. Maintain a calendar with your events, share photos of your community, talk about accomplishments your community has made, and publish blog posts about your community group. Oscar engages with its audience through its website as well and always stays ahead of the crowd. You can also create a website that cultivates a unique space for your audience to interact with your business as well as other customers too.
Creating a new community with several retailers can be intimidating—you don’t have to be the founder to get involved in similar community-driven retail environments. One great way to experiment is by opening a pop-up shop and partnering with other local businesses to amplify the reach. Oscar is a great example that sets the standard of a creative community of retailers and businessmen. Creating a community around your business elevates you up the industry levels and inspires people to engage in things that are beneficial not only to themselves but to the whole community.