Giving your customers choice is a golden rule in business. After all, every customer has different needs. Be it budget, size, preference or style – choice is of utmost importance. It’s how we differentiate ourselves from the competition. For me, this is my unique three step streamlined process, fixed pricing and website packages. We can apply choice to so many levels of our business. However, this article focusses on the choice of how your customers interact with your business. We’ll look at a few options and why they are essential to your success.

 

The choice of an in-store experience

Though the internet is one of the most important parts of all our lives today, in-store is still important. Retail is not at risk because of online shopping and convenience. If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that in-store experiences are very valuable to us. During our evenings, weekends and holidays we love going out and exploring the town. The winners in the next decade in retail will be the companies who understand how to deliver a unique in-store experience that can’t be replicated online. The ability to try a sample or test-drive a car – these will never be the same virtualised for some customers. Companies like Apple figured out long ago the value of delivering free in-store learning workshops to immerse visitors in the easy experience of using its technology. Sure, you can learn how to use a computer online. But it doesn’t compare with the friendliness and supportiveness of their in-store experts. It’s a reason to visit the store and perhaps be convinced that you want to buy its products. And since you’re in the store, you’re one decision away from doing just that. What kind of in-store experience can you deliver to your customers? Think of an experience they’ll want to come and enjoy time and time again. It will strengthen your brand and its reputation.

 

The choice of an online experience

If you’re a regular reader – and a resident of planet earth – you know that a website is a company’s most valuable marketing tool. Today we use websites to learn about, purchase and experience what products and services have to offer us. During lockdown, this has become even more commonplace and enjoyed by consumers at home. In some cases, their only way to interact with your business. Of course your website serves up the need to know information. But buying and customising products can be an immersive and enjoyable experience for customers too. How many times have you configured your dream car or visualised new IKEA furniture using your smartphone? The internet is always becoming more and more capable of delivering a wow-experience. How can you not only sell, but build and sustain a customers appetite to buy your products on yoru website? This is great for customers who don’t have the time to visit your store (or can’t because of lockdown). It’s why having the choice of both options is so important – to catch customers in all circumstances.

 

The choice of an at-home experience

We can’t sit in at CaffĂ© Nero or Starbucks anymore – for now. It’s takeaway or the highway… right? These big companies have developed at home ways to enjoy their products. We love these brands – just like your customers love your brand. If you can tailor your products or services to be useable at home in lieu of the in-store experience when needed, you reach even more customers. Unlike the big coffee chains, you don’t need to have a specially developed product range at hand. Some local businesses right here in Londonderry have adapted beautifully to this. The Primrose CafĂ© – one of the cities most premium bakery / sit-in dining experiences excelled during lockdown by delivering make at home kits. This helped local customers enjoy the delicious quality of its goods at home, along with giving them something new to try at home – cooking. This brings out the best of what small businesses can do, during the darkest of times. What ways can you give customers to spend time using your products at home?

 

The choice of an on-the-go experience

Another choice you might give customers is to be able to enjoy your products and services on the go. Now, it seems that the days of travelling and exploring the world were a long time ago. But someday this will return. And until then, we are exploring our local parks and greenways more to keep fit and enjoy mindfulness. Marketing your products and how they can help customers enjoy life out and about is key to appealing to as many people as possible. Think backpacks, flasks, winter hats or other handy products. Maybe you already have products like this to promote. Or perhaps your core business is something else – however you can still produce and sell branded merchandise. Companies like Branded Merchandise exist to offer ready to go products and ideas with your brand on them. These may be used in conjunction with your products – or simply a reminder for customers and those around them of your brand. Other businesses such as restaurants and cafes already offer to-go cups and boxes for those on the move. Other brands such as Wrigley’s Extra chewing gum made special packs that fit in a cars cupholder, helping make sure its product became integrated into customers daily lives. How can you put your brand and products in service of people on-the-go?

 

Explaining customer choices online helps customers interact with you

As we’ve explored there are so many ways you can offer customers choice in how they prefer to interact with your firm. But how do you make sure they are aware of their choices? That’s where your website comes in. Check out Why Your Business Needs a Website to read more about why social media doesn’t cut it. Your website reflects your brand in as much detail and attention as you feel you need to convert visitors into customers. Let them explore all of the options you’ve worked hard to deliver so that they can choose their favourite way to transact with your products and services. If you need a website, check out my Fixed Price Packages and learn how my simple three-step approach makes it hassle free to get your busines online. Talk to me today if you want to know more…