Are we crucial to our clients?

A couple of weeks ago I was in a regional Wichita, Kansas Chamber of Commerce mixer. I had not been to one in several years. But I chose to join the room to determine if I could help some members and, too, find ways to grow our company.

I have never been great at networking. I am not even sure exactly what it means. After all, relationships happen over time — not only an expectation of something happening after an event.

This mixer, however, made me think about relationships generally. The term”connection” is used regularly in the business world, like the significance of relationships and the way the relationship helped in a specific circumstance.

But for an internet retailer that does not see, hear, or otherwise directly communicate with the majority of its clients, what’s a relationship? Can an internet merchant boost or increase the value of a connection?

Those questions prompted me to share some of my ideas here, with the expectation that others could expand on the ideas.

Getting’essential’

In the world of retail — online and offline — authentic relationships are somewhat uncommon. There are always a few customers who frequent a retail establishment and create relationships with clerks and customer service staff. However, most customers simply make their purchases and continue with their busy lifestyles.

However some brands can become a part of our lives. They do not necessarily provide a better experience, which is vitally important, but we customers nonetheless integrate the brands to our own lives.

When this happens, the customer becomes a part of the brand and the brand becomes incorporated into the life span of the consumer. This connection could be solidified over time. It may transcend distance and supply a high level of loyalty to the merchant.

This integration, becoming part of the living experience of the client, is something which has no title, or at least I could not find a title for it. For the purposes of this guide, I will call it”essential.”

Audible.com

A good example of a retailer that became essential for me is Audible.com. I look forward to push time and if the drive takes somewhat longer I typically do not mind as I am listening to a fantastic book, which is a cure. It’s a significant part of my life because I listen for more than an hour every day. Despite the fact that Audible.com has competitions and, typically, it’s not the only one to take the books I listen to, I never even look at other audio book suppliers.

When we become a vital retailer to our clients, competition becomes somewhat irrelevant since the crucial brand is the first — and oftentimes the only — option for the customer.

Moreover, those customers tend to buy more, which raises their lifetime value to the merchant. A degree of trust has been produced, wherein the client feels that her values are just like the retailer.

An ecommerce retailer cannot become essential to every one of its customers. However, the more that think about us essential, the more profitable we will end up.

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A strategy for being essential

Thus I have been considering how to create this for OverstockArt.com, so that we are crucial for more of our clients. My plan isn’t completely formed. But, here are the steps I’m considering, to become a vital retailer.

  • Create a dimension. There has to be a way to measure success and it ought to be defined.
  • Identify candidates to speak with. These should be very good clients who may already exhibit the”essential” traits, considering three metrics: (a) how many orders, (b) how much cash, and (c) how frequently. Also, we will consider how recent was the final purchase.
  • Measure what motivates the Crucial customers.
  • Create a profile of possible candidates.

I don’t pretend that this is a whole plan. But keeping this in your mind going into our yearly strategy sessions can assist with some of the primary initiatives for next year.

Do you have ideas for getting essential to your clients? I’d love feedback or queries.

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