Independent Retailers Are Building Trust with Customers

Anti Social Media – Our time to Shine

by Scott Smith
I had the distinct privilege of working with 50 of the most amazing minds in independent retail recently at an annual Management One® event in Arizona. The group was surveyed and asked what the most significant change and/or opportunity would be in retail 2020.
For many that know me well, they will also know that I draw so much from the power of Happiness and how a happy state of mind leads to success in our workplace and particularly in our retail stores. Shawn Achor’s book “The Happiness Advantage” presents the science behind this theory with seven principles, one of which is Social Investment or “Why Social Support is Your Greatest Asset”. The science is very simple to understand: POSITIVE SOCIAL CONNECTION will induce hormones in the brain called Oxytocin and as that hormone enters the blood stream it will immediately reduce anxiety, improve concentration and make you HAPPIER!

What Will the Retail Landscape Look Like in 2020?

So why the title Anti Social Media – Our time to Shine? Regardless of market changing products, spectacular new technologies and surprising emerging trends, our panel of experts overwhelmingly concluded that the game changer in Retail 2020 will be “EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE “.
The world today is tending towards anything but strong social interaction, but as human beings we require positive connections with other people, not only to be happy, but also to be successful in everything we do.
As independent retailers we get to choose what our focus should be, and that focus MUST be to connect with our customers at all cost. Our goal must be real, relevant and caring relationships in the store, beginning with the relationship between the owner, management and staff and aspiring to those same positive relationship with our customers.
Social Media plays a huge role in all of our lives but it DOES NOT satisfy the requirement each of us has for that face to face connection. The Bricks-and-Mortar retail experience does, and we MUST excel at creating friendships with our customers.
Technology is not the enemy, but if not used correctly it can certainly be a distraction from the truth. Seek out technology that helps you build on the basic principle of REAL, TRUE connection with your customers. Working on the sales floor is still the most amazing place to make a friend and embracing it, makes it the best place in the world to find true happiness!
Anti Social Media – This IS our time to stand out as independent retailers. Let’s fulfill that basic and primal need that we all have for real, live, positive connections with each other. Let’s build trust with our customers and watch retail success follow. Let’s put down our phones and make real, not virtual, friends in our stores today!

Scott Smith is a certified Winning@Retail™ consultant at CRS. Scott has worked with retailers for over 20 years on the sales floor, through all levels of retail management, operations, and marketing.