Customer Loyalty:

Your Turn

Customer loyalty is an interesting thing in the comic book business. Some customers prefer to shop at a variety of stores, while others will shop at the same place year after year. Some people love their store, while others can do nothing but complain about it, but yet they continue to go there. Some shoppers look for a good deal, while others look for good service and selection. While most people won’t go more than 15 miles to get to a comic book store, other people will drive twice that far, past several other stores, to get to the shop they like the best. At my store, Neptune Comics, we do have a lot of loyal customers, some of whom drive fairly far to shop here. But, we have also seen people come in once in a while, just looking for a deal or to find an issue their current store forgot to order for them.

As someone who works behind the counter of a comic book store, day in and day out, it can be easy for me do develop opinions that are based not on customer opinions, but my own opinions. So, I thought it might be fun as well as informative to put out some questions for you, the loyal readers of Sequart, about your own loyalties and store choices. What I’d like is for you to answer one, a few, or all of these questions and email your responses to me at: neptunecomics@sbcglobal.net by December 29th. Then, I will take the answers and write up a column using them. Include your name and city/state, as you’d like it to appear, should I feel the need to quote you in the follow-up column. Hopefully we’ll all learn something from each other along the way.

Ready? Here they are:

  • When you go to a comic book store, what do you shop for most (comics, clothing, graphic novels, toys…)?
  • Do you use a subscription service for the comic books you read, or do you just pick them up off of the shelf?
  • If you had the choice of buying a full-price comic at a store or reading it on-line for 50% – 75% off, would you save the money or buy the issue? Why?
  • Have you ever brought a friend or family member into a comic book store with you? What did they do while you were shopping?
  • When you enter your local comic book shop(s) what is the first thing you notice?
  • How long have you been shopping at your current comic book store? What made you choose them?
  • Are you happy with your current store? What would make you shop somewhere else?
  • If a new comic book store moved into your neighborhood, what could they do to get you to purchase from them, rather than your current store?
  • If your favorite comic book store closed down and you had to find a new one, what would be your criteria for choosing a new store to visit regularly?

I look forward to reading all of your answers and writing up a column about customer loyalty that’s composed of answers from actual comic book store customers. Remember to send your answers to me by December 29, 2006, at: neptunecomics@sbcglobal.net with the question(s) you are answering, your answer(s) and your name and city/state as you would like it to appear. Then check back in a few weeks to see what the answers were.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

One year after our first wedding anniversary, to the day, my husband and I picked up the keys to a 1000 square foot store front in a strip mall in suburban Waukesha, WI. Two weeks later that spot would become Neptune Comics, our very own comic book store. I grew up in Slinger, WI, the child of entrepreneurial parents who owned their own dog breading and boarding kennel. The first in my family to graduate from college, I earned a BA from St. Norbert College. Prior to becoming a comic book retailer I was a stock broker, and then gave up that stress to own my own house cleaning business. Comic books were a small blip on my radar before I considered opening a store -- I did not have a collection stashed somewhere. But jumping into comic book retailing has been a great crash course in the ups and downs of the comic book industry. Being a woman and a comic fan, rather than a collector, I have no doubt that my opinions won’t always be that of the majority.

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