One of the advantages of deep connections is that they help build opportunities to broaden assortments and related services. They open the potential to enter diverse product and service sectors and they provide the potential to deliver revenue generating loyalty subscription models with the most engaged customers.

A more engaged relationship, a deeper connection, requires more synergy of values, ethical points of view and philosophies. The connection goes beyond shopping. The catchment is limited but loyalty is strong.

Conversely a shallower less engaged relationship, focused on retail fundamentals only, is appropriate and comfortable for a wider section of society but will lack a binding loyalty with the retailer. In this scenario the retail fundamentals must be absolute best practice to ensure customers stay loyal when many competitors offer a similar relationship.

Therefore, retailers, like people, have a strategic choice. To be opinionated and to make strong friendships, but clear enemies. Or to agree with everyone, which will not create enemies but will not engender deep and lasting relationships either.

This is a significant series of steps that transform a relationship from where the retailer pays the customer with price promotions in a basic relationship , through a financially neutral advanced relationship, to the ultimate retailer connection where the customer pays the retailer via a subscription model, to be part of, and receive, the retailer’s loyalty benefits.

It is the proposition and relationship combination that allows a retailer to transcend a traditional transactional model to a service benefit model.

These essential retailers satisfy the functional needs and the emotional desires of their customers. The experience is personal, individual, and immediate. These are what we call ‘Personal Destination Retailers.’

Physically, they are part of the customer’s community, their neighbourhood, their town and their space. The way that they act and integrate with the physical space and the people in it makes them local. Their behaviour makes them personal. They are familiar and comfortable in the customer’s locality.

Digitally, they are equally adept at creating personal spaces and local places. Their sites and media channels generate a personal world which is for each customer. It is a community drawn from celebrities, influencers, friends and like-minded strangers, filled with content, music, and rich media selected for each customer.

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