Retail consultant Bob Phibbs, known as ‘The Retail Doctor’, gave some inspiring insights to retailers struggling during a webinar presentation last week sponsored by the Council of State Retail Associations in cooperation with Washington Retail.
Phibbs covered topics such as how to survive, market and manage, what the future will probably look like for the industry and the importance of mindset in the coming months.
There is no doubt the retailers of Washington state are eager to open their doors again and get back to serving their communities in a safe manner. Customers are also seeking more options and safer ways of purchasing the goods they need for home and family.
While online commerce has been tremendously helpful in keeping retailers afloat during this crisis, it simply is no substitute or replacement for the purposeful interactions people have in stores. Shopping gives people a sense of control and great pride is gained when hunting for that special bargain or item. Stores are public places that tie communities together and people want to feel that sense of community in their lives again. Retailers especially have a lot of good positive work ahead towards building confidence up and getting customers back into their stores again.
Other tips offered:
- Retailers will have to sell their way out of this and tell their own unique stories
- Customers are still buying but for very different reasons these days. Learn to tap into the specific needs of your customer base.
- Although traffic is down it’s important to be sensitive to your customer’s needs above your own. The story should not be solely about your own business or struggles but about how it has impacted those connections to your customers and providing the goods and services they need from you.
- Limit the number of people in your stores, encourage and set up areas for handwashing, think of creative ways for cleaning your products for multiple uses and show customers through your marketing that you are taking safety precautions seriously. The goal is transparency and gaining your customer’s trust and confidence.
Watch the full webinar here for more insights.