You, dear retailer, have an amazing advantage over the competition and one that you’re probably not using as well as you should. You are a LOCAL business and as such, you have a unique opportunity to reach into the hearts – and wallets- of consumers.
So get ready to make that connection and promote your local status to better engage prospects – and convert them to customers – this holiday season.
Here are 3 things you should be doing right now.
1. Create your backstory
Why did you go into business? Did you have a collection of great family recipes that inspired you to open a bakery? Were you the kid who “styled” all your family members and wanted to do that for others? Did you want to provide your family with a legacy business?
Dig deep and translate that very human component of your business experience into a short story that will create a heart-to-heart connection with potential customers. By being sincere and authentic, you are giving the consumer a reason to feel even better about purchasing from you.
2. Play that “Local card” everywhere
Promote your “localness” through every available channel. Include the backstory on your website (don’t forget photos). Same with social media – insert locally-owned focused posts into a regular rotation. (How about breaking out some old family holiday pix?)
Include that message via in-store signage as well: “Proud to be a locally-owned business serving this wonderful community.”
3. Train employees to talk it up
If you work at your store, always introduce yourself as the owner and tell your story. In addition, train your employees to introduce the backstory to new customers. “We were founded by a family who has been in the area for 2 generations," etc.) It’s genuine and gets people’s attention at a level well beyond the merchandise you sell.
With your backstory and local angle prepared and promoted, get heavily involved in your local shop small movement and, of course, Small Business Saturday events. Don’t just use the shop-local tags and banners. Those are great but they don’t establish that personal connection and that connection is, for many, one great reason to patronize your store!
Until next time remember,
You can do this!