Offering customers the opportunity to book an appointment with an in-house consultant either face-to-face or virtually using an online appointment booking system is a proven way of increasing sales, driving footfall figures and attracting new customer bases.
And social media is a great place to promote your in-store or online services, such as in-store styling consultations or virtual one-on-one make-up tutorials.
Here’s some tips for retailers wanting to promote their appointment offering across social channels using our fictional luxury fashion brand QDi, as well as a real-life example from retailer Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports.
1) Be strategic
Before you get posting, think carefully about what would appeal to your target audience. What would tempt them to book an in-store or online appointment? What are their priorities (to save time, to have a tailored experience, to be ahead of the curve)?
For our QDi luxury fashion brand, the messaging is centred around provided a personalized shopping experience with a Covid-19 twist.
2) Add value and be consistent
When posting, focus on creating helpful, engaging content, rather than self-serving drivel. To do so, be clear about the value proposition you’ve designed and demonstrate it clearly and consistently.
3) Be a perfectionist
Make sure you design your post to include beautiful imagery of your appointment bookings service or its benefits to your customers.
4) Use personalization
Posting content to the masses is great, but for extra personalization and to spin challenges into positives, encourage your social media teams to include links to your appointment booking service in responses to customers with questions or complaints. For example if a customer is complaining on social media about a poor customer experience in one of your stores, apologize to them and include a link to your booking service, ensuring they get a better experience next time.
5) Boost it
Using your social media channels to regularly post content ensures your message will be seen by high-volumes of your current followers. However, to get your content in front of wider audiences, you can use various paid advertizing options across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to boost posts and specify the audience you wish to target. Remember to ensure a clear value proposition as there is no one size fits all – keep it relevant to your audience.
Case study: Ellis Brigham
After several months of lockdown during the Covid-19 pandemic, mountain sports retailer, Ellis Brigham, wanted to create a safe and engaging in-store service for its customers when it reopening its store. Now customers can easily book appointments online for in-store footwear fittings, backpack fittings, camping advice and clothing and general equipment advice.
The sporting goods retailer regularly promotes its in-store appointment booking service across its social channels.
How Ellis Brigham’s customer journey works:
- The customer sees a post on social media advertising its in-store services and clicks on the link.
- They arrive at Ellis Brigham’s dedicated in-store appointments page, where they can see available services in particular stores.
- The customer selects which service they would like to discuss and in which store, and is shown a series of available time-slots.
- The customer is asked to enter their personal details.
- Once booked, the customer receives an email confirmation (and SMS text) and then a further reminder an hour before their appointment time.
- The customer arrives at the store at the scheduled time and speaks to a customer service host who helps check the customer in and their expert is notified.