With huge growth in online shopping, retail stores are feeling the pressure to get customers in the door. Customers are becoming more clever at shopping around for the best deals by comparing prices online with offers in stores, shopping centres and malls. This guide will help retailers with some useful and innovative marketing tips and techniques to bring more customers into stores and increase sales.
- Develop a distinctive image
Image and branding are absolutely important for marketing. Customers create a perception about your business based on your appearance, logo, website, store location, products, prices, visual merchandising, signs and displays, social media, business cards and advertising materials and anything else that relates to your business.
Create a marketing plan to identify your strengths and weakness and if need be change your marketing efforts accordingly by focusing primarily on your core target customer group.
- Using Social Media to Highlight Your Customer Experiences
Highlighting your customers positive experiences on social media can really work. Take photos of customers shopping in your store and post them. Highlight any happy customers (with their permission of course) where they have been happy with a purchase, or even modeling one of their purchases. Businesses can really benefit from posting real life experiences and client interactions in their stores on social media channels.
- Encourage Your Customers to Share Their Experiences
If you can encourage your customers to also join in with your social media efforts and post their own happy stories about their purchases.Â Or to post about your stores fantastic customer service their friends will also see it and want to be a part of the action. This will create a positive buzz about the store and also give the staff a welcome boost.
- Create Awesome Window Displays
Attractive window displays are essential to catch new customers and to get people coming into the store. Give people something to look at that is colourful and unusual and you will get more people in the door. If your shop window is not bringing in the clients or passers by then something must be wrong. You might need to assess what is stopping them from stepping inside.
- Catch the Eye with Visual Merchandising
Most window shoppers can see inside the store from the window or the door. Â Make sure they can see a well organised store with interesting items for sale. If they see rows of jeans and not much else they will not come in if they don’t need new jeans. Make sure you place colourful items, new stock and on trend items close to the window and the door so that shoppers can see the delightful stock you have in the store. This along with the awesome window display will really help to bring the new potential customers into your store.
- Virtual Merchandising
Use the internet to maximize your potential, photograph your new stock items and post them on your facebook page and social media channels. Clothing retailers can be really clever here and photograph outfits with accessories together. Create exciting visual merchandising in store and online, really show of the best of your stock with its best assets.
If your selling homewares, photograph them in a relevant home like setting, pet care items with ‘pets’ Â as models etc. Use accessories, real life ‘models’ and really utilise online media with your virtual merchandising images that link directly to your social media pages and or your website.
- Web Site Content
A website is only valuable once it has great content that is relevant to the store and its target customers. It must offer the type of information the customer needs and will help them to gain trust in your products. It will then be able to drive its own traffic by improving search engine rank and by coming up in relevant searches. As well as good content relevant photographs also help when people do image searches.
The website should be utilized to show the products on offer with prices or examples of prices and details of how they can get the items from you directly by visiting your store or if you can sell to them online then offer them that option also.
- Take Advantage of online shopping channels
Although you might not plan to be an online retailer, there are benefits for all retailers by tapping into the likes of E-Bay, Now, Google Shopping and Milo. Promote and put for sale a small selection of your products or items to get more views and interest to your website and it may also lead to more people making the effort to visit your store.
- On and offline affiliations
Search out for possible marketing partnerships. Plink for example is one affiliate that helps businesses to connect with consumers online and drives them to make purchases in offline locations. Brands and retailers pay a percentage from the sales generated by Plink. It is 100% performance based and is measured by the customer using their registered credit or debit card when they make a purchase at your store.
- Learn from your regular customers
Check your sales statistics and watch what your regular clients purchase. You can then use this information to make relevant suggestions to them when new items arrive in store that they might like. You can also post them on your social media channels to catch your regular shopper’s attention so that they will visit you again when your lovely new stock is on display. Make sure your sales team are also aware of what your regular clients might like so that can suggest the new items to them when they arrive in store.
- Coupons and Vouchers
This is nothing new but the power of the coupon or the money off voucher can really drive customers into stores and buy something they really would not have normally purchased. Once the clients are in the store you can also entice them to spend more money on other tempting deals you can offer them.
Make your offer time limited with a start date and end date so that you can draw customers during the quieter times/days of the week for your store. Post your voucher/coupon offer on facebook and social media channels to so that people will also share it with their friends. Â Utilise the social media fans you already have, and get them to print out or even photograph the voucher on their mobile phone, and then must be brought into the store or shown at time of purchase to redeem. In doing this, you’re taking the online interaction into the real world to make a real client facing sales experience.
- Sales and events
It goes without saying people love a bargain and love to get a really good deal. You can offer special one off sales days outside of the usual end of season and mid season sales times. Or just create a special one off sale on any given day, or special discount promotional event. Just by having a sale banner in your shop window will bring more people inside.
Many stores get new customers just by advertising a sale, promotional events. Run fun and crazy promotional events based on one or two heavily discounted items. It is a good chance to clear old stock or offer special deals for bulk buying. Â Once again use social media also to advertise the sale or promotional event to gain more free marketing via word of mouth and online sharing.
We hope you liked these tips and techniques, we will be producing more specialist tips for retailers in future blog articles.