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Analyzing your customer base

Analyzing your customer base

Do you have a good understanding of your customer base? Knowing who is coming into your store and for what reasons can help you improve business in myriad ways. If you’re unable to draw a good profile of the type of shoppers your store attracts, then we have some tips for you:

Why analysis matters
You may think that analyzing your customers is a waste of time, but there are several advantages that will help you increase your bottom line. First off, a strong customer profile will help you tap into a niche market, and you can use this information to stay on top of what your customers want. If you know the reason people are coming to your store, you can increase foot traffic by offering sales and promotions tailored to your most frequent shoppers. Additionally, understanding your consumers will help you when it comes time to buy new store fixtures and mannequins for sale, because you’ll know what sort of decor will be most pleasing to the people browsing your display tables and clothing racks.

Analysis techniques
There are many ways to draw up a customer profile, so it’s up to you to choose the method that makes the most sense for your business. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Customer surveys. This is the most direct and straightforward way to gather information about your customers. You can offer surveys at the register asking about your shopper’s age, gender, reason for visiting, other stores he or she frequents or anything else you think might be useful for business. However, your shoppers may need incentive to fill out these surveys. Consider offering a small discount on purchases, maybe 5 to 10 percent, if shoppers are willing to answer your questions. Consider listing the survey on your website, as people may be more willing to answer questions candidly when online.

Social media. If you use websites like Facebook or Twitter to interact with your customers, then you have some analysis tools at your fingertips. You can easily get a good view of your followers by asking questions on your page or simply looking at what types of people are following you. Try using Facebook’s Graph Search to get a good idea of what sort of people are living in your community or “liking” your store.

Employee observation. Your employees can help you with your analysis efforts by keeping track of the people they see coming into the store. Ask them to keep an eye out when working on the floor, then have staff meetings to discuss their observations.

Professional help. If you really want to get down to the figures, it may be best to hire outside help. There are companies and freelancers who offer consumer analysis, and they have tools and techniques that are far more advanced than what you can do on your own. These individuals can also help you optimize your website and social media campaigns by using things like Google Analytics to determine who is visiting your website and how word is getting out about your business.

A final note
While it’s a good idea to employ some methods of customer analysis, remember that the overall goal is to improve business and the shopping experience. You don’t want your analysis techniques to annoy customers, so make sure that you offer incentives and don’t get too “in your face” when gathering data.