Today’s tech-savvy consumers are easily comparing your brand to the competition online by using their smartphones, computer pads, and other state of the art mobile devices. The 2015 annual study by Global Consumer Pulse Research (GCPR) – reported by Accenture – found that modern consumers have been switching brands 29 percent more often over the past five years.
This “Switching Economy” – as termed by Accenture – has resulted in over $1.6 trillion in sales available in the eCommerce marketplace that is not being actively pursued by existing retail businesses of all sizes.
Don’t let your small business fall behind with the drastic changes in consumer spending patterns that have been taking place as a result of mobile devices.
Transforming In-Step With Your Customers’ Expectations
Fifty-six percent of the consumers in the GCPR study reported that they are more likely to contemplate switching brands than they were 10 years ago. Because your retail store will be easily compared to your competition by way of a quick browse on a potential customer’s Smartphone or tablet computer – you cannot remain passive in this Switching Economy – you must stand out!
Equalize Every Customer’s Experience – Online and In-Store
Your physical retail store and your online shopping access for customers via your website must be integrated to complement the other. Update and improved your website to ensure that it is user-friendly, updated, and full of helpful information to your potential customers.
Failure to monitor, maintain, and update your small business’s website is an invitation for your customers to turn to a competitor. For example, always extend the customer the option of returning merchandise purchased online to your physical business location. Don’t annoy customers with outdated business hours or the absence of a telephone number by which they can talk to a real, live, helpful customer service representative.
Lure Your Competition’s Business During this Switching Economy
The best news is that you have the opportunity to seize your competition’s customers because of the present Switching Economy. Now is the time to perform your due diligence in researching your competition’s present marketing strategy. Discover the weaknesses of your competitors:
• Visit store locations to view their product presentation and customer service techniques.
• Monitor websites for promotional campaigns and user-friendly mobile eCommerce.
• Visit social media sites to track feedback from customers.
These are just some techniques that can be implemented to discover what the competition is offering customers that you are not as well what you can offer to customers that the competition is neglecting.
Use today’s customer’s propensity for frequently switching brands as a weapon in your arsenal. From the information you gather on your competitor’s customer service feedback, you can be better equipped to turn their loss of business into your opportunity to enhance business.
Learn What Customers Want – and – Don’t Want
Small business owners are keenly aware that an inventory of products that can be quickly turned over is crucial to success. Always conduct regular, creative, and engaging customer surveys as a means of discovering what the Switching Economy consumer is demanding. These surveys can be designed and implemented as part of a perk package redeemable by customers on future purchases.
Make it part of your daily routine to use some clever means to gather data that reveals what your target customers prefer and what they dislike. Of course, always ask customers for feedback on their website and in-store shopping experience, their customer service experience, and what they expect from your business in the future.
“Customer Loyalty” is Yesterday’s Motto
Developing a marketing strategy that emphasizes customer personalization – versus customer loyalty – appears to be key to gaining the business of customers who are predisposed to switching brands. This mantra is especially helpful if you believe that your small business has suffered due to the Switching Economy.
The GCPR study found that over one-fourth of the consumers said that they could be persuaded to switch back to their previous brand if the business offered more attractive pricing incentives (56%) and upgraded products (47%). Bottom line learned from the Switching Economy: Use it to your benefit.
Strive to be Personable
Mobile consumers are demanding that eCommerce businesses offer suggestions for products that their customers might like and provide a service experience that is personally tailored to their wants and needs. Thoroughly research and take advantage of the plethora of digital loyalty apps available to small businesses and monitor your target customers’ personal preferences so that you can ride the Switching Economy wave.