Customer Demographics In The Retail Marketplace

Customer Demographics In The Retail MarketplaceCustomer demographics comprise many different aspects that separate our society into usable criteria in the retail marketplace. Knowing these demographics and how to use them to sell can mean the difference between making sales or struggling to break even.

What are important customer demographics in the retail marketplace?

Customer demographics include things like:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Sex
  • Income
  • Occupation
  • Geographic location
  • Language

So how do these demographics come into play in retail? Imagine you have a retail store that is full of TV monitors blaring out the latest boy band songs, pink fixtures and gum chewing, tattooed sales clerks. How comfortable do you think that a middle aged businessman would be in that environment (just ask the Dads who have to accompany their teen or tween daughters!)

How can you use these demographics to make the experience in your retail store better?

First, get a really good picture of your target customer. Are they young or old, hispanic or african american, well off or just starting out? Here is how you can start:

1. Are they a man or a woman? I know that you want to sell to anyone but generally you can figure out who your top purchasers are. Men and women shop very differently so it is vital to know! Men tend to do research online, hitting the store with a clear goal in mind and hesitant to ask questions so they need detailed signage that they can use to do final research. Women are more willing to ask sales clerks for help so less signage is needed but more staffing might be the rule of the day.

2. What is their average age? If you are staffing a technology store with all early 20-somethings and your regular customer is in their 40’s or 50’s, you may not be capturing all the sales that you should. Oftentimes retail stores are staffed by younger clerks, while the customers are older and more able to afford to make the purchases.

3. Race and language don’t always go together, but if they do, not having the correct floor staff can be sure sign of an upcoming store closing. It is hard to sell something if you cannot communicate with the customer. Waving your arms and talking louder will not help them make a buying decision, but having someone familiar with your customers native tongue will. We have seen stores located in a predominately Hispanic community that do not have even one Spanish speaker to talk with customers who don’t speak English.

Second, get laser focused on how to make your customers comfortable in your location  Take a couple of weeks and note down the characteristics of the people in your store. Bonus points if you offer a discount coupon, gift certificate or free offer to customers who will fill out a brief questionnaire (no more than 5 easy questions!)

Think about what your ideal customer looks, sounds and acts like. Figure out what kind of staffing, signage and displays you need to appeal to your best customers.

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