Customer value generation comes in many flavors, but all good business owners know it’s the secret sauce that drives revenue and competitiveness. It can, however, be daunting to add value to your customers’ experiences beyond your core offering. As online and virtual experiences pick up steam and ecommerce becomes more competitive, physical businesses must continuously innovate to drive foot traffic. Basic marketing techniques like optimizing Google Maps listings, being available across all social channels, and having customer touchpoints can only take a business so far; a focus on bringing new value to customers is key.
A few guidelines:
- Keep it Simple – going beyond your core offering should offer your customer and you more value. Make sure you aren’t spreading yourself too thin.
- Focus on Value – for your customer and yourself. Make sure your margins are improving or your revenue is growing, in your add-ons and your total business.
- Prominence and Marketing – promote your additional value generators, or your customers won’t take advantage of them. Don’t assume that people will know!
- Networking is Good – in the course of offering more value, you will likely partner with others. Make the best of this, because you now have a team to build with!
Below we share several ideas of how you can bring more value to your customers and enhance their experience.
Small retail Businesses
Offer add-on services
Perhaps the biggest advantage that brick-and-mortar businesses have is the ability to offer instantaneous solutions to customer problems. Consider adding additional services to your core offerings that capitalize on this. For example, if you carry apparel, consider offering basic tailoring options for additional fees to help customers find the best fit. Or, if you run a hardware store, consider putting together a list of reliable handymen to help your customers solve their more complicated needs.
The goal is to provide new services that match the theme of your core offerings, but make it easier or more valuable to purchase products from you (vs. a competitor).
Host events and pop-ups
One common value-adding strategy that coffee shops and bars use is hosting events and pop-ups in their space. Hosting events, and especially planning them, can be a lot of work; make sure you are getting the ROI you need. Another option beyond hosting your own is to open your space to brands looking to do pop-ups or events. You will either receive compensation for opening up your space, or will have large amounts of foot traffic that drive purchases to support the brand.
Some great places to start are hosting Meetups or SoFarSounds events. Hosting Meetup events is as simple as reaching out to group moderators and offering your space for their group to meet at. Partnering with SoFarSounds is more complicated, but will bring in both “rent” revenue and additional sales while elevating your space as a cultural venue.
Carry complementary products
Perhaps the most straightforward option is to go beyond your own products and offer complementary products in your store. The classic example is a coffee shop that also offers baked goods, high-quality teas or coffee making equipment for the home. If you’re a restaurant, consider carrying beverages from local breweries or creators. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and experiment with unconventional combinations! At the end of the day, you want to generate more value for customers and your business.
Consider offering limited-time products from exciting brands to build FOMO into your offerings and drive foot traffic. Limited time offerings will also increase the value of following your social media accounts, improving your engagement and reach online. Scarcity can be a tough line to walk, but very valuable when executed well.
Small services business
Many customers who are looking for services are often looking for help beyond your core offerings. This can come in the form of additional services, or even products that allow them to address problems earlier. Service providers should look to improve customer relationships by helping them help themselves, while still providing core services for when they really need help. In this way, customers feel more confident in relying on your expertise. They see you as a partner, rather than nickel-and-diming them for something they might be able to do themselves.
Partner with complementary service providers
One option is to expand your service options by partnering with other service providers with complementary services to you. For example, if you offer electrical solutions, consider partnering with other business owners who focus on plumbing, yard maintenance, and home repair. Thus, if your customer has multiple issues or needs a reliable solution, you can be their first step to addressing their issue. Good partnerships will both help you build new leads and solidify existing leads, increasing your customer lifetime value while decreasing your cost of customer acquisition.
Offer products to solve problems
Another option to expand your value is to offer products that solve simple problems in your expertise. This allows customers to troubleshoot for themselves for smaller issues, giving them a feeling of satisfaction and trust that you have their best interests at heart. Furthermore, this can free up more of your time to work on higher paying, more critical problems that bring you more money per customer engagement. In this way, you can still monetize and benefit from solving simpler problems while optimizing your own work hours.
One example would be a plumber or hardware store plumbing department offering clients/customers snaking tools for their drains, and teaching them how to use them. Remind them to try solving their problems before asking you to come over, as it may save lots of time and money. We have also seen many shipping services offer stationary, cards and writing implements in addition to their core box-and-ship services.
DTC brand with physical stores
As online customer acquisition costs grow dramatically, and scaling online becomes increasingly difficult with oversaturation and competition, many DTC brands have started moving into physical retail. This allows them to offer a compelling in-person experience while increasing visibility and trust in their brand. Offering only your own products can sometimes produce a one-dimensional shopping experience, however, and partnering with other DTC brands can be very fruitful. We recommend finding complementary brands to your own and carrying their products in your store to provide even more value to your customers. For example, a clothing store may partner with an jewelry brand to offer exquisite necklaces to pair with their high-quality apparel. A furniture brand may opt to partner with a smart device brand to help customers build out an even more personalized home space.
If you’re a DTC brand looking to enter physical retail, consider reaching out to DTC brands that already have space and offer your products to enrich their selection. Be selective, as you don’t want to water down your brand and the value of your partnership.
Expanding your offerings
If you’re looking to increase your value by offering clients and/or customers more products, there are several places to source goods. One of the simplest is to visit your local wholesale store like Costco, or big box retailers like Home Depot and use your contractor discount. For small retailers, check out online marketplaces like Faire or Handshake to source products from small brands and manufacturers.
If you’re a larger brand breaking into physical retail, or a retail chain looking to up your product selection, check us out at minoa. We offer exciting brands and their products on commission along with potential promotional fees. We operate similarly to the Amazon Third Party Marketplace – brands feature products on consignment to grab more visibility and hit retail quickly, while eliminating inventory risk and increasing margins for the retailer.
How we can help
Minoa specializes in bringing K-Beauty products to the US, and we partner with many brands looking to enter the US brick-and-mortar retail channel. As part of our program, retailers receive products to sell on consignment, eliminating inventory risk. This lets brands and retailers move quickly to capture the hottest trends early and deliver value for consumers. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you bring exciting, high margin, and low risk products to your retail space.