What is a Unique Selling Point (USP) and why is it important to my business?
A USP describes features and practices that make your business different and better (or worse!) than your competitors (for examples see below). Identifying your craft business USPs is very important because doing so will give you a strong focus and guide as to how you can run and grow your business in the face of competition. The reasons as to why businesses fail, survive, or thrive in the face of competition are numerous (if I knew and understood them all I expect I could get someone else to write this for me – he he!).
If you can identify your competitor’s USPs you can ensure that your business can provide something different (Unique). Being different to your competition (in a good way) will really help your craft business stand out from your competitors. Here are 5 examples of important USPs:
- Price - you may decide that you want to be cheaper or more expensive than your competition. Either way be consistent in your pricing so customers can clearly understand that in your shop items cost a bit more or cost a bit less… If you are going to be more expensive than your competitors ensure that your products are higher quality.
- Customer Service – I think any good business will rely heavily on this USP. Do you reply quickly to inquiries, are you friendly in your communication, do you dispatch your orders swiftly, do you keep your customers informed during the transaction etc? How do you handle returns, exchanges, and loss in the post etc? Besides leaving everyone with a pleasant taste in their mouth providing top-notch customer service is one of the best ways to build trust.
- Keeping it Fresh – whilst we all have our trusty favourites we also like to try out new things (or least we like to look at them). Keep your crafty shop fresh by adding new items, having different offers, changing the look of your shop, and regularly posting in your shop blog etc. If you regularly ‘freshen up’ your shop folks will come to expect it and they will be more likely to drop in more often.
- Ease of use – is your shop easy to use? Is your website easy to navigate, is it easy to view items, is it easy to pay, is it easy on the eye? Even if you have an etsy, ebay, or dawanda, shop you can still make shopping easier for your customers by providing clear product photos and helpful product descriptions for example. A pleasant no-nonsense shopping experience is attractive to everyone.
- Extras – extras can be little treats or benefits such as freebies (small gifts, products, delivery, vouchers, samples, etc.) hand written notes, well-packed orders etc. Go the extra mile to make your customer smile
This is a USP that I would find really attractive in any Chinese restaurant – yummy!
Pic credit (and further reading) : Versa.
Now you have an idea of what USPs are, identify USPs which you think will benefit your customers and then communicate them to your customers so they know what goodness you have on offer. For example; in my shop I provide next working day delivery for all domestic orders so I have written this USP on my homepage.
So what are some of your USPs?
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