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Do you know what your customers don’t want?

 13 March 2017     Donald Cooper 

Many of your customers don’t have the time, the skill or the inclination to install, maintain, keep track of, prepare or otherwise ‘deal with’ many of the products they buy from you. There’s a huge value-add and revenue-add opportunity here, if you get it right.

Lowes, Home Depot and many other sharp building materials retailers have partnered with ‘trusted contractors’ to create install programs for customers who don’t want to, or don’t know how to do ‘fix-it’ or renovation projects themselves.  IKEA has crews that will assemble and install for you.

Grocery stores are seeing their sales of ‘prepared foods’ climb rapidly as consumers don’t have time to cook. Did you know there are over 600 million cooked rotisserie chickens sold in the United States every year?

Many manufacturers and importers contract out the warehousing and shipping of their products to outside logistics companies who do it better.

So, the question here is how could you add value and increase revenue by doing for your customers what they don’t have the time, skill or desire to do for themselves? How could you help them to choose, process, control, service, store, resell or recycle what you sell? Here are a few more examples to get your creative juices flowing.

  • A large distributor of industrial safety supplies puts one of their own staff into their largest customers’ facilities to issue safety products, do safety coaching and control inventory.

  • Our tire ‘hero’ stores our off-season tires for us – and charges a fee for doing so. It’s a ‘win-win’ for both of us.

  • Businesses that sell seed and fertilizer to farmers have agronomists on staff to do soil testing for their customers to determine which seed and which fertilizer will work best for them.

  • Smart financial advisors help clients partner with top lawyers and accountants to keep their estate planning tidy and tax-efficient – and top travel agents to help them plan extraordinary adventures.

  • Sleep Country Canada, this country’s largest mattress retail specialist, takes away the customer’s old mattress when they deliver your new one. They donate the good ones to homeless shelters and recycle the rest. They realise these folks have no easy way of disposing of an old mattress, and they deal with that in a way that makes them feel good.

So, what do your customers not have the skill, time, facilities or desire to do to be successful with what you sell? How can you help them with that? And how can you do that in a way that adds value, strengthens the relationship and grows your bottom line?

This HGO article was written by:
Donald Cooper
Donald Cooper

Donald Cooper has been both a world-class manufacturer and an award-winning retailer. Now, as a business speaker and coach he helps business owners and managers throughout the world to rethink, refocus and re-energize their business to create compelling customer value, clarity of purpose and long-term profitability.

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Home Goods and its accompanying newsletter - HGO This Week - covers the furniture, bedding, appliances, consumer electronics, accessories, lamps and lighting and floor coverings product sectors of the big ticket home goods market in Canada. HGO is also a forum for the dissemination of market research and hard-hitting articles on best practices for Canadian retailers.

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