There is one important mantra for every retailer: “Customer relations are essential.” Of course, we all know that relationships build trust—a trust that would eventually turn into sales.
According to research, almost two-thirds of global consumers consider brand trust as one of the most important things that a brand should build. Well, it is actually a pro-retailers scheme. For when retailers build that trust, the consumers would be more willing to do much more than just complete a purchase.
In this light, brick-and-mortar retailers really have a great opportunity to produce “physical communities of those loyal customers.” These communities provide real value that holds the shoppers in stores a little longer, bring them back, and actually share your brand story to others through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Not to mentions, 92% of global consumers trust recommendations. Thus, if you have a whole community who uses word-of-mouth recommendations every to their friends and family, that would be of something good for your brand.
However, building community is more than just building trust. It requires a good physical space, the right cause, and an undying dedication of your whole team.
To give you some ways on how you would move forward in producing a community for your brand, here are some points you might want to consider:
- Lend your eyes beyond your store
Your community shall not be just bounded to your physical space. Look outside! Create a community that would extend beyond your storefront. When the time comes that you reach your target community—of course, through various communication touch points—your community and relationships with your customers will get stronger.
To give you some ideas on how to actually start on this, here are some examples:
- Produce a personalized newsletter for people who have lent their time to go to your community events and gatherings. Have an interaction with them, but remember, don’t try to sell your products. On that matter, your priority is merely to build the relationships and spark a conversation.
- Be active in an existing community as much as possible. Starting from scratch is not recommended. If you have noticed that there’s already a community around your store, give time to enter it. Perhaps, you can find for some local businesses and organizations in their community that you can partner with.
- Publicize your Community’s stories
Nowadays, social media is a very powerful tool that can be used for information dissemination. Thus, you might have to consider it to be used to talk about your community in an organic way. Through this, you would be able to share your excitement about the community. Well, you don’t have to be too pushy when encouraging people to join. Just the thought that you see the community you’ve cultivated inaction is already an award.
When a shopper shops in your store, take the opportunity to offer a not-too-complicated way to sign themselves up for your email list. Then after that, send them emails them regarding your community, community events, and other related content. Take, for example, your community is comprised of those people who love to bike. Then, send emails with biking tips and techniques. You could also incorporate a call-out to your upcoming activities.
Your website would be a powerful tool if you’d maximize it properly. Here, you can promote your community through maintaining a calendar with your events, share your community’s photos; create a portion where people would see your community’s accomplishments, and circulate blog posts that are merely about your community group.
- Host Community Events
Lastly, you can initiate community-building events.
There are lots of retailers that host event in partnership with local organizations in the community. Here, you have the freedom to be more creative and more precise for your niche.