Collaborative space works well for many offices and creative groups. But what about for retailers? The truth is, retail businesses can benefit from joining forces, particularly when their business models gel. Banks and credit unions are no different.
So how might a financial institution benefit from space-sharing with a fellow retailer?
Photo Credit: Lloyd Companies
Lengthen Their Stay
One of the key benefits of space-sharing with a retailer is that you have an opportunity to lengthen the stays of your customers or members. We were particularly inspired by one recent local example here in Sioux Falls of two local headquartered businesses - one a bank and one a coffee shop - joining forces in a shared building. Add in free wifi and places for people to gather and sit, and you have ample opportunities to get your bank or credit union's products and services in front of a captive audience.
Add a Convenience Factor
Another key benefit to your customers or members is creating a "one-stop shop" scenario. Find a natural fit in your space-sharing combination. Think about your target demographics and what matters to them. Are you a credit union that thrives off of Baby Boomer membership? Perhaps partner with a pharmacy or a boutique gift shop. Are you a bank situated in a solidly millennial neighborhood? Partner with a locally sourced bakery or a tech store. Consider what would make a single visit to your shared space convenient to your target audience.
Your commercial customers are important to you. So why not afford them the opportunity to benefit from truly partnering with your bank or credit union. Consider offering up small businesses or startups that bank with you the chance to space-share. They'll get increased exposure to their products and services, and you'll show the community that you value your business banking relationships. Even if it's simply a kiosk in one section of your lobby, you can showcase the latest business that has benefited from working with you and improve your goodwill among the local development community.
Maximize Your Space
One of the biggest problems brick-and-mortar financial institutions face these days is, well... your brick and mortar. With foot traffic decreasing in many regions, one other benefit of space-sharing is reconfiguring how you're using your branch buildings. Down-size your teller and waiting areas and utilize the free space to bring in a desirable retail business. You'll drive renewed foot traffic to your branches and take away that potentially vacant, stoic vibe large, empty bank buildings can often have.