Western & English Today

Spring 2018

W&E Today provides retailers and manufacturers with education and ideas that provoke innovation in the Western and English markets.

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SPRING 2018 Western & English Today 19 THE IN-STORE SHOPPER 72% are 35 years or older. 71% earn an income of less than $75,000. 63% live in an urban area of less than 50,000 people. 1 Know Your Customers Ask yourself, Who are our customers and what do they want and need the most? e National Retail Federation cites younger consumers' main reasons for shopping in-store as the potential to have a new experience, as well as convenience. "Younger generations are more likely to view the store as an opportunity to socialize and explore," according to NRF's Fall 2017 Consumer View. If your products perform well with millennials, consider adding a social component, such as an Instagram-themed mirror or a Snapchat fi lter for your store. If your products appeal to a more mature crowd, consider comfort amenities while shopping. Off er a beverage while they're browsing and make the entire transaction as seamless and easy as possible. 2 Provide Invaluable Resources A knowledgeable staff that is on hand to guide customers through purchasing questions, off er fi rsthand feedback on products, and give helpful fashion advice is an unbeatable edge compared to the anonymity and unknown elements of the internet. "Our primary goal is to off er each guest a memorable shopping experience that keeps them coming back," says Laura McClellan, the Ariat Brand Shop Manager in Lexington, Kentucky. "Each team member is trained in Western and English boot fi ttings and functionality and can knowledgably answer questions about Ariat technologies in TIPS & TACTICS Focus on these five areas to find new customers and keep the regulars coming back. our apparel and footwear off erings to meet the specifi c needs of each guest." Beyond frontline employees, from gi wrapping to product demonstrations to training sessions, there are innumerable resources worth providing in store. Retail Systems Research, an industry research company, recommends this from its 2017 Retail Customer Engagement Benchmark Report: "Customer engagement is not just about touting your wares. It's more about acknowledging customer needs. Focus on them." 3 Show Creative Prowess ere's nothing like seeing beauty up close and personal to inspire creativity. Your store is a real-life Pinterest board, so take advantage of that space. Curate your own dream interiors or style Instagram- worthy looks that customers will clamor to recreate at home and tell their friends about. Equally important for retailers is to optimize their inventory. Showcasing an exclusive collaboration or a cutting- edge trend or that one always reliable item on your shelves will only amplify and maintain a loyal base if you have the products to choose from consistently. 4 Connect to the Community Your store is a part of a community, so get involved. Whether it's event sponsorships, participation in fundraisers, or attending the local holiday parade as a staff , eff orts that reach beyond store walls will entice new customers. Ariat, which is located in the horse country of Lexington, Kentucky, gets involved in equine events to reach both an English and Western equestrian base. Last fall, Ariat held a meet-and- greet autograph signing with the rodeo queen and contestants of the Bluegrass Rockin' Rodeo. "Being actively involved in our local community is essential to our success, so we participate in a variety of Western and English events and support numerous organizations on the University of Kentucky campus as well as nonprofi t organizations in and around Lexington," McClellan says. 5 Offer Quality Incentives Good old-fashioned coupons and rewards shouldn't be overlooked when it comes to foot traffi c. At Ariat, McClellan has seen success by off ering prize-drawings for percentage discounts or fun freebie items when customers walk through the doors. is classic marketing technique rewards customers for coming in person and encourages them to stay, shop, and enjoy the store's off erings. BY THE NUMBERS The National Retail Federation Fall 2017 Consumer View reports that 79 percent of shoppers do the majority (half or more) of their shopping in-store, while 21 percent do the majority of their shopping online. THE ONLINE SHOPPER 49% are 18 to 34 years old. 53% earn an income of $75,000 or more. 53% live in an urban area of more than 50,000 people.

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