Price – Getting this right is the first order of business. Nearly three-quarters of Americans say they’re living a simpler life, spending less and being more frugal as a result of the recession. It’s essential to meet or beat the competition’s pricing on selected front-line products and services. Then you can provide bundled services or additional products at more profitable price points.
Added Value – Online comparison shopping is the norm these days, and whether you sell online, offline or both, shoppers are looking for that little extra nudge when choosing where to make their final purchase. Free shipping, coupons and buy-one get-one sales are currently among the most popular incentives.
Convenience – Gone are the days of cheap gas and moms with unlimited time to shop. Now customers want and expect convenience. If you have an e-commerce website, streamline the checkout process, particularly for returning customers. Traditional brick-and-mortar store owners should re-evaluate hours of operation, as well as checkout wait times and staffing to ensure a speedy and convenient shopping experience, especially if working mothers are your bread and butter.
Trust – Customers are careful to spend their limited dollars wisely and are scrutinizing each purchase to make sure they’re making a “safe” decision. They want to buy from companies they trust and believe in. So include testimonials, reviews or a message board on your website that helps customers understand why they should believe in your company and trust what you sell.
Conscience – Increasingly, consumers want to know you’re a good corporate citizen. Businesses with a conscience care for their communities, others who are less fortunate and the world around them. Detail your activism on your website, in your company newsletter or through in-store promotions. Get involved at the local level and encourage your customers to participate, such as through food or clothing drives, or by cleaning up the local park. You’ll establish a positive relationship with customers that sets you apart from your competition and motivates like-minded customers to buy from you.
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