Win Them with Wine – Building customer loyalty with brick-and-mortar perks

Almost everything in life is better with a drink in your hand. That’s what one customer discovered while shopping at Tory Burch, who are using complimentary refreshments as part of a hyper-attentive marketing strategy with the goal of building customer loyalty.
Maybe alcohol isn’t appropriate for every business, but just think of how something as simple as being offered a coffee while waiting for a haircut can change your attitude. The wait no longer feels as if it’s a chore; it’s a time to relax and make small-talk with the staff and other patrons. This type of social atmosphere is something that any boutique can build to make their space more inviting for customers. Not only will they stay longer, they’ll visit more often.

Two of our customers have done some really great stuff with socializing the retail experience. Poler – a purveyor of the highest standard of stuff – has a pop-up in Brooklyn which shared an open space with a barbershop and a coffee shop. As manager Andie Acosta explained, “There’s something welcome about seeing coffee being served, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the brand and might feel slightly intimidated about walking into a new store.”

Similarly, Nasty Pig – a menswear retailer in New York – has built a community around their brand by combining their fun-loving image with a social retail environment. They’re currently building a patio with a great sound system, as well as a photo studio where shoppers can indulge themselves with modeling their outfits and taking photos. “We’re more about entertainment and hosting and less about driving the sale,” says owner David Lauterstein. “Our focus is on showing our customers a good time.”

How would your relationships with customers change if you invested in a great espresso machine and offered them coffee while they browsed merchandise? How about offering water bottles with your branded labels to give at the cash (shopping can be dehydrating!)? Whether you decide to build an elaborate café setup, or simply offer water, remember that keeping customers feeling rewarded, relaxed, and refreshed will certainly ensure better customer relationships and ultimately, more sales. You can read more about creating a unique in-store experience in our Brick-And-Mortar Survival Kit series.