One of my favorite shops to visit when I am at my home in St. Michaels, Md., is called Take Me Home. It’s in a charming old house and filled with the most wonderful items.
It is quite a challenge, and one I cannot meet, to leave without a little something.
Recently I picked up some cute cards for my sisters and myself. The cards had our dog breeds on them — a golden retriever, a greyhound, and a havanese. I also got the best napkins to use when I host my book club. They have a “wine stain,” and say “My book club can drink your book club under the table.” We are a serious discussion book club, and we do enjoy a glass of wine with our conversation.
One of the joys of shopping here is the shopping experience.
The owner opened her shop about ten years ago and has an eclectic mix of items with quotes, whimsical designs, soaps and other household gifts and accessories. While that may seem like an ordinary mix of goods, there is something special about what she finds.
She told me that she puts herself in her customer’s place when she thinks about her merchandise mix. And, she always engages with each person who visits.
Like many retailers, she wants to encourage return business. She can do that with her mix of goods that aren’t found everywhere. And, she has the advantage of being in an area visited by tourists who love to stroll down the town’s streets and shop.
She also does it by creating an experience for her customer that lasts beyond the visit to the store. One way she does this is in her packaging. It does not matter how much you spend (I spent less than $15 on my last trip), the package is special. My purchase was delivered to me in a nice toile-design paper bag with the store label. The item was wrapped in tissue paper and then two decorative papers were stuffed in the top of the bag and it was finished with a satin bow on one bag handle. It looks so good that I almost did not want to share the gifts!
What are you doing to create an experience for your customers? It could be in the packaging. It could be in the greeting you offer when they come into the shop. It could be the invitation to join you for a cup of tea and a sharing of your customer’s latest projects. It could be a nice note you tuck into the shipment with your wholesale orders.
It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It just has to show that you care.
If your actions have the same as my favorite little shop, you will have lots of repeat business. I cannot wait to check out what is new each time I am in town, and as I said, I do not leave without a little something.
It’s your turn!
How you make your customers’ experience special?