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News Leading the retail field

Know your buyer. That’s the core of any marketing campaign – whether it’s online or using more old-fashioned means. So says Mette Downer of The Great Gift Company, who delivered a riveting seminar, Staying Ahead Online at this year’s Spring Fair. “Spend an afternoon doing collages with pictures

and words, to help you get to know who your customer is,” she told us. “You might have several of them. Not only what your customers look like, but where they send their kids to school, are they borrowers or savers, what kind of car do they drive? The more you understand and have a vision, the more you can start thinking about what you can give these people.” What are they going to want from you? Mette

asked us to imagine what customers want. Is it lower prices? Or maybe pricing isn’t an issue? Perhaps they’re looking for better quality. Or longer guarantees. Successful smaller companies, she says, managed

to lure buyers away from the big players by creating a unique experience. That is how, she told her audience, the ‘geniuses’ at coffee chains like Costas or Starbucks manage to get us spending almost 30 times more for something we could easily make at home for 10p.

By Jonathan Craymer “What that tells us retailers is that customers don’t

care about price - they care about the experience you’re giving them and the perceived value they’re getting. Here’s another example: as a gift company we sell more books than anything else. And you might think, how can that be when Amazon is the largest retailer of books? “The reason is, when they come to us, they

don’t know what they want. So we serve them up all kinds of ideas, and they buy books. Every single one of them could probably go straight over to Amazon and save money, but they don’t do it because we’re giving them an experience and value. “You can’t compete on price. The big boys will

kill you every time. You’ve got to be different and come at it from a different angle. Be a leader. Tell them what they want. Think of the fashion industry.” Online she says three things have to be

achieved. Customers have to be brought to the site, kept there, and then persuaded to come back. Retailers can’t just build a site and sit back. It’s essential to become expert at using Google

Adwords, she added - but take expert advice or you risk spending a lot of money unnecessarily. “Try to aim for a spread of marketing initiatives.

Looking for fresh ideas to attract shoppers on the high street? Few could resist this beautiful shop front used in the Small Business Saturday marketing campaign designed to get consumers using independent retailers. Not everybody has the advantage of model, Daisy Lowe (pictured) as an ‘assistant retailer’ but the shop’s concept is inspirational.

Joint ventures, exhibitions, search engine optimisation, direct mail, email marketing, social media. You need to have them all in the air at the same time, getting a mixture of new and existing customers coming to your site.”

March / April 2015 Giftware Review & Home Interiors 5

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