With so many people going online for their shopping needs, brick-and-mortar stores need a way to stay competitive. There are many benefits to the in-store experience but retailers need to make sure their marketing strategies align with their customer’s needs in order to capitalize on them.
Online businesses typically have less overhead, making it difficult for brick-and-mortar retailers to compete with them on price. As such, they must highlight the added services they provide in store, the quality of their products, and the relationships they are able to build with their customers.
Getting Them in the Door
Start simple and look to grow engagement on relevant social media platforms. However, it’s important to keep in mind that just because you are showing up, posting content, and engaging with your followers, does not mean people will just stop what they are doing and come into your business. As you build your online following, you’ll need a way to transition them off social.
Entice People With an Offer
Once you have engaged your social followers, entice them with an offer which takes them from social media, onto your website. You can direct them to a landing page or directly to a sales page. Typically you want to drive them to your website to download or sign up for some type of offer. This allows you to collect their email as a way to send them messages, keeping you at the forefront of their mind.
Your offer could be a free trial, a discount code, or a free gift. Have customers sign-up to collect their offer, which is only redeemable in-store. This helps you collect their email while driving more people into your business.
A Few Tips…
After your potential client has opted-in, send them to a thank you page which includes more information on activating the offer, directions to your location, or even a virtual tour of the store.
When it comes to email lists, it’s important for you to segment them. You want to share different things with people who have shopped with you in the past vs. those who have never been into your store.
Your offer, coupon, or incentive is usually delivered right away via email. But don’t stop there! After you deliver the offer email, you will have a great opportunity to trigger further follows ups. These follow-ups can include an email funnel into your business as a way to help them to get to know you more with the end goal of – you guessed it, getting them into your store!
Follow up with educational pieces within 1-3 days. Provide additional information to encourage them to activate or redeem the offer. The quality of your educational materials will help them to choose you!
What’s really interesting to me is how many businesses will promote a freebie and never follow up. They will not encourage people to use the offer or come into their business to use it. By simply reminding people to come in, you will be able to drive more people into your store which will increase sales and give you the opportunity to showcase the incredible customer experience you can provide.
Once you’ve gotten them in the door, you can give them a reason or incentive to purchase now as opposed to later. If you aren’t able to close the sale on the first visit or gathering some information about them (i.e. an email), you run the risk of losing a future visit.
If your potential customers feel loyalty or a connection to you and your brand, they are more likely to continue spending money with you. This connection can be based on the in-store experience, an ongoing value-based subscription option, or even regular events that keep them coming back. Let your customers get to know you, what you can offer, and what makes buying from you more beneficial.
With loyal customers, consider upselling opportunities. Think of something you can offer as an add on sale that will benefit the customers. The keyword here being “benefit.” Add on something extra that will be of value to your potential customer instead of simply trying to make a sale.
Advantages of Brick-and-Mortar Retailers
Brick-and-mortar stores have a number of advantages vs. online retailers, the important thing is knowing how to capitalize on them.
- A brick-and-mortar store has the opportunity to build relationships with every customer that walks in.
- They can offer an unparalleled in-store experience allowing customers to see products or services first-hand.
- A brick-and-mortar retailer can offer speed and convenience by having items readily available for in-store pick-up as well as the ability to try before you buy.
- They can add additional services such as free delivery or other in-store perks that online retailers can’t compete with.
It’s important as a brick-and-mortar retailer to never feel discouraged by people choosing to shop online. If you can provide the product, experience, and convenience that online competitors cannot offer, you’ll bring customers in who return time and time again!