Tennis Industry magazine

 

Retailing Tip: Memory Bank

For today’s tennis specialty consumer, shopping is about more than just the purchase — it’s about the experience.

By Jay Townley

American consumers have grown increasingly interested in the memories that the shopping experience creates. In fact, for many consumers, the memory of a retail purchase is at least as important as the products they bought.

Your brands and suppliers may not want to hear this, but it’s not necessarily about the product or brand itself — at least not exclusively — that ultimately leads to the sale. It’s also about you, and your tennis store’s brand. You’re the one creating the experience for shoppers, one that should deliver a lasting memory. Ideally, that memory will convince shoppers that they should return to your store time and again for their tennis needs.

So, how can we help make a memory?

Break the Routine

It’s important to break out of your store’s routine. Good relationships with even your best customers can stagnate over time. When we experience something new, our senses and awareness become heightened, which works to embed memories into our subconscious and makes them easier to recall.

Changing the routine doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. One way to do so is to develop a new greeting or form of engagement. Then, send messages to your customer list and invite them to come to your store to “create a whole new memory.”

You can easily create memories by using your cell phone’s camera. You’ll need to ask permission of customers first, but taking photos and videos of them after a new racquet purchase will help make memories. It will also help promote your business.

If customers give you their email addresses, send them their photos or videos afterward. Be sure to have your store’s signage visible behind them in the shot. As they share these photos and videos with their family and friends, they’ll be creating their own memories while also promoting your store. Post these photos on your own website, but don’t post or share photos or videos without your customer’s specific permission.

Classes, Demos and Events

Another way to create new and memorable experiences for customers is to invite a local teaching pro to your store to answer questions, or to conduct teaching sessions or demonstrations. You should also consider linking up with a teaching pro or facility to help get your consumers over to their courts. Your business will benefit, and so will your local pro or facility.

Another way to create lasting memories with your customers is to organize travel to nearby professional tournaments or events. This doesn’t have to be anything as grand as going to a Grand Slam; it could be as simple as arranging for a van to leave from your store to a nearby event. Include a store discount of some sort — for those customers going on the trip. This is also a good way to get your regular customers to bring friends — potential new customers.

Increasingly, retailers are in the business of creating memorable experiences for customers. The good thing is, in the tennis specialty space, there are many ways to do that.

 

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