There’s no denying that brick-and-mortar retail stores have been in a rapid decline over the past few years, with covid only exacerbating the issue. But research shows that the driving force behind successful brick and mortar businesses is not their adoption of online shopping options but their brand loyalty.
According to branding agency EWR Digital, brand loyalty is defined as the positive feelings customers attach to products or services, leading them to continuously come back for more and ignore competitors’ attempts at reaching their business with similar items. This buying behavior can be a conscious or unconscious decision, but it relies on the trust the customer has developed in that brand.
Think of brands like Apple or Disney, they dominate their fields because they continuously are building upon their brand loyalty. Their customers expect the brand will continuously deliver the results they’ve come to know and love, and these businesses do so.
One study suggested that increasing your brand loyalty by just 5% can increase yearly profits by 95%. It may seem like a challenging endeavor, creating and building upon your brand loyalty, but there are plenty of marketing tactics you can use to help build a community around your store. Below, we’ve put together 5 ways you can help build brand loyalty about your brick-and-mortar business.
- Give Away Free Promotional Products
Customers like free products, so by offering a giveaway at your store you’re bound to entice new and old customers alike. while also ensuring they leave with something they’ll remember. For example, at checkout, you might give first-time customers a free branded sticker or branded face mask.
- Create a Loyalty or Rewards Program
Loyalty and rewards programs are a really great way to incentivize repeat customers. These programs offer coupons or free items to your customers after so many purchases at your store. You can also look into offering cashback or pay with points options as well.
For instance, Starbucks has a renowned online rewards program. Even for non-repeat members, they recognize their customers’ birthdays and offer holiday specials to catch their attention. They manage to get their customers excited about spending at their store because they are receiving something in return, even if that day they don’t have enough points for their drink.
While the Starbucks rewards program does have an application, they also spread the word via their social media sites to garner as many hits as possible. Posting on your social media is a great way to spread the word in your community about loyalty and reward program perks.
- Prioritize Stellar Customer Service
Your customer service team is a direct representation of your brand, and being so, the team needs to be stellar. The way your customer service team interacts with customers, and whether or not they solve their problems, will either positively or negatively affect the customers’ opinion of your business. According to Hubspot, 67% of consumers are willing to pay more for a business that ensures better customer service.
Your customer service team can also give you insight into the needs of your customers. For instance, if you have a series of similar complaints about one product, you’d be able to assume the product is faulty and at least look into the problem. By providing the proper training, hiring hard workers, and incorporating brand awareness into the core of their workforce, your customer service team will be able to be the best representation of your brand and help extend the loyalty around it.
- Utilize Social Media
Make sure that your business has social media pages like Facebook or Instagram, and keep it up to date. Social media is a great way to connect and engage with the community around you. You can use your platforms to promote upcoming events or sales at your store. Think about posting pictures of customers in-store with their products. You could even run giveaways on your social media platforms, encouraging customers to tag their
friends at a chance to win which draws new visitors to your profiles.
- Community Outreach
A great way to get your brick-and-mortar business’s name out in your community is to literally go out and do so. See if there are any community markets or bazaars happening where you can open a booth. Involving yourself in community events will allow members of the community to warm up to you faster and encourage them to head over and visit your store.