Small flower shop owner

It’s time to move on from pricing games. If local merchants want to compete against national chains and e-commerce giants, they need to start focusing on the customer experience. According to a survey by Yodle, 96% of consumers think local businesses beat chains on personalized service, and 72% are willing to pay more at a local business for higher quality work or products. But fostering the type of loyalty that runs so deep that customers are willing to pay more for a product isn’t easy. That’s where hyperlocal marketing strategies come into play.

“Many merchants have hesitated to make changes to the way they’re currently marketing—or really, not marketing—because they’re scared of change,” says Michael Gross, founder of the customer loyalty platform, SpringBIG. “But change brings opportunity. Instead of running away from it, they should lean in.”

Here are seven unexpected ways that local, brick-and-mortar merchants can lean in and improve the way they foster customer loyalty.

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Source: Street Fight