Index

6. What really makes your customers love you?

How can you encourage consumers to shop more at your local business? While some of the answers are expected, there’s a few surprises in the data you need to know about.

We’ve seen earlier in this report that a third of consumers would prefer to shop local for products and an overwhelming 73% would prefer to shop local for services. But how can you encourage them to do this?

If you thought that consumers were weary of special offers and discounts, think again.

The top thing local businesses can do to encourage customers to shop local is to run special events in store and offer deals and promotions.

Of course, opening at hours to suit your customers, goes without saying (and clocks in at the second best way to encourage local custom), but it’s interesting to note that a
friendly shop owner or assistant is the third most important way to encourage consumers to shop local. This shows how important it is to be yourself in your business and to train your staff to pay close (and friendly) attention to your customers.

An attractive loyalty system also got a mention, ranking seventh, while the possibility to pay electronically was considered even more important than good interior design in encouraging more local shopping.

7. Communication key in building the love

A majority of customers actually want you to communicate with them. But how? We have the answers.

We know that independent local stores like yours, are an important part of our communities. So, it’s good to confirm that a majority of consumers surveyed want to keep in touch with what’s going on with your business.

Growing your customer love is no different to any other relationship. The secret lies in mastering communication and increasing your knowledge of your partner (customer!).
The most popular way for consumers to keep in touch with what’s happening in your business is by talking to you and your staff. Once again, as we found in an earlier part of this report, this underlines how important friendliness and a personal touch is to encouraging local consumers. Personal care can keep your customers coming back time and again.

Apart from personal updates your store’s website is even more important with 68% of consumers checking it for information.

Our research also tells us that consumers want to support local webshops with 55% wanting local stores to have an online shop so they can shop there whenever they want. (This also plays into the importance of convenience highlighted earlier in this report).

50% of customers also prefer to stay up to date with your local businesses on email so it is clearly important for you to build a customer database, ensure it is GDPR compliant, and then communicate regularly with relevant and interesting emails and promotions.

Finally, nearly half of all consumers (48%) follow local stores on social media to stay up to date on what’s happening. This highlights how important social media and social commerce is becoming across Europe and why your business needs to have an active presence on channels like Facebook and Instagram. In fact, according to Facebook at least once a week, nearly two in three people on Facebook visit the page of a local business or event.

Ultimately what we can see from these findings is that a digital first, agile local business which can bring real personality to bear (with the emphasis on the personal touch), will build stronger connections with customers.

8. 5 ways to make yourself more loveable

There’s clearly a lot of love for local businesses across Europe as consumers vote with their feet (and clicks) to support their local stores and webshops. But how can you make your business even more lovable? Here are some ideas to get you started.

We know that independent local stores like yours, are an important part of our communities. So, it’s good to confirm that a majority of consumers surveyed want to keep in touch with what’s going on with your business.

1. Open your doors as a local meeting point

While we have seen the importance of a social media presence in keeping in touch with your customers, we’ve also discovered that events in store rank highly with customers. Human experience is even rivaling customer experience so it’s the perfect time to introduce a different type of social networking into your business.

Use your premises to host local groups, or sample new products. You can also join forces with other local shops to create events, like a street party celebrating local, for example, or a series of customer evenings in a different local store each week.

The more you can make your business a focus of local life the better. CCV believes so strongly in this kind of collaboration they are happy to put you in touch with local entrepreneurs who might be interested in partnering with (no strings attached).

2. Use technology to get even closer to your customers

Local stores like yours can now enjoy technology to rival the big boys, without the big capital investment.

You can use a host of free tools to help with your sales and marketing. Manage your client data base with a CRM tool and stay in touch with prospects and clients with an email marketing tool. Start to manage your social media and schedule posts in advance with one of the many social media tools., Create great designs for your marketing and communications with an online easy-to-use graphic design tool. Finally see what visitors are doing on your website and how they interact with your content with a website tracking tool.

3. Give your customers payment options

By 2030 three out of four people will own a connected device. Our research shows the importance of offering multiple payment systems to your customers and it goes without saying they also want a smooth, fast checkout process.

At a minimum you will need a payment partner who can support local payments like Postfinance and Twint in Switzerland or Payconic in Belgium and the Netherlands. (Check out CCV solutions to find out how a flexible payment partner can grow with your local business or just support the services you need along the way).

Offer your customers a user-friendly gift cards, with very little administration. You can use these to offer a discount on a subsequent purchase or as an offer in its own right so that your loyal customers can spread the Love Local message to a friend or family member.

4. Spread the love with a webshop

We’ve seen in this report that there’s an opportunity for local businesses to close the small lead the chains have in certain webshop categories. We’ve also seen that a vast majority of customers want their local stores to have an online presence so they can shop when they want.

Clearly, thinking offline as well as online is a bit of a no brainer. So, it’s good to know that you can get up and running with your webshop in your lunch hour with a fast and easy webshop solution from CCV.

CCV webshop is an all-in-one solution for a set monthly fee. It can manage your entire catalogue and integrate with your stock management and accounts. The webshop can also facilitate delivery or collection options (which were ranked as an important factor in shopping local by consumers).

5. Reward customer love with a loyalty programme

Staying really connected to your customers both online and in store will really help to build your business. Our research shows that having a loyalty programme can be an important reason for customers to shop with their local webshop. We’ve also seen that customers like to be kept up to date on your offers and promotions.

You can make a simple start by asking your customers to sign up for your mailing list and sending them special ‘customer only’ offers. As you build your webshop you will also be building a valuable database of customers, who, depending on where they live, may also be interested in shopping in store. Cross promote both stores where you have different customer groups by promoting your webshop to existing instore customers and vice versa.

Reward loyal customers for sharing your content and building Local Love on your social media channels like Instagram and Facebook.

And finally, let everyone know you are local. Tell your local story on social media, celebrate how local you are with your signage, sing it from the rooftops and soon your customers will Love Local, as much as you (and we at CCV) do.

9. It’s all about the relationship

CCV Group started as a local business over sixty years ago and is still as passionate about supporting local independent businesses like yours as it was back then.

While a lot has changed for your local business over the years, particularly with the emergence of digital commerce and social media, one thing remains the same: the need for a truly ‘local’ partner to support you on your entrepreneurs’ journey.

CCV understands the challenges you face in attracting customers and growing your business and has built a portfolio of flexible solutions, from payments, to webshops, to meet them. It really is all about the relationship.

Our report shows that when given the option a majority of consumers will opt to Love Local. It also shows there are opportunities for local businesses like yours to extend your reach online with webshops and bring your customers even closer.

 

Being successful in your local business brings a huge array of benefits to your local economy and community. As we said from the very outset, independent businesses like yours are the heart and soul of our towns and cities.

To find out more about how CCV can help you grow and strengthen your local business,
whether through the perfect payment solution, no-fuss, intelligent point of sale systems, or easy to use webshops just contact +31 (0)88 228 9911. or send us an email with your question to
info@ccv.eu
We would love to hear from you!