The Benefits of Community Involvement as a Retailer
Retailers often depend on the efforts of two groups of people: your employees and your customers. On one hand, employee efforts are the instrumental force behind many of your day-to-day retail operations. On the other hand, building an engaged and active community plays a crucial role in growing a dedicated customer base. To ensure company success, it’s vital that retailers can find a way to boost employee morale while also improving their overall community reputation. Retailers can achieve their goals efficiently and effectively through intentional community involvement.
Why Community Involvement?
- Community involvement highlights your sense of purpose as a retailer, convincing potential customers that you bring value to them and their community. While your competitors may have purely sales-driven motivations, you have the opportunity to stand out in the retail crowd by showing your community that you care. Picture this: an individual is faced with a choice between you and a competitor in a similar niche. Assuming that you operate in a similar price range and offer the same quality goods as your competition, how can you stand out as the reliable option? Through community involvement, you have made yourself known to passionate community members, who may find themselves inclined to choose you over a less-engaged competitor.
- Get your brand out there with community involvement, which is a time-tested way to improve your word-of-mouth reception and gain a reliable customer base. By putting yourself and your brand out into the community, you’re also making an impression on a previously impartial collection of individuals. Building relationships within local spaces is the first step to strengthening your very own retail community. Every year RCS employees volunteer and participate in charity bike rides, runs, golf tournaments, and more!
- Community involvement (or community engagement) can help your brand initiate personalization strategies. Personalization is a tried-and-true strategy in which retailers customize their products and goods according to their target audience. By engaging in community-building events and activities, you can get to know your audience through the lens of community. Equipped with this knowledge, you can tailor your strategies to ensure a more immersive experience for your community and customers.
- Community involvement can boost employee morale by enabling employees to become engaged in something they’re proud of. When employees feel like they’re genuinely helping out or giving back, they grow a deeper sense of care and loyalty to their company. Employees can enjoy the many benefits of participating in a community involvement program such as paid training or classes, finding their sense of purpose in your company or brand, and a change of pace.
Around 63 million Americans are volunteers – This equates to a national volunteer rate of 25% of the adult population, meaning one in four people you meet is likely to volunteer in some way, shape, or form.
Top Three Ways To Get Involved In Your Community As A Retailer
You’ve begun to understand the value of community involvement in a retail space, but how can you go about implementing this?
- Volunteer for or sponsor community events, showing locals that you’re a retailer who cares. This option requires minimal planning since you are joining forces with an event that has already been organized. You can choose the level of involvement that works best for you and your employees. If you choose to sponsor an event, your brand name will often be shouted-out or posted in a brochure, which can attract a new customer base to your retail space. If you want to engage more directly with an event, you can have employees sign up as volunteers. As volunteers, your employees will be representing your brand and values. This comes with several benefits, from getting your name out there to improving employee loyalty.
- Bring the community to you by arranging in-store classes, promotions, or events. Take discounts and sales to the next level and invite community members into your retail space. You’ll have to choose a theme for this promotion or event based on your niche in the retail world. Some examples could include a clothing retailer hosting a fashion class with a local influencer, or a food and drink retailer holding a tasting. Learn more about how your point-of-sale system can help you sell tickets and run events.
- Fund an immersive experience that benefits your employees as much as it does your customers. Although this requires great effort and planning, the long-term benefits are unmatched. Some examples include inviting senior employees to a niche-based event, such as a workshop or masterclass. Funding an experience like this builds your retail community and inspires employees to go above and beyond.
The benefits of community involvement as a retailer are diverse, with results that speak for themselves. Take these actionable steps towards valuable community-building today, and watch your retail space grow!