When Steve Jobs died, Apple fans were so distraught that they began treating Apple Stores like shrines, leaving flowers and notes on their doorsteps. Do you think your own store could ever inspire that degree of customer loyalty?
Perhaps it can–if you follow in the footsteps of Ron Johnson, who headed up retail at Apple and is now leaving to become CEO of J.C. Penney. He shared some of his insights in a guest post at Harvard Business Review:
- Don’t offer commissions. Staff at Apple stores don’t care what–or if–you buy because their livelihoods aren’t affected by it. Instead, they focus on building relationships with customers.
- Customers are willing to pay for a noteworthy retail experience. Consider the fact, Johnson says, that people regularly patronize Apple Stores when they could get the same products for less at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, or even Amazon.
- Start from scratch. Steve Jobs’ genius was that he didn’t do customer research to invent the iPhone–he reinvented the phone from the ground up. Take that same approach to your store, Johnson advises.
Get the full scoop at Harvard Business Review.