Hereford retailer discusses creative ways of reaching key customers
For retailers not based in areas of high footfall, attracting customers to shops located further away from the high-street can prove tricky for businesses. Mills Mobility MD highlights how his store is investing funds in new channels to get a foot in the door with key target markets.
Not able to rely on passing trade, Hereford-based retailer Mills Mobility is located a short distance from the town, however, owner Greg Mills has explored new ways of raising the profile of the company to his target audience.
“One of the initiatives we are exploring involves the care homes we work with. There are a lot of private customers in care homes that can’t get out to the store, so where we have a bought a volume of products quite cheaply, such as walking frames, commodes and even slings, we are going into the care homes and giving the equipment away with no obligations and no ties,” he said
Giving away products may sound like a business lunacy, but for Greg, it is a powerful way to build meaningful awareness and relationships.
“Our labels are on the products and what that does is if they haven’t had new equipment in the home for a while, it encourages them to come down and visit us, or contact us if they are looking for something else,” explained Greg.
“The cost of this equipment is actually cheaper than advertising. For example, slings are an important commodity in care homes and the price for a local ad in the newspaper would be around the same as eight slings.
“So, for the cost of one generic advert in the newspaper that would hope to reach a small percentage of its circulation, I could instead do a favour for eight different care homes and get our name out there with key customers. This is a key approach we are using for building the business.”
This long-term approach to reaching target customers works on multiple levels for the shop according to Greg, gaining favour with care homes, providing equipment which will act as a constant advert in the environment, whilst additionally doing wonders for Mills Mobility’s reputation.
Opening Mills Mobility in June 2017, the company sells, services and rents an extensive range of mobility products and additionally runs Hereford’s shopmobility service.