Most businesses need customers to make money. Without customers, there is no business, just an idea and lots of stuff. Over time, they need to attract more customers to grow and develop, or just to stay afloat. This is why most new businesses put a lot of time and thought into who they want their customers to be. They consider what this target customer might want from them, and how they will find them. They think about the marketing tools that they will use to get this target customer on board, spending money and investing time in their business.
If you want to do well, if you’re going to keep these customers coming back, and you need them to bring others with them. Creating a loyal customer base is about more than offering excellent service and products. In fact, it’s often about providing as much as you can, in many different variations.
Most of us have grown used to the idea of things being personalized. Big brands and stores offer so many different options. We don’t just get to choose between sizes. For a high-street price, we can select the size, shape, color, and style of a product, so much so that it feels custom made. As a smaller business you might not be able to offer as much choice, but give your customers as many product options as you can to satisfy their needs and expectations.
Payment options are a must. Gone are the days where most purchases were cash. Nowadays, even in smaller high-street shops, customers have choices. They can pay with money, on credit or debit card, with their iPhones or with via PayPal. If you run an online store, there are even more options. Look at an online payment gateway to simplify things, giving everyone an easy way to pay.
If you want to compete with bigger business, delivery options are a must. Global stores like Amazon no longer just offer next day delivery, they do it for free, with many now even offering same-day delivery, within a few hours of ordering.
You might not be able to offer same-day delivery services, but could you manage next day? Even named day has benefits to customers, especially if it’s cheap. Offering delivery to shops and pick up points is another great option, as it is often less expensive for both you and the customer, and it means that they never need to wait in at home.
Customers today want more. They don’t just want to walk into a shop and buy things. They want to have different ways to shop. They want to be able to browse in store and shop online at the same time. They want to choose delivery dates and be given different ways to pay. They want products in a range of colors and size. They don’t just want shopping to be easy. They want it to meet all of their needs, offering options that meet needs they didn’t know that they had. They want enough options that they feel as though they can create an entirely personal shopping experience.