It is no news, that you can buy any product, anywhere, any time. For shop owners, it is very hard to be differentiating at the product/assortment level. Most competition is therefor happening at price. This has a negative impact on a lot of brick and mortar stores, as most products can be bought more cheaply online. Downtown and in many other shopping centers, there are a lot of vacant spaces, which don’t get rented anymore.
One of the main ways to stay relevant (and in business!) is to build a relationship with your customers. If a shop owner still recalls my name after a while, that is very nice. Even better if (s)he knows what I did buy the last time. Or if he gives me useful advice.
As human beings, we still are social creatures. We like to belong, to connect with others, to be seen and valued. This personal relationship, combined with excellent service is increasingly a huge differentiator for shop owners (and other SME’s). This also means that social skills are maybe even more important than sales and/or product skills.
Do you really know your customer, personally?
Enthusiasm drives Excellence!