March 20, 2012
Today’s retail consumer has many choices. Online, brick-and-mortar, overseas, and niche shops all compete for the consumer’s attention, loyalty…and money. With the plethora of options flooding the market, brick-and-mortar retailers need to reach out to individuals’ needs and desires, and differentiate their offerings so they can stand out in this sea of choice. This excerpt from The Street explains why:
“Service and in-store experience continue to break out of the “one-size-fits-all” offering. Both are becoming more individualized and specialized for specific target groups. Today’s shoppers are a highly differentiated demographic that promise to become even more so in the future. Working women, baby boomers, singles, teenagers and even children want products, services and shopping experiences that are as distinctive as they are. Leading retailers aim to satisfy these requirements by diversifying. The two big words in retail’s future will likely be “customer customization.” Retailers must begin to tailor products to the demands of individual customers in the same way popular e-commerce sites such as Amazon target customers based on purchase history.”
The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work anymore. This is one reason boutiques are willing to offer OOAK (one-of-a-kind) merchandise. This is a reason why boutiques should look for the “never before seen” items…such as the quality handcrafted items like those in our gallery. These types of items will make customers do a double take…enter the store instead of merely window shopping…and it will keep them coming back for more, knowing that the shop offers truly unique items. Another benefit of handcrafted items is the customization possibilities. Small, independent artisans and indie designers are much more willing to customize offerings to suit a particular boutique’s style and demographic than are their large wholesale competitors. These types of offerings aren’t just an option, they are part of an essential strategy to keep the brick-and-mortars alive and well amidst the online retailer revolution.