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: 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?

  • Ted Hurlbut

    The challenge for the major national retailers is finding the right balance between scale and standardization on the one hand, which they need to control costs, and localization on the other hand. Customer experience is one of the more difficult challenges for them as it focuses so much on personal interactions. This is why local chains and independent retailers have such an advantage in delivering memorable customer experiences.

  • David Rich

    Great point! Thanks for sharing.

  • John Evans

    This is a great point. Localizing your customer experience requires an in-depth team approach from national, regional and local marketing managers. Every market is different, and marketers need to recognize popular trends and demands in various markets. This also requires strategic brand filters to ensure the experience has consistency.

    Just look at products in national grocery stores. A grocery store in the south is going to promote and carry different products than a grocery store in the northwest.

  • Johnnyevans

    Localize your customer experience.

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • davidjrich

    The Local Customer Experience

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  • scottgould

    The Local Customer Experience (via @davidjrich)

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter