4 Ways to Develop Lifelong Customers

October 20, 2015

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No matter where a home improvement retailer might be located, they are likely to see more families with young customers filling their aisles, and independent retailers are well-suited to turn these young shoppers into lifelong customers.

Companies such as McDonald’s have long understood the value of creating positive impressions for their young visitors in order to create loyal, lifelong shoppers. Home improvement retailers also have the ability to make a trip to the hardware store a positive lasting memory.

Below are four ways hardware retailers can attract the next generation.

Create Departments That Meet Their Needs:

With school projects required at nearly every grade level, home improvement stores have ample opportunity to create product categories that appeal to students and their parents. Some retailers have already successfully developed a niche in science fair products. Check in with educators or parents to find out what your local school curriculum requires or visit corestandards.org.

Create Events Centered Around Kids:

Seasonal events, from ladybug release parties in the spring to pumpkin carving and in-store trick-or-treating in the fall, are great ways to attract families. Making magical memories for children not only warms their parents’ hearts, but it will also drive the next generation to return to re-create their happy childhood memories with their own children.

Get in the Education Game:

Many hardware stores already provide in-store workshops and build-a-project programs, but those who have been successful may want to consider stepping up their game. Most schools offer after-school organizations and summer camp classes that are fulfilled by the outside community. Consider having a staff member teach a six-week course on power tool use and safety or beginning carpentry. Most classes require a fee to cover the teacher’s time and supplies. What better way to ensure the next generation of DIYers than by teaching them the basics of plumbing, electrical, and hardware?

Keep it Simple:

These programs don’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming. Kids remember the highlights, and focusing on fun and creativity will make it memorable. Some retailers have created a fun atmosphere by having a pet, like a dog or guinea pig, in the store, or by providing snacks, such as a popcorn machine or cookie program. One sales staff even carried photos of their pets dressed in costumes for the store’s annual Halloween competition to share with tiny shoppers. Make the atmosphere fun, and they will beg to come back. Plus, parents will be thrilled if you can help them avoid a meltdown every time they run to the hardware store with kids in tow.

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