How to inspire and maintain customer loyalty

'We keep our customers coming back by listening to their requests and making sure we get in what they’re after'

Personalised loyalty tech provider Velocity Worldwide has signed a deal to offer its services to a retailer who is a “major account holder with Bestway”.

Faisal Naseem

Two stores near Arbroath, Angus

“In our store, we have a practice where 90% of the price-marked packs (PMP) in the off-licence are sold below the price-marked price. That gives us a little bit of an edge. If a bottle of wine or a four-pack of beer is price-marked at £6, we’ll sell it at £5.75 and that means that the customers come to us.

“It does decrease our margins, but it’s increased our volumes and it entices customers in. Some retailers already associate PMPs as being a promotion in their own right, but what they’re not understanding is that if that’s true, it’s a promotion that everyone else also has.

“So, we sell PMPs and then undercut the prices. Promoting it is really important. We print shelf-edge labels that highlight it prominently in a special shaded section so customers notice the promotion and don’t get confused. It keeps customers coming back to us.”

Uthay Soundararajan

Costcutter Inverleith Row, Edinburgh

“It sounds very simple, but we keep our customers coming back by listening to their requests and making sure we get in what they’re after.

“This year, people have been asking for fruit and veg and specialist meats, so we’ve been getting them in. It’s the season for strawberries and raspberries now and they’re selling well. People asked for them, none of our competitors had them, and now that we’re stocking them it’s working really well.

“We never used to stock things like strawberries before because they have such a short shelf life, but it’s important to our customers, so we do it.

“I think that customers are buying into convenience stores more these days and people who might have gone to the supermarket are coming to us because we now have things available that we never had before.”

Ravi Raveendran

Colombo Food & Wine, Hounslow, west London

“First, it’s about talking nicely to customers, asking about their well-being, their families, their health, their holidays – whatever they want to talk about. We don’t sell to them at the counter, we let them talk about themselves.

“Second, whenever someone requests an item, we always try to get it in and make sure to inform them the next time they come in that we’ve now got it. That gives them comfort that we’ll do whatever we can for them. We’ll do this even in categories that we’re not stocking at the moment.

“Third, it’s about price. If we increase the price on something, we’ll try to decrease it afterwards. If we’re lowering the price, we’ll put the price tag on the front of a product, but if it’s something that people always have to buy, then we put it on the back because the price is less important in that instant. These are things that we do to promote our shop as different from others.”

Read more advice for independent convenience retailers


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