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Lifestyle and Lifelong Retail Engagement

By: Kimberley Matheson Shedrick
Posted: March 1, 2014, from the March 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Great retailers are never born—they’re created. Retailing is a mindset that requires ongoing commitment, thoughtful integration and a culture of evolution. A loyal, lifelong consumer is the ultimate prize, which can be won through a relationship forged of emotional engagement before, during and after a visit.

The trick is in knowing how to maximize the experience so your clients feel a dynamic connection. Give considerable thought to developing educated retail systems for product placement, team training and incentives, as well as a savvy Internet strategy. Learn how to use retail metrics that measure progress, because they can offer invaluable direction on where adjustments need to be made. Trends change, as can client preferences, so retail excellence is always a work in progress.

Inspire with merchandise collections and themes that resonate with your existing brands and customer base. Explore lifestyle and cultural opportunities, such as locale, seasonality, luxury, eco-awareness, fashion, wellness, adventure, cuisine and other driving forces. Embrace and encourage the fine art of living, and give your clients a reason to turn to you as they make lifestyle choices.

Develop categories that go beyond skin care to include beauty, relaxation, clothing, accessories, wellness, fitness and local artisans. Growth trends point to the opportunities presented by accessories, such as scarves, wraps, hair adornments, hats, bags, jewelry and apparel.

The client experience

Work smarter—not harder—to position yourself as a trusted beauty and well-being expert. Staff development programs should focus on three phases of the client experience: pre-arrival, visit and post-experience. Utilize strategic processes and protocols to establish your credibility as a lifestyle expert and resource.