There’s a weekly Wednesday market in Worthing. I have to admit a disproportionate excitement whenever I see a market (convenient time to reference this blog post and my clear inability to suppress emotion) but I see these market stalls as the stripped back, bare bones of what we all want to be doing with our business. Seemingly effortlessly, they nail the principles of marketing.
(My market trader is male because being gender neutral was getting way too wordy.)
Set out your stall Simple as it sounds... Your shop front, your website, your Facebook page, these are your point of sale. There's some fantastic behavioural science that can be used to nudge customers towards a key product. On a fruit and veg stall, if you elevate a punnet of cherries on a table, customers will pick those punnets over any cherries at a lower height on the table. Simple right? A successful market trader won’t even consciously think about doing this, they’ll have been doing it for years. We can employ similar methods online or in store.
Let people know you are there Having a stall in the right place helps, but usually his vocal cords are a trader's best tool. His target audience is any shopper in the market, and he tells them plainly: his products, his pricing, his offers. The call to action couldn’t be clearer. Getting this message across to an online audience is much harder - we’re all shouting out into the darkness, hoping our customers will hear us. We need to first identify who will buy from our stall, find them, then guide them in.
Engage A market trader is a craftsman of sales and they have the benefit of face to face interaction. Body language and tone make up a whopping 93% of what is communicated between two people. Online, we don’t have this luxury. Engagement needs to be earned through serving the right content, at the right time, to the right people.
Make your customers feel valued
Throwing in a gift post-purchase is more powerful to your brand than offering a freebie pre-sale. Smile. Offer a loyalty scheme. Doing these things will not only improve customer retention, it will increase the chances of recommendation, of amplification of your messages, ultimately of creating brand ambassadors. Plus, it makes people happy. Win, win!
And it’s all so human.
We’re not market traders, our businesses need to take a more complex path to customer acquisition, retention, engagement and loyalty but the principles are the same. Let people know you’re there, show your shiniest cherries, and make your customers feel valued.