Consumers are bombarded with information all day, every day. It’s important to remind your customers what sets your store apart such as your mission, your values, what makes your store special, and why you support the growers and vendors you do every day. Find ways to share your story daily. Customers often forget so it never hurts to reiterate your unique values in different ways. Keep in mind, new customers, who do not know your story, may come into your store every day. Here are a few tips on sharing information with your community and beyond.
- Engage Your Staff: Have your clerks pick out three of their favorite farms. Ask them why these are their favorites. Make sure you supply them with more information about those farms. Now you have just armed staff with talking points on why you support these farms and who these farms are. This helps customers instill trust in your knowledgeable and caring staff.
- Offer Samples: An easy way to engage in an interaction with a customer is to offer them a sample of some amazing product from one of their favorite farms. This gives the clerk the perfect opportunity to talk about the farm and the store’s connection with the farm.
- Promote yourself: Talk yourself up with posters, signs, and printed messages. Write about your accomplishments in newsletters and on social media. Make a sign promoting your compostable produce bags stating you are committed to reducing plastics. Have rotating farm information signage in your department. Nobody has the same story you do with the farm. How did you meet and start doing business together? Why does your store choose to buy from this farm? What are they doing that is outstanding? Make the information personal to your store.
- Social Media: Social media is still an under-utilized tool by many stores. Be your biggest advocate on these free platforms! There is no easier way to reach consumers and spread your story than a simple post. Research shows that people really respond to and rely on social media for information and discovering new things. To benefit from social media, it does need to be done correctly. Update your posts consistently (daily if possible), respond to comments, and post at peak times (11am-2pm).