While there’s definitely some friction between brick and mortar retailers and ecommerce websites, you can’t let your animosity towards online retailers impact your ability to reach your customers. Like it or not, brick and mortar stores need to be investing in online marketing.
4 Online Marketing Tips to Elevate Your Retail Store
Make no mistake about it, physical marketing is still effective. Billboards, print advertisements, and local sponsorships play an integral role in getting customers in the door. However, nothing compares to the influence of digital marketing.
According to this infographic from Perfect Search Media, 67 percent of the buyer’s journey is now completed digitally, while 72 percent of shoppers turn to Google during the research stage. In other words, you’ll be hard pressed to find a customer who isn’t going online prior to purchase.
Here are some ways you can reach these customers with greater ease:
1. Get Your Website Polished Up
Did you know that two-thirds of the shoppers in your store are using their smartphones to check for cheaper prices online or compare your price against the competition? When you look at the valuable millennial demographic, you can bet this rate is even higher.
You can’t do anything to stop shoppers from using their phones to comparison shop, but you can do your best to provide as much value as possible on your website. The more information and features you build into your website, the more likely that you’ll have some influence over this process.
2. Create Value With Your Social Profiles
Social media profiles aren’t enough. If you want to extract value from these networks, you have to prioritize engagement. One neat thing you can do with Facebook is set up what are called “Place Tips.”
“Facebook’s Place Tips will be displayed to users who have them enabled once they’re in your store,” marketing consultant Anna Gotter explains. “You can create a custom greeting, welcoming users and potentially alerting them [to] special events. Place tips can show users other customers’ favorite items, or UGC from their friends.”
3. Send In-Store Coupons Via Email
With all of the comparison shopping out there, coupons are guaranteed to get some attention. One way to bridge the gap between online and offline is by sending out in-store coupons via email.
If you’re looking for ways to build your email list so that you have more options on the digital marketing front, consider signing people up when they’re at the register. This high-touch interaction increases your chances of being able to collect information.
4. Invest in Local SEO
For physical retailers, local SEO is an important part of the digital marketing equation. It allows you to narrow your focus in what can otherwise be a very broad pursuit. Since local SEO best practices are always changing, it’s important to stay up to date and constantly readjust according to the latest updates. Here’s a guide on what to expect in 2018.
Modernize With Online Marketing
You shouldn’t view the internet as the enemy. While ecommerce stores might be eating away some of your profits, these businesses aren’t to blame. They’re doing exactly what you’re doing: trying to meet customers where they are and satisfy market pain points.
Customers have shown that they spend a large percentage of their time online now. You must respect this and develop an online marketing strategy that’s prepared for the modern marketplace. The brick and mortar business model still has tons of life and potential left, but the retailers who refuse to invest in digital marketing will continue to feel the strain that comes from a lack of engagement with customers. Don’t fall into this category.