The world we live in is consumer driven and constantly changing. Enticing customers to your retail store with traditional marketing methods (or even online) is growing harder every year. Not only do 51% of Americans prefer to shop online, COVID-19 has moved many shoppers out of in-person store experiences and into their mobile devices for their retail needs.
If you’re struggling for ideas to improve your retail store marketing, we’ve got you covered. Check out these tips and tricks to attract more customers and improve your sales:
1. Use content marketing.
Content marketing is the organic (rather than paid or promoted) use of social media to reach customers through the content you produce. 75% of consumers will increase their spending with a brand they follow on social media. Content marketing costs 62% less and generates 3x as many leads as traditional marketing.
Ideas for content should stem from problems or challenges your customers face and offer solutions they can implement fairly easily. A recipe blog or how-to videos or other content are great ways to connect with potential prospects and offer value at the same time. Great content marketing positions your brand (and your local store) as an expert in your industry and area.
2. Add product videos to your website.
Video content tends to be more memorable, engaging, and shareable than other types of content. Nearly two-thirds of customers prefer watching a short video to learn about a product or service. 84% of consumers say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
In addition to conveying helpful information, videos increase the time customers spend on your website and directly impact sales and positive ROI (according to 89% of brands). 43% of video marketers also say that product videos reduce the number of customer support calls they receive. Customers and prospects are always seeking information—and product videos are a great way to clear up common questions and concerns from your website.
3. Implement loyalty and referral programs.
Loyalty programs not only encourage existing customers to spend more, but to refer others and become brand advocates. 63% of consumers say they’re prepared to modify their spending habits to maximize the benefits of a loyalty program. And 70% of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand with a good loyalty program.
Your rewards program might include accumulating points, being the first to know about new products, or receiving special discounts. Similarly, you can inform customers post-purchase about referral programs and rewards. Decide the benefits of your referral program and inform customers at checkout or with a post-purchase text sent directly to the customer’s phone. Customers who feel valued are customers who will refer and recommend your business to others.
4. Start a blog.
82% of marketers who blog consistently see positive ROI from inbound links and increased rankings in search engines. Blogging provides the opportunity to go in-depth (more so than social media posts alone) on topics relating to your industry or products. This longer form of content generates 9x more leads and 3x the social shares as short-form content.
There are endless options for guest writers, how-to articles, listicles, and other topics or keyword clusters to boost your local SEO and increase the number of indexed pages on your website. Every blog post is an opportunity to reach a potential customer through relevant search result rankings or shared content on social media.
5. Respond to DMs and engage with customers on social media.
Being present on social media not only includes creating content, but meeting leads and engaging with customers through responses and DMs. 60% of customers expect a response on social media within an hour of reaching out. Many customers, not wanting to make a phone call or email, use social media as a platform to address customer service issues.
And it works—customers who have a positive experience with a brand responding to their request/mention on social media are 71% more likely to recommend the brand to others. 88% of customers are less likely to buy from companies that leave complaints unanswered. Meeting leads and resolving concerns through social media pleases customers and impresses prospects.
6. Personalize your offers via text message.
As convenient as mass communication/marketing can be, customers love interactions that feel human and personal. Send personalized promotions directly to your customers’ phones via text message—it’s how 75% of customers would like to receive special offers anyway.
You can have customers opt in for these messages from your website even before they convert. Offering a textable line from your Google My Business listing is another way to provide personalized communication for customers. You can automate answers to FAQs and continue the conversation by reaching out periodically with special offers and deals. You’re much more likely to please and attract customers with texting. It’s convenient, effective (98% open rate compared to 20% email open rate), and preferred by customers.
7. Optimize your local listing.
Search engines are almost always involved in the research that customers do before buying locally. Increase the likelihood of being found (and chosen) by local customers through your Google My Business listing. Ensure all of your information (business hours, in-store pickup, curbside pickup, address, phone number, website, etc.) is updated and helpful for customers. This will direct relevant search queries like “(your product or service) near me” to your business listing where customers can click to call, message, visit your website, or even purchase.
Increasing the quantity of positive reviews will also boost your ranking in relevant search results. Customers expect reviews to be recent and positive—84% believe that reviews older than three months aren’t relevant, and only 53% of customers will consider using a business with less than four stars. Send review requests via text message to generate more reviews and help customers find you online.
8. Maximize reach of online reviews.
Although customers rely heavily on Google reviews and other review sites, you can also embed reviews on your website or share them on social media. Search for your retail locations on multiple review sites including Yelp, Google, Consumer Reports, Tripadvisor, Facebook, and any other place your customers frequent.
In addition to generating online reviews, your business should consistently respond to customer reviews for each of your locations. 97% of customers who read reviews also read business’ responses. Many review sites offer a platform for customers to ask questions and contact businesses; actively monitoring these sites will help you stay in touch with customers and broaden your reach online.
Each of these marketing tactics can be managed, optimized, and measured with customer relationship software like Podium. Learn how you can generate and respond to more leads (across several channels) from one central inbox with a free demo.
See also the Definitive Guide to Converting more Leads
BRA note: We are very pleased to mention that Podium recently renewed Board Retailers Association as a BRA Supporting Vendor Partner. If you would like to be introduced via email to the solid people behind this outstanding resource, email me. – Doug Works, BRA Executive Director
If you are not yet a BRA Retail Member, you can easily opt in to either Regular (no cost) or Distinguished ($99/yr.) Membership via this super simple join form