them, thus growing the customer
database. Providing a positive shopping
experience and valuable incentives
for loyalty and/or email sign-ups are
critical to capturing new customer
data for ongoing marketing efforts.
In addition to new customer
acquisition, existing customers must
experience the brand as they always
have and be presented with incentives
and be made aware of how to continue
shopping at the most convenient
ongoing channel. Existing customer
retention also involves a positive
shopping experience to ensure that
customers know the brand they
value is simply relocating, moving
to better serve its patrons, etc.
Finally, transitioning both new and
existing customers from the closing
store to the nearest ongoing store
or online is a consideration that
should not be overlooked. Marketing
programs and incentives developed
during the store closing event should
always keep customer transition top of
mind. Taking an opportunistic angle
by developing customer transition
programs that dovetail with a retailer’s
existing marketing strategies can
generate a larger customer base by
the end of the store closing event.
For operators and their advisors,
successful realization of a strategic
plan to right-size a business requires
careful execution of the following.
Consideration of successful programs
and strategies already in place. Many
retailers have successfully developed
valuable programs for their customers
that encourage loyalty, offer rewards,
and deliver a positive brand experience.
These programs should be leveraged
throughout the store closing event to
capture additional membership to allow
for future marketing efforts, which
aid in customer retention. Similarly,
if a customer base is historically most
receptive to print or email advertising,
those tactics should be included as
part of the closing event marketing
mix as well. The approach and the
message tone and design do not, and
should not, need to be re-created for
closing events, as it could cause market
confusion and damage the brand.
Introducing new programs during
the closing process. Store closing
events present opportunities to
implement new programs that add
value for customers. With an eye on
brand protection, such programs can
encourage customer loyalty and offer
incentives for customers to transition
to a new store location and/or the
retailer’s e-commerce platform. New
programs should never compete with
existing programs, so it is critical
to conduct a full audit prior to their
development to prevent confusion.
Store closings should be viewed as an
opportunity to create positive energy
surrounding the brand and encourage
continued loyalty across all channels.
Capitalizing on trends in digital retail
marketing to connect with customers.
Today’s major retailers know that a
digital marketing stack is the new
must-have. Understandably, many
retailers have been slow to implement
these strategies because they are
unfamiliar with the technologies,
which are literally evolving every day.
Customers demand to be in control
and decide how they interact with a
brand, and digital marketing channels
are leading the way in delivering that.
Retailers now strive to make the
shopping and brand experience
seamless by focusing on omnichannel
strategies to blend a cohesive on- to
offline experience. Mobile has a huge
influence on purchase decisions, the
majority of which are still acted upon
in brick-and-mortar stores. Therefore,
being every where a customer is
should be the center of the strategy.
These strategies aren’t just relevant
for ongoing marketing. In periods
of transition or store closure, an
omnichannel approach to customer
transference has proven to generate
results that are far greater than
simply using traditional methods.
Depending on a retailer’s technological
capabilities, offline channels can
be integrated with online channels
that include location-based push
notifications, apps, social media, and
pass-enabled email. The premise is
that mobile is becoming the center
of all touch points. Retailers who tie
together the in-store experience, brand
integrity, and offline tactics with the
these and other digital tactics are far
more likely to acquire, transition, and
retain a higher number of customers
during a store closing event.
Ensuring that the in-store staff is
on board. If a retailer is substantially
reducing its footprint or exiting a
market altogether, it is crucial that
management teams consider the
impact on their in-store employees.
The challenge in this situation is
that the existing staff is important
in supporting the closing event.
Many retailers provide incentives
to key employees, such as store
managers, assistant managers,
or perhaps star sales people. By
providing incentives, operators can
encourage staff to stay on throughout
the event and demonstrate how
valuable they are to the brand in
serving as positive ambassadors
over the course of the process.
Customers demand to be in control and
decide how they interact with a brand,
and digital marketing channels are
leading the way in delivering that.