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Part 3: From Surviving to Thriving: Putting It into Practice

The “normal” way of life has dramatically changed for the entire world, virtually overnight. Routines have been broken or altered, finances have shifted, and consumers have learned to “live without.” So how do you get your business ahead of this rapidly changing economy in order to stay relevant and desired by your customers?

Well, you will want to start with not assuming your customer is the same person they were a few short months ago. Put away past knowledge and start fresh with where they are today.

Let’s look at some sample data that a retail clothing business would want to uncover about their customers’ change in buying behavior. Identifying such data can help position their business and marketing to stay relevant to their customers. Start by answering the following questions:

  • Has there been a decline, increase, or no change in the customers’ typical purchases?
  • How do they rate the quality of your products?
  • In 2019, did they purchase more from brick and mortar or online?
    • How likely are they to continue that behavior in 2020?
  • What other clothing stores did they typically buy from over the past six months?
    • Why do they shop at competitors – convenience, location and/or pricing?
    • Is their shopping increasing, decreasing, or is there no change with competitors?
  • How do they benefit the most from you?
  • What keeps them coming back to your store (or e-commerce)?
    • Have them rate their e-commerce or website experience with you (1, bad – 5, great)
    • Include a comment area for them to explain their rating
  • In what areas and in what ways could you improve their buying experience?
  • Where are you currently outshining alternative clothing stores?
  • How likely are they to continue shopping with you?
    • Include comment area for them to explain

The questions will vary depending on your type of business. The goal is to understand what shifts have taken place in your customers’ buying process over the past 12 months and how likely they are to continue as a loyal customer with you through these changes.

Review the trends among your customer feedback and analyze if their buying behavior is temporary, due to the quarantine, or is here to stay. Here is where you need to take action.

If you see a trend in the feedback that your customers plan to reduce shopping, how can you get ahead of that? Is it due to a lack of e-commerce, inventory, website experience, or pricing? Do you need to reposition your messaging based on this feedback? Do you need to update your online shopping platform or develop an app in order to be more user-friendly?

If your current customer touchpoints are not meeting the needs of your customer’s whether in messaging, offerings, service, or ease-of-use, the data you gather gives you direct insights into how to improve your touchpoints. In doing so, you remain relevant and necessary to your customers, and as a result, you move your business from surviving to thriving in your market.

Access the Brand Insights™ Ultimate Guide to Understanding Your Customers here, and be ready to welcome back your customers.