Most of us have heard the expression: “There are three things that matter in selecting a property: location, location, location.” But how does this phrase relate to creating loyal specialty retail pool consumers (loyalists)? We set out to find the answer in our independent study of loyalists that is the basis for this series.

In the chart and findings below we compare the overall level of satisfaction between loyalists that see location as an advantage with those who do not. 

Convenient location is not a competitive advantage

According to this chart, loyalists who see convenient location as an advantage have the same level of satisfaction with the overall value received from their retailer as those who don’t. What does that mean? Certainly any location must be sufficiently convenient for consumers to access. But once that foundation is accomplished, a convenient location will not create satisfaction and loyalty on its own.

A passive advantage with distinct requirements

As presented in Part 4 of this series, location is a passive advantage, which means it does not involve interactions between staff members and customers. A convenient location requires a different set of considerations compared with interactive advantages between staff members and customers. It is a long-term investment decision based on local demographics, traffic patterns and access rather than live customer interaction. 

Location is not managed in the same way satisfaction with overall value is accomplished through knowledgeable staff, superior service and strong relationships (addressed in Part 5, Part 6 and Part 7). Nonetheless it can be a huge factor in the success of a pool business.

Once achieved, additional focus on location will not provide a return 

If you don’t have a convenient location, perhaps nothing else matters. So it is wise to watch out for any changes that reduce convenience. Neighborhoods evolve, people migrate and a once vital thoroughfare can become hopelessly divided or bypassed altogether. Loyalists may not explicitly see convenience as an advantage, but it should be considered a necessary foundation on which more active value drivers are implemented. 

Retailers should be diligent to avoid losing locational relevance. It is a “ticket to the dance” that facilitates access to customers. Once this relevant access is achieved, however, it is time to focus on other factors that more directly relate to loyalist satisfaction.

Your turn

  • What are your thoughts on location as a competitive advantage?
  • How effective is your location compared with your competition? How do you know? How have you addressed location?
  • What percentage of your Loyalist customers would tell their neighbors they shop with you simply because the location of your store is so convenient? 

See the previous post in this series: Do Strong Personal Relationships Really Matter?