Customer loyalty is the buzzword of the times. It seems to be intrinsically connected to everything your shop needs to be successful. Being told by a multitude of different people how to get loyalty, what you need it and what it does for your business is all well and good but will it work and how do you achieve it?
We’ve gathered 8 independent retailers that have a strong loyalty from their customers and asked them their advice on how they’ve built up and maintained their customer’s loyalty. Now you can see, from the retailers themselves, what works…
An exclusive dress boutique that will help each customer find the perfect dress for every occasion and meet every budget. With new dresses and collections every season it’s evident their beautiful dresses are a key reason for their huge following. Modern Retail spoke to Clara executive director of Dresses Come True to see how else she keeps her customers flocking to her store with her #1 loyalty tip:
“We engage with our customers and always stay in contact. Treating them as individuals and inviting them to our VIP events. We want each and every customer to feel part of the DCT ethos!”
Having established in 2006, Amelie is the go-to boutique when looking for expertly edited collections of covetable designers and brands. There is no doubt that the quality and style is at the forefront of every piece that Amelie sells. Aside from having exquisite fashion lines Sharon, owner of Amelie Fashion, gives Modern Retail her top tip on how she has grown (and kept!) her customer’s loyalty:
“We have a loyalty system which is connected to our till – a card that we zap and our customers can then earn points when they shop. It encourages our loyalty card holders so come back and save their points so they can spend them in one go!
Aside from this, we like to treat our loyal customers to special events like our recent Mother’s Day event where we’ll have bubbles, giveaways etc! We also give our customers previews on new lines, first look on special offers and sales so they get the information first!”
An Independent boutique that holds all your fashion needs from clothing to accessories like handbags, scarves and jewellery. The stunning shop has an array of collections to attract fashionistas. Sue, owner of TheWardrobe reveals to Modern Retail how she has maintained such loyal customers:
“We are constantly changing our stock as our loyal customers like to see something different each time they shop. We build up relationships with our customers and get to know them.”
A small independent shop specialising in quality gifts, cards and stylish home accessories. Expanding since 1998 the brand has maintained its passion for ensuring all products are hand picked to provide unique items for their customers. Modern Retail spoke to Linda to find out a bit more about how she has kept, over all this time, her customers loyal:
“I think it’s important to keep stock fresh and exciting and try to offer a mix of products with a wide range of prices. Make sure window displays are changed regularly (we sell a lot of stock from our windows!). We introduced a loyalty card a few years ago and this has been a big success in keeping customers returning to us. Also, most importantly, go that extra mile with customer service. In the tech age, I think it’s also vital to have some sort of social media presence, even if it’s only to remind customers you’re there!!
We’ve been around for 20 years now but you can never take anything for granted. We attend at least 3 trade shows per year to ensure we have the best products available to offer our customers.”
An established independent Contemporary Silver, Jewellery, Accessory and Gift shop it focuses on having hand-picked items, which they carefully select – with most of the designs being exclusively made for Mantis and having one off pieces too. There is a beautiful selection of accessories like scarves and unique gifts like soaps. We spoke to Nigel, one-half of the Mantis brand, to see how he maintains the loyalty of his customers:
“Our number one piece of advice is to maintain customer service to everyone. We recognise that we must bend over backwards for our customers as they can shop anywhere or with anyone. We feel it’s important to treat them like the most important person in the world, so create a one on one service – which is what being an independent retailer is all about. Our second piece of advice to maintain loyalty is to have a great product! We are direct importers of quality products that we love as well as other brands that we also admire.”
An independent homemade candles company that allow customers to pick the style, design, colour and fragrance to accommodate your own personal style. They’re focused on having eco-friendly, quality candles by using Eco Soy. They strive to offer the best value for money and best service they can. Here Sophia explains to Modern Retail how they achieve their loyalty.
“We treat our customers well, ask them for their opinions and then work off their feedback. It’s important to always be good to your customers and each member of staff should be friendly.”
JeDeCo an independent boutique that showcases over 20 jewellery designer members’ unique and individual work, all hand made in the U.K. They love to inspire their customers and love selling in the knowledge that each piece of jewellery is created by hand with the designers cultural and individual personality included. Modern Retail spoke to Kristin who gave her top tip on how JeDeCo maintains their customer loyalty.
“To make sure we keep our customers happy the designers are on hand in the shop offering friendly and expert advice. We also make sure we stay active on social media to show what’s new in individual pieces, collections and designers. To say a special thank you to our customers for their loyalty, we have summer and Christmas parties where we can chat to them on a more personal level and get to know them better.”
With the choice of a wide range of stunning, seasonal bouquets you’ll be spoilt for choice with the range of fresh flowers available. Each bouquet is hand conditioned and every luxury flower bouquet is a unique, hand-picked creation. Modern Retail spoke to Sam to find out how she keeps her customers coming back!
“Being local in a village is beneficial as you get to know your customers. We also use a Loyalty card system which is a card that we stamp and put the price of the purchase on it too. Then when our customers reach ten stamps they can have a discount or a complete bouquet of flowers with the amount of the average price. We also post of social media frequently to stay engaged with our followers!”