The “Buy Local” movement hasn’t been great for chain retailers, who have to swim against the current of consumer preferences to support local businesses. But that sentiment can be influenced through a number of strategies, especially where personalized experiences come into play.
Hyper-localization is one such tool in the marketers’ toolkit. It helps to think of this strategy as highly targeted personalization, specifically where location is concerned, and it can help retailers win over customers by giving them an experience they often associate with local sellers: Intimate consumer and product knowledge, plus superior customer service.
This is possible through the ever-expanding body of consumer data retailers enjoy, especially behavioral data acquired through mobile devices. By leveraging this data to inform personalization in stores, brands provide a customized experience that consumers see as being crafted specifically for them.
Hyper-localization offers great value in any location, but it can be especially valuable for brands entering new markets, including overseas.
Selling the Experience
As Retail Dive points out, the Internet has given online retailers a distinct advantage when it comes to product pricing. Facing less overhead and more efficient sales strategies, an online retailer can almost always offer a lower price than a brick-and-mortar seller.
But retailers continue to find that price isn’t the only thing that matters for consumers. Experience is an asset worth flexing. Retail Dive points to independent booksellers as a prime example of hyper-localization: Thanks to strategies that create unique experiences inside their stores, which range from book recommendations to in-store events, bookstores are actually growing in number across the United States.
Amazon will always offer lower prices, but an independent bookstore provides a range of services to shoppers — not merely the books they buy.
Retailers of any industry can implement similar strategies in their stores. Grocery stores can stock local food items, while clothing retailers can feature a local designer. Sporting goods stores can bring in local experts for free gear demonstrations; the same goes for cooking products stores.
Just as important as these in-store features is the need to market on a personalized level. Using mobile device data can help achieve this end, and the integration of assisted selling and clienteling technologies can eliminate the feeling that consumers are walking into an impersonal chain-store.
When done right, hyper-localization can make any size retail space feel small and personable.
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