Here’s some festive thoughts and tips from Corin Birchall of Kerching Retail, the man behind the MIA’s ‘Biggest Christmas Ever’ workshops:
We can behave in a way synonymous with world famous retailers to convey expertise and authority. Why? So that customers come to you…’the font of all knowledge’ and customers who are out of the depth will more likely trust you, hanging on your every word.
Being world famous can help you:
– Defend against comparison and price matching
– Add-on tangible value to a product or service
– Minimise customers leaving the store to seek confirmation from their ‘so called’ expert friend/teacher.
The ‘World Famous’ approach also draws in other shoppers, thanks to the phenomena known as social proof…(we’re all sheep following the herd).
Take Choccywoccydoodah the Chocolaterie (that’s a cake and chocolate shop to the rest of us) in Brighton. Opened its doors in 1994 with spectacular cakes, sourced chocolates and an adjoining cafe. The store attracted the eye of Channel 4 who ran a mini fly on the wall documentary. Their Brighton mothership and London flagship stores are crammed with Choccywoccydoodah branded chocolate boxes, cakes and souvenirs. In fact very few items in the store do not feature their branding. You can buy Choccywoccydoodah merchandise on its website. The business is a small independent, until recently with only one outlet, yet they had the confidence to believe their creative work on cakes added value to all of the sourced products in their store they sold.
When stores brand collections of products themselves, a hamper for example, we often associate this with premium retail like: Fortnum and Mason, Harrods or Harvey Nichols. All of these stores add tangible value to the overall value of the products by having their brand on it and right now tourists in London are falling over themselves to buy their wares.
The online fashion retailer thread.com curates products for customers based on their tastes and needs (established through a sign-up process). Their weekly ‘Thread Tips’ talk about “How to match colours perfectly” or “How to wear a blazer 4x ways”, rather than “25% off all blazers this week!” Overtime we see them as to go to people for fashion advise.
A recent trip to Cornwall was interspersed with regular Cornish pastry stops. It came to my attention that the claims of the bakeries grew from “Best pasty in St Ives”, to “Best pasty in Cornwall” through to the “Best Pasty in the World”. Similar to the scene in Elf, when Will Farrell congratulates the coffee shop on creating the best coffee in the world. Whilst these statements are clearly tongue in cheek, which bakery do you go in to? Who wants the 2nd best pasty in Cornwall?
Selfridges speak about fashion like they are the industry authority. Following London Fashion Week, Selfridges tell their customers what they should be wearing, like a fashion magazine might. They are not led by designers, but ‘edit’ the fashion shows for their customers. “This is the look for Autumn Winter 17”, “The handbag you should be wearing this season” or “The must have accessories”.
Their webpage is filled with collections and look-books that steer the customer. They invest less on deep link PPC advertising that is focused on conversion only. ‘Our Top’, ‘We Say’, ‘Our Hero’ & ‘Selfridges Loves’ are frequent phrases used to draw attention to particular products or categories on its homepage.
Some UK music retailers have built a phenomenal audience through regular video and blog content, Anderton’s are often cited as the benchmark here. The same rules of ‘World Famous’ apply with online content. Yes as a consumer you can see the supplier footage, however, as the experts we’ll deliver an impartial overview. After watching a few of these videos you start to build a level of trust that will influence your future shopping decisions with that store.
Whilst many UK MI retailers are starting to build some really great content in this arena, the in-store experience can fall a little short. What does it say in-store to convey you are an expert or an authority? How is the status of your staff elevated through P.O.P, signage and video content in-store? What language do you use on your point of sale and feature displays, to indicate you are justified in focusing on these particular products?
If the answer is none, then customers may see you as a sales organisation trying to convince them to buy.
For more help….
Following the MIA’s ‘Biggest Christmas Ever’ workshops, Corin Birchall and Kerching Retail have created an online platform to take shop floor teams through many of the amazing thoughts and ideas that Corin shared in his workshops, plus stockings full of Christmas selling tips and tricks.
The emphasis of the videos is sales skills, building on from the more physical aspects of retail discussed at the workshops. The videos are ideal for those couldn’t make the sessions, or those who did and would simply like to refresh their memory and share the tips with the rest of the team.
The platform is made up of 15 short videos (2-10 minutes per video) that amount to 1 hour 45 minutes of material. They are full of sales tips and tricks and are accessible on computer, laptop, tablets and phones. There is also a test at the end to check your knowledge.
Those who attended the ‘Biggest Christmas Ever’ training sessions would have already received an email with instructions on how to enrol into the online Retail Academy. These brilliant resources are also available to MIA members who were not able to make the events. Please just email firstname.lastname@example.org and Alice will organise for Corin to send you a link to register.
We highly recommend that you check out this fantastic platform and know that you will find the videos useful and engaging.
We will be running more courses next year to support our shops!