The Local Customer Experience
The expansion of the Internet has allowed our scope of vision to go global. But people tend to gravitate to the sites that are local. One such example is the popular Craigslist.
For retailers, there is a delicate balance between marketing your brand globally (online) and locally.
Retailers using location-based operations have experienced success. Starbucks has redesigned and renamed their storefronts in Seattle to foster a customer experience that appeals to the local community. Gap is a leading retailer using local-based marketing to determine promotions and discounts (Source: NJ.com). Studies prove word-of-mouth marketing is most successful between physical friends versus a stranger on the Internet. Localizing your customer experience is benefitting retailers in many ways.
One benefit of measuring individual retail storefronts is to ensure consistency with the overall customer experience. Maintaining a brand’s image will only happen if each retail location is consistent with the overall strategy. Most importantly, though, your customer experience expectations need to be met across the board.
The other benefit of managing programs locally is it provides an opportunity to fine-tune the customer experience. One way to achieve local success is by educating the service staff for local needs. For example, retail associates along the Gulf Coast of Texas could have the training to be the foremost experts on hurricane survival items. In a retail outlet in California, associates can be most knowledgeable on disaster preparedness for earthquakes.
Today’s digital consumers have a wealth of information at their hands to help them make purchasing decisions. But the number one factor in deciding where or what to buy is going to be their local experience. How are you creating a local experience?