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7 Common Types of Retail Customers (and How to Sell to Them)

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One of the things that makes running a retail store so interesting and fun (most days) is the fact that you can encounter an array of characters at your shop. From easy going shoppers who make small talk, to customers on a mission who just want to get in and out of the store, retailers deal with various types of people on a daily basis.

And as any good merchant knows, there isn’t one single solution or best practice for converting all kinds of customers. Each type comes with its own set of qualities, and retailers have to acknowledge these distinctions and tailor their approaches accordingly.

To help you do this, we’ve compiled a list of the most common types of customers that you may encounter, along with tips on how to approach and sell to each one

Published in: Retail
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  • Very practical. Thanks so much for your sharing.
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  • Simple and effective information when training the front line on effective Customer Service
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  • great tips to coach and explain tonew sales associates
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7 Common Types of Retail Customers (and How to Sell to Them)

  1. 1. You will encounter a wide array of characters in a retail store. Each one requires a unique approach.
  2. 2. Does a ton of research before making purchase decisions. Key to Connecting: Engage while they’re in research mode. Increase your store’s visibility on online and mobile channels. In-store: Acknowledge their expertise and listen. Then, ask questions to see if you can offer up info that they haven’t uncovered in their research. 1. THE WELL-INFORMED SHOPPER 7 Common Types of Retail Customers (and How to Sell to Them) 2
  3. 3. Checks out products in person, then looks for a better deal online. Key to Connecting: In-store offers Loyalty programs Special benefits Position your merchandise and store as distinct and aspirational. 2. THE SHOWROOMER 7 Common Types of Retail Customers (and How to Sell to Them) 3
  4. 4. The “just looking around” customer. Key to Connecting: Acknowledge them, then leave them alone. Invading their space will drive them away. Make them feel welcome, casually mention items on sale, then leave them to it. 3. THE WANDERER 7 Common Types of Retail Customers (and How to Sell to Them) 4
  5. 5. They already know what they want and won’t waste time getting it. Key to Connecting: Simply stay out of their way. If they ask questions, give them straight-forward answers. If they’re getting held up by a long line, you can delight them by opening up a new till, or by charging them through a hand-held POS system. 4. THE CUSTOMER ON A MISSION 7 Common Types of Retail Customers (and How to Sell to Them) 5
  6. 6. Often caused by too much or too little information. Key to Connecting: Figure out their specific needs and tell them what they need to know. The goal is to educate, not sell. If you are honest about what your products can and can’t do, the customer will trust you next time. 5. THE CONFUSED OR INDECISIVE SHOPPER 7 Common Types of Retail Customers (and How to Sell to Them) 6
  7. 7. The main factor in their decision is price. Key to Connecting: Make them feel like they’re getting a good deal. Point out value over price, and why buying from you will save them money in the long run. If they won’t budge and only want the cheapest, grab their contact details to notify them next time you have a sale or promotion. 6. THE BARGAIN-HUNTER 7 Common Types of Retail Customers (and How to Sell to Them) 7
  8. 8. You love their enthusiasm, but sometimes they keep you from doing your job. Key to Connecting: Nicole Reyhle’s script for politely getting away from a talkative customer: Look them in the eye, smile, and say, “I would so love to talk to you more about this – but I see someone else who needs my help too. I will check back in with you, ok? Thanks for being here.” 7. THE CHATTY CUSTOMER 7 Common Types of Retail Customers (and How to Sell to Them) 8
  9. 9. YOUR TURN Have you encountered a shopper type that’s not mentioned in this presentation? We’d love to know! Share how you approach them in the comments below.

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