Why are some small specialty stores having their best year ever? Because more consumers than ever are putting an emphasis on customer service to determine where they do their shopping. The smaller stores recognize that they may not be able to beat the larger stores in price, but they can more than make up for the difference with the service they provide. Younger adults are now more than twice as likely to choose stores based on service. This shows that delivering excellent customer service is more important than ever before and shows no signs of fading into the background.
There is tremendous competition based on prices, so the smart retailers are focused on providing an experience, not just a deal. The Mom and Pop stores, small retailers, and specialty stores are finding their niche in delivering something that the big box stores just aren’t providing – an enjoyable shopping experience that engages the shopper.
Readers of this blog know that there are three ways to differentiate yourself in today’s market:
Service is the easiest, cheapest, and provides the largest return on investment and effort.
Read what a small retailer in Kalamazoo, Michigan has to say about providing a unique shopping experience that sets them apart from the larger stores.
“Certainly there is tremendous competition,” said Vicky Kettner of Downtown Kalamazoo Incorporated . They’ve gone to battle for your buck, placing billboards miles from downtown and right on the front lines of its big box competitors.
Their idea is to sell a holiday experience that consumers say is lacking in modern retail.
“When someone is looking for a relaxed environment, where experience is important, customer service is important and selection is important for the uniqueness of things, then we have a good story to tell,” she said.
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