When was the last time you did something really exciting at your store? How easy is it for new customers to find your business online? Are your regularly making improvements to help your existing customers?
When you own a retail business, there’s never a shortage of improvements to be made — but sometimes the hardest part is knowing where to start.
Here are 5 best practices to give you some direction and help you reach new heights in 2016!
1. Give customers a reason to visit your store
Holding an event — if marketed and executed correctly — is a great opportunity to build relationships with both new and existing customers.
Promote the event to your customers well in advance (up to a month before, depending on the scale of the event). If you have a larger space, collaborate with other local businesses by inviting them to exhibit at your store and represent their product or service offering.
Partnering with other businesses will bring in new faces and strengthen the bond of your shared community. You can add an extra buying incentive by including a coupon or special offer in the emails you use to promote the event.
Finally, spice things up with a raffle or giveaway — asking attendees to provide their email address to be entered to win is yet another opportunity to grow your email list!
Learn more about event marketing and registration from our recorded webinar.
2. Show customers you care by asking for feedback
Sending an annual or bi-annual survey to your customers to encourage their feedback is critical to your evolving business success. First, it’s an easy way to remind them of your business, even if you haven’t reached out in a while.
Just seeing your business name in their inbox could be the spark that rekindles an otherwise inactive customer relationship. Capitalize on that opportunity to ask questions about your customer service, your product or suite of offerings, your store layout, location and accessibility, pricing, etc.
Use the feedback they provide to adjust your strategy. It’s important to remain in touch with your customer needs throughout the lifecycle of your business, and surveys are a great way to gain insights into ways you could make changes for the better.
Our survey tool makes it easy to get the feedback you need.
3. Use social to sell
Social media has become such an integral part of consumer’s lives that if you don’t have a presence on the main channels, you are doing your business a disservice.
Especially for retail stores, having a strong social media presence with beautiful visuals that represent your product offerings is crucial.
Make sure all you images on your website or Etsy store are pinnable, so that you can build a repository of your products on Pinterest. Add descriptive captions to all your photos, along with a link (when applicable) to where it can be purchased online.
A variety of social media channels have launched the ability for users to sell products directly through the platform, including Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
Check out how to sell online with Pinterest and Instagram, here.
4. Make it easy to be found online
Keeping up with the wave of mobile technology will remain an important aspect of any local marketing strategy in 2016.
First, make sure your website and email marketing are both mobile friendly. Second, make it easy for those searching for your business to find you on their mobile phone. Other online local services, including Facebook Place Tips, Bing Places and Google My Business, can help with search success.
You should also ask your customers to review your business on some of the top review sites. Listings and positive reviews will drive traffic and awareness to your business online, and in turn, into your store.
If you aren’t on SinglePlatform, get the details on how it could help your business get found, here.
5. Accept more payment methods
The days of cash and check have come and gone — and it’s probably safe to assume they will never be the only forms of payment in the future.
Adopting new mobile payment technologies affords you the opportunity to make a sale wherever you are.
If you don’t have a way to accept your customer’s payment, you risk losing a sale. Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Square are all great options, but do your research first to find the best fit for your business needs.
Make 2016 your busiest and most successful year yet.
Establishing clear marketing goals and a positive workflow early in the year can help give you long-lasting momentum. Use these tools alongside your email marketing strategy to start out with your best foot forward!
Are you planning to use any of these suggestions for your own business? Try it out and come back to share your experience in the comments!