This is a guest post by Jake Rheude from Red Stag Fulfillment
It was only last year when the retail industry had experienced an integral pivot on how to run this business. That’s because the Covid-19 pandemic has forced people to rely on e-commerce and delivery to shop for their needs.
In fact, more than 50% of survey respondents from emerging and developed economies revealed that they used e-commerce and digital solutions more often during the pandemic.
That said, retail business owners must shift online. And we are not just talking about setting up an online store. It also means applying marketing strategies that can work for your retail and e-commerce stores.
1) Make customers feel safe in your store
Your customers won’t be staying long if they don’t feel safe with you. The more comfortable your customers may feel engaging with your brand or business, the more they’ll likely stick around.
Both safety and trust also go hand in hand. Making your customers feel safe in your store will help retain them in the long run. Whether you own a brick-and-mortar or an online store, your customers would need a sense of security when transacting with you.
When offering products and services online, see to it that your interface is encrypted on the 256 bit. This is true for all your pages, not just on pages where your financial and personal information is present.
It would help if you also offered a variety of payment options. Your customers may be using their favorite wallets such as Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Paypal, etc.
2) Develop impressive storefronts
The rapid rise of e-commerce forced brick-and-mortar stores to enhance their experiential appeal.
Your customers wanted several options for purchasing products. And to stand out from the rest of the pack, you should offer them an excellent experience.
Although many businesses overlook this aspect of retail marketing, one of the best ways to attract more people into your store is to optimize your storefront design.
This includes optimizing various social media platforms and websites. You should also consider site navigation, website speed, high-quality content, and mobile-optimized user interfaces.
That said, integrating inventory planning services that can streamline your shipping process.
3) Engage Your Customers
You should give your customers a reason to love you. Now, the best way to make your customers loyal to you is to be helpful to them.
You should answer their questions as truthfully as you can. Then, try to see from their perspective and answer product questions from real customer experiences.
When your customers are leaving, you should also take the time to invite them to return, offering them a more memorable experience. You should also gather feedback from them, post and answer questions online, engage your customers using market research, and respond to customer reviews.
It would also help if you even offered to return customers discounts, coupons, and other strategies to boost engagement. Tools like appointment scheduling software allow you to schedule appointments for better virtual or in-person services.
4) Leverage your social media presence
Almost every business, whether in the retail industry or not, has some presence on social media. Still, only a handful leverage their social media capabilities.
It would be best if you consider investing in social media advertising. That way, it will be easier for your brand to be visible to the right audience.
Doing so allows you to attract the attention of people who are likely to buy from you.
5) Smart remarketing
Another way you can boost your customer retention rates is through remarketing. Many shoppers often get distracted and forget about a positive shopper experience.
Remind them of this positive experience by engaging them either with discounts or promotions. Whatever tactic you’ll use, base it on their past purchases or current trends.
6) Provide exceptional customer experiences
Many businesses offer customers terrible customer service. Still, many customers consider the quality of customer service before they make a purchase.
Offering excellent customer service can distinguish your brand from the rest of the competition.
This begins with your hiring practices. Ill-mannered people couldn’t provide your customers with the best service.
So, see to it that you do extensive training of your staff, and regularly ask your customers for feedback. That way, it will be easier on your part to identify the areas that you wanted to improve upon.
To deliver a great customer experience, you can also use tools such as the virtual wait line management software. With this, customers can join a virtual queue and then stay updated as they wait for their turn.
7) Promote corporate social responsibility
These days, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming a prevalent factor among consumers. That’s because people prefer doing business with a brand that supports a cause.
That said, CSR not only makes the world a much better place, but it also brings in profit to retailers. This also explains why promoting your CSR is solid proof that it can be one of the best strategies to enhance your sales.
Here are some CSR ideas that you can explore:
- Come up with specific products donated for charity.
- Run charity events
- Be a sponsor of community activities.
- Offer monetary or merchandise donations.
- Run an internal CSR like providing relief to employees who are affected by a recent disaster.
8) Have strong in-store visuals
One of the best ways to provide a lasting impression is the particular environment or setting they’re interacting with.
You can opt for relatively simple displays, with just a couple of fixtures and racks in your physical store.
However, ensure that every single element in your store- from the color of the walls, the theme, and the items you sell, follow a unifying theme. Doing so allows you to create a more robust and immersive store experience.
You can also make use of curbside collection software. What this tool does is accept orders from your customers, whether online or via phone call, and then let them pick it up at your store.
9) Update your visual elements regularly
Walking into an outdated store will feel like a store filled with holiday décor in April. Remember what your customers see, feel, or hear will immediately impact their perception.
You don’t have to do something too drastic. Yet, try to make everything current because your customers yearn for that.
When it comes to updating in-store displays and layouts, you need to be consistent. Also, regularly updating your displays and your store’s design will give your loyal customers something to look forward to.
They’ll always be excited about discovering something new.
10) Tweak Your Pricing Strategy
It’s only natural to see product demand changes as the season, market, consumer trends, and competitor action changes.
Apart from that, you should also stay on top of your pricing game. That way, you can keep your inventory moving.
To accomplish this, you should strategically change your prices to attract more customers, cover costs, and bring in profit.
11) Train employees on an ongoing basis
Many retailers prefer to hire a competitor’s employees because they’re already trained.
Don’t take anything for granted when it comes to how your employees greet or answer a customer, sell a product, or even take out the trash. Remember that training in retail sales is as necessary.
Just because there is a rising popularity in e-commerce, that does not mean you should leave your retail store altogether. With the tips listed above, you can leverage e-commerce to boost your retail sales. Good luck!