It's no secret that these days, local custom is becoming harder and harder to hold onto. Competition from big online retailers and supermarkets is increasing by the day, with customers choosing "the path of least resistance" - in other words, the easiest and quickest option for gratification!
With this in mind, let's explore 5 ways you can futureproof your local business, secure more custom locally, and grow your business through these times.
Efficient order preparation
With major retailers and supermarkets offering order turnaround times of only a matter of hours, or in some cases, less than an hour - it's vital to process and prepare your customers orders swiftly. Whether they be online orders, telephone orders, via social media or in-store. Online orders in particular need to be turned around quickly, or the advantage to your customer ordering online has essentially vanished! Keeping in line with these expected standard will not only improve your service to local customers, but also offer you an edge over competitors who haven't kept up.
Quick and simple delivery options
Attention spans have gotten shorter in the past few years; that's a fact! Keeping your delivery options short, simple and quick will encourage local customers to order time and time again. Having a complicated list of delivery dates, rules and options is likely to lead to confusion and reduced sales, especially online - keep things quick and simple and customers will thank you! If it means setting up a same or next day delivery service, running each and every day, so be it. It'll pay off in the long run and further secure your local custom.
Offer a "click and collect" service
In much the same vein as the previous point, giving customers a choice to collect their order within a matter of hours can often be more convenient than arranging a delivery, or waiting in for their order to be dropped off. The bigger players have proven the popularity of the Click and Collect concept; consumers appreciate the flexibility this offers. Another advantage of Click and Collect, is that it blurs the line between your online and your offline presence. Many of the big supermarkets and retailers have great success with Click and Collect - there's no reason you shouldn't compete and offer this too!
Offer an easy Online Ordering service
It's no surprise that customers buying habits have shifted more and more to shopping online. One excellent method to secure your local business is to offer an easy and convenient online ordering service to your customers. Offering a great online shop will encourage customers to spend money with you, and not the big supermarkets and chains. This secures your local customer base for years to come and is a wise investment. If you're looking for an Online Ordering System/Software, why not try ourselves? We're all about building local business here at TAPN.TO!
Stay ahead of the curve
This is a tough one, as it does require a constant effort and investment, but it's well worth it. Customers, especially locally, do tend to "follow the leader" when it comes to where they shop, the products they buy and where they visit. So keeping up to date with the latest trends and establishing yourself as a leader in your space, is likely to always be a wise move. Great businesses take risks, try new things and even set new trends - make your local business the one to keep up with!
That just about sums up our top 5 methods with which to secure your local business and customer base. Can you think of any more? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.