Create an exciting customer experience in-store to boost your franchise business
Angela Borrelli | Marketing Manager | Civic Video
Angela Borrelli presented the topic "Bringing Theatre to the Retail Environment" at a recent FCA round table.
The main objectives that every retailer (and franchisee) wants to pursue are higher spend per purchase and customer loyalty. We have seen over the years how an upbeat - yet professional - store's atmosphere plays a decisive role in sales because it directly affects the customers' purchasing behaviour and creates the right appeal for their shopping experience.
For this reason, we strongly believe that franchisors must offer their franchisees the necessary tools on a regular basis to help them create a vibrant retail atmosphere in-store. Given the importance of a pleasant environment, what actions can franchisors take to assist their franchisees in enhancing the atmosphere to win the customer loyalty that will lead them to shop more frequently?
Attract more customers with an ever changing look in your store
One of the principles of retail vibrancy that Civic Video employs is that stores must change their retail point of sale monthly. This ongoing transformation is endorsed by numerous elements that support different retail and rental campaigns on a monthly basis and help theme each store for major national events and seasonal promotions.
The POS pack includes theatrical size posters, vertical banners, table skirting / wrap, counter cards and on shelf POS. It also includes thorough briefing packs and summary sheets for staff who may not have been included in a staff meeting (as many staff are casuals and may only work one or two shifts per week).
All communications have a common thread - they all reinforce the branding "C it at CIVIC", and reiterate the point of difference at Civic Video - monthly promotions that offer great value adds to the customer. In particular, a focus on high prize value competitions, gifts with purchase or rental and bringing theatre into the store is used to attract and retain customers.
How a vibrant store atmosphere can increase customer loyalty and sales
The Civic Video experience has shown how creating a fun and vibrant store image for its customers generated numerous benefits. We believe that store management should aim at creating a positive atmosphere that will make the environment pleasant and make customers feel comfortable and homey in your store. But why is the atmosphere of a store so important?
- Fun in-store experience: "customers felt good" and therefore were more likely to visit the store again. When the atmosphere was enjoyable, it positively affected the customers and made them more willing to buy a product and spend more money and more time inside the store. This built customer loyalty in a very competitive movie rental channel.
- The staff were involved in the planning and helped create the fun in-store experience and therefore had "ownership" of any promotional activity. This helped in the retention of staff and also developed different skill sets within the individual staff members.
- An ever changing store look/visual display reflected something new and exciting in store. This was a further attraction to increase frequency of visitation by customers.
- Positive goodwill and PR were generated when a store had customers who won prizes - large prizes were also promoted in local press with a photo of the winner accepting the prize.
Successful actions to support your marketing campaigns in-store
One of the major challenges franchisors have is to engage the franchisee in support of marketing campaigns. Here are some of the incentives used at Civic Video to support franchisees with the execution of the marketing activities: Different incentives are used within the Civic model including:
- Franchisees can access marketing rebate funds from a marketing funds pool (made up of channelling marketing rebates from suppliers) accessed by stores to create their own leaflets and brochures for their market via a dedicated LMO (local marketing online) system, therefore no additional cost to franchisees;
- Providing the POS at no extra charge (within their Advertising Fees and Franchisee Fees);
- Leveraging the communications (monthly advertising schedule) with suppliers to source Prizes and Giveaways as a contra (no hard cost);
- An in-house marketing and design team to support the franchisees to help create individual campaigns;
- A pool of marketing funds for individual and regional marketing campaigns to create a point of difference for the Civic franchisee;
- Access to discounted materials to help create a themed or fun environment in store.
We have seen the various actions that we recommend for bringing the theatre experience in-store work to increase customer loyalty and average spend. As a franchisor, the Civic Video approach is to offer as many tools as possible, minimise the risk by reducing the costs and offer suggestions and ideas for the store to take on board and build upon. Our approach is supported by the Field Team who consult with the franchisees on a daily basis and head office communications via monthly packs, emails and the Civic intranet. This ongoing support has proved to be decisive in helping franchisees create a fun atmosphere for their customers in store and successfully pursue customer loyalty.