22 Mar 4 Digital Techniques Brick-And-Mortar Stores Can Adapt To Online Change
Are you adapting to the online massive shift when it comes to selling your products or services?
Many physical retailers are surviving without putting their business online, but that could change even more over the next few years.
Businesses are timid to go online because it might change their whole business model and might change the way they market to and service their clients.
However, as more and more big retailers empty stores, it’s time to rethink your brick-and-mortar marketing strategy.
You must be able to adapt to the changes of what people buy and how people buy.
How can you change, transition or go into more of an online mindset?
Here are 4 techniques (and actionable exercises) to adapt to online change.
Work on taking your community online
If you have a database of loyal customers in your store’s database, then taking the steps towards bringing them online will help get you viewers for your new online efforts. Getting your audience on and active on social media or receiving email newsletters will help the transition process. Continually be testing promotions and ads to see what connects most with your brand. You would want to be able to do this and be timely about your messages and promotional cycles (holidays, etc.).
Exercise: Whenever you make contact with your customer, ask them if they are on social or if they would be interested in subscribing to your email. Additionally, you can ask them what they would be interested in seeing on your feeds and get feedback that way to encourage them to engage with your content.
Using Online Advertising
If you are looking for ways to reach more people, online advertising is one of the best ways to not only build awareness, but to get in front of people. Google Adwords, Instagram Ads, Facebook Ads and even Linkedin or Twitter Ads have great opportunities for targeting, placements, and reach for both desktop and mobile with analytics to breakdown to see what your top audiences are based on the feedback you are getting.
Exercise: Try running a small campaign of $25 and go through the steps to understand each point. run it for 7 days and see what the results are. You might find that the people, results or contacts might not fit in with your target market, that way you can adjust your campaign or which advertising channel you use.
Try Longer Form Content Creation
People eat content in many ways.
People can eat small bites on Twitter, but some people’s appetite may be bigger for videos, blogging, email marketing or more. Feed your followers with a variety of different content types and pieces. Drive traffic to your website and your eCommerce entity. Feature your products in longer form content and try to collaborate with others through affiliate marketing.
Exercise: Write an article outlining why you think is different and send it to your clients, close friends or family to see if they agree to them, then promote it out there. You want to outline what you can expect with your business as well. If it’s something unique, you can later turn this document, blog, video or even press release and send it to the media to showcase your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). You might even get press in your local area if the USP is strong enough.
Focus On Your Website’s Experience
Is your website’s online experience similar to your offline experience?
When it comes to your website, does it have the same tone, voice, aesthetic as your storefront? Are you using the same colours or are your audience experiencing your website and social feeds and then being disappointed by your in-store experience. Check your reviews, ask your customers to get their feedback on their experience both online and in-store, and gather feedback. Make changes where necessary to have consistency with your brand. If you went to a Nike store and I told you to imagine what the website would be like, you would already be able to pictures the aesthetic of the website. So, try the same exercise for your storefront.
Create An Signature Aesthetic
Consistency and uniqueness is key when it comes to your brand. You can be consistent fairly easily, but creating an aesthetic that’s recognizable is much harder. How do you stand out? Is it the voice you use? Colours? In-store experience? Online store experience? Visuals? These are all opportunities for you to stand out.
Exercise: Create a pinboard or gallery filled with photos and visuals of all of your competitor’s logos, branding, marketing, posts, etc., and make sure it’s all mixed together in one board. This way you can look holistically at all of the aesthetics and visual styles of your competitors. Look at their styles, are they busy in style? Colourful? Minimalistic? Then maybe you can do something similar, but different or stand out by doing the opposite.
When it comes to your marketing techniques, it’s all about experimenting and getting feedback on what’s working and what’s not. Check your analytics, check in with your customers and involve them just as much as you would do in person.
If you have any questions about this article, feel free to contact us today.
Thank you for reading,
The BenchMRK team.