From The Co-Founders


Tips, Tactics & Strategic Insights and Commentary
from The ROI Co-Founders, Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt
Outcalt & Johnson: Retail Strategists LLC; Retail Turnaround Experts

Get Ready. Get Set. And...Re-Set (with Insights)

For retailers, the Fog of Uncertainty that began in April 2020 around the pandemics keeps coming back. Just when it appeared that we were ready to "get back to life" if not "back to normal," the Delta variant has surged. 

This has created more uncertainty. How willing are your customers to actually go out and shop? Even more important (to you): how willing are YOUR customers to shop with YOU?

So, here's an idea: Why not ask them? Really. Send them a short questionnaire.*

You don't have to poll your entire town. Your customers are very specific to you. All that matters is how willing they are to interact with your stores. In your communities.

Keep these things in mind when putting together your questions:

  • Ask about recent behaviors, not future intentions. (Eg, "In the past week, how many times have you shopped in a store or dined at a restaurant? What about visiting someone else's home or office or having guests over?") Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior. 
  • Do they check online or call the store to find out ahead of time whether a particular item is available? (This is a Yes/No question. You may want to let them answer it for other stores AND for your stores.)
  • Keep it short. Remember, this is just a basic attitude check. Your goal is to learn more about what they have done recently.

Then tally the results. And pay attention to their responses. 

Our guarantee: there WILL be a surprise!

Next: USE the results! Use it to influence your advertising messages and in-store signage. Maybe change your hours, or improve your online access.

Most of all, feel more confident in the decisions you make about how best to move forward. Just a few questions of the people whose opinion matters the most can go a long way toward clearing that Fog of Uncertainty. 

Here is a link to a site that identifies 15 different places for free online survey tools. [No, we have no affiliation with that site or any of the survey sites. We just found this through an online search.]

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