Effective marketing can make the difference between a successful business and a business that fails. This is particularly true in the retail sector, which is becoming more competitive and technologically advanced all the time. Here are some tips that will help your retail business flourish in today’s challenging retail environment!
Create an eye-catching window display
Your brick-and-mortar store literally has only a second or two to grab and hold the attention of potential customers walking past, so you want to stop them in their tracks. Therefore your shop window must be stunning – interesting, current, eye-catching and simply irresistible! A wonderful window display need not cost a lot of money – ingenuity, creativity, out-of-the-box thinking and good products are in essence all you need for a highly effective display.
Give your window display a current theme, like Halloween or Valentine’s Day, and do not clutter it up with too much stuff. Use bold shapes and colors to highlight a few stunning items that are best displayed at eye-level. An element of surprise is also very effective in grabbing and holding shoppers’ attention. Update your window display frequently to keep it fresh and use the wonderful tool of lighting to make your shop window stand out. Use digital signs that continually update to highlight specials and current promotions.
Make sure your store is inviting
Having enticed them in, your customers should feel comfortable, at ease and welcome in your store, and have a positive and enjoyable shopping experience – as that is what will bring them back again. Make sure that you offer your customers a pleasant environment, with comfortable seating areas to deposit husbands- or boyfriends-in-tow.
If your store can accommodate it, a dedicated kiddies play area will make it easier for frazzled moms to enjoy their shopping trip, as will a free cup of tea or coffee. Always have helpful and friendly customer representatives on standby to help customers who seem a bit lost and need some help. Make sure your restrooms are generous, well-stocked, and fresh and fragrant.
Harness the power of social media
The many social media platforms today provide the most hugely powerful tool for retailers ever! Social media enables retailers to grow their markets and promote their products without spending thousands of dollars on ad campaigns and promotions. So it is crucial that you develop an effective social media strategy that will promote your long-term goals and help you achieve your objectives.
It is just as crucial that you know your target market, and then produce compelling content that people will want to share. Make sure your ads, competitions and promotions will be more effective by gearing them towards people in your area. Likewise run local promotions and get involved with groups in your community.
And remember that your staff members can be wonderful ambassadors for your company and products too. Get them motivated and incentivized to promote your company online.
Make your website work for you
Your website is your digital shop window. It will often be the first introduction of your customers to your store. So just like your physical one on the ground, it has to get your customers’ attention. The design of your website must look completely professional. It must load fast, be free of errors, and must be easy for your customers to navigate – so keep it simple, clean and uncluttered. Your users must be able to access all the pages, products and links seamlessly.
Your website must make it easy for your customers to contact and engage with your store, so include all relevant phone numbers and email addresses for key staff members and managers. Also include a good map that shows your physical location, and clear directions on how to get there.
Consider starting a blog about local happenings or events to drive local web traffic to your site. This is good for your local SEO, and also helps establish you as a presence in the community. Add awesome product images and descriptions to your website.
Provide truly exceptional customer service
The importance of really good customer service cannot be overstated. Clever marketing will get customers into your store, but it will not keep them coming back. The way you and your staff treat them, and the quality of their shopping experience, will do that.
Having properly trained, motivated staff who are courteous, friendly and helpful is absolutely key. A customer who has a really positive experience with your brand can be a huge asset in terms of word of mouth advertising – and that’s still the best free advertising around!