Customers Shop for Reasons… Not Things

Think back to the last time you bought something.  Was it because you were thirsty, and got yourself a refreshing drink? Or maybe it was because you were heading to a birthday party and needed a gift. Just like your own purchasing actions are influenced, so are your customers. That idea that customers “need” things can be challenged with the idea that customers actually “want” things. Consider your own unique customers. Do your buyers typically need something or want something? Why are they returning to your store… for real?

When catering to customers, consider each action you take to best support them. Below, gain 3 tips to help you navigate consumers who buy things because there’s a reason to… not just because they want to.

1. Customer’s emotions support their buying decisions.

People buy things that make them feel good. Whether it’s quenching their thirst or buying a new pair of earrings, the satisfaction delivered to a customer based on what they purchased is an important feeling that merchants should not ignore. Consider what it is you sell and then consider the emotions you are actually selling to. How can you support your customers better through these emotions? By recognizing that you are not just selling products but instead also selling to emotions, you can further enhance your customer experience and increase sales.

2. Customer’s love positive memories 

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love good memories? From birthday celebrations to days spent at amusement parks to completing a goal you worked hard to accomplish, “happy” memories sit well with folks… aka consumers. What does your store do to deliver “happy” memories? Is your store delivering memorable experiences, or do customers feel as if their visit to your store was just another visit to another store? In other words – are you memorable or are you not? Strive to be memorable in a good, positive way. Customers will not only return to your store, but tell others about how awesome your store is. Remember – it’s not just about the product. It’s the experience within your store that matters, as well.

3. Customer’s want to make feel good decisions

Consumers nowadays have a tremendous amount of shopping options, so it’s truly a blessing (hey, we can get extreme sometimes) when any customer shops anywhere. Literally. But let’s consider all the hype around why some customers shop at specific places versus others. Is it because it’s “locally owned” or maybe because they sell “fair trade”? Do customers appreciate the fact that you may give a percentage of all purchases to an animal shelter? Maybe it’s because you support your local community and the  customer, in return, supports you? Many customers decide to shop places because they appreciate the impact their purchase will make. Does you store do a good job of communicating the impacts purchases in your store makes? While you can’t necessarily shout “thanks for helping to pay for my kid’s college”, you can say “thanks for supporting local” or “We appreciate you shopping indie”.

Consider why your customers return to your store. Is it solely because of your inventory… or what else impacts their decisions? Please comment below!

Image of Downtown Hammonton, New Jersey. Photo Credit Mainstreet New Jersey. 

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