If you turn shopping into a straight out transaction then you are going to lose customer stickiness very quickly. Unless you are providing a very specialised service that requires a high level of skill, or if you have a product that simply can’t be bought anywhere else in the world, then there are always going to be other providers out there that can also sell to your customers.
By moving away from ‘just a transaction’ and into a ‘shopping experience’ you are able to offer something unique, which in turn provides a reason why people would choose to shop with you, rather than heading to another town or shopping online.
So not only do local stores need to firstly create a shopping experience for their customers, but they also have to compete with the experience that can be gained online.
Before you can create an experience though, you first need to understand your target market and what their ideal experience would be. Traditionally you could have easily segmented your customers by males versus females, and young versus old, and then create unique shopping experiences based on that. Such a simplistic approach is not as viable, however, as the lines between these groups have blurred somewhat in our ever growing fluid society.
Once you have identified your key target market/s, the next step is to think about what drives these people and what you can offer to turn the shopping transaction into a shopping experience.