The judges were looking for a retail outlet that embraced an omnichannel approach – one where customers can fully interact with the store, whether in person or online. They were particularly impressed with Salamander’s unique approach to retail, creating a customer-centric shopping experience.
Salamander’s shop staff are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the products they sell, and work together with suppliers to run in-store events, bringing cooking to life and engaging customers amidst lockdowns. During lockdown, these were seamlessly moved online through the interactive website. There is also a monthly newsletter, regular competitions and customers can now access a Zoom personal shopper, combining in-store expertise with online technology. Social media channels also help the customers feel part of a community.
As a single, independent shop, this flexibility has been key to Salamander’s success during the pandemic. Owner David said, “Our virtual channels are a method of opening another meaningful platform to customers, in the style of how the shop is as an independent retailer. We recognised that we couldn’t put 7,000 lines of products online, but we could make interaction simple, as well as making the site an interesting place to go. We wanted to be able to satisfy quickly and sell online, so we went to a model where when you browse the website or newsletter, it encourages you to email or phone and we get back to you within 24 hours, guaranteed.”
David explained, “We recognise that the virtual world is really important, as well as being a local shop, so we try to mirror the instore experience on all of our on-line channels. We’ve only just begun and are learning all the time, testing things. It’s evolving and we think we’ve found something that’s working.”
To get involved, visit www.salamandercookshop.com
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