With the upcoming holidays 2016, I’m sure like many other offline retail business owners you are all set to pep up your stores to ensure an overall excellent consumer shopping experience and make the best out of the busiest selling days of the year.
Leading departmental store in the United States 2015, as per sales revenue in dollar
It’s nothing new that traditional store owners pressurized by the online sellers. This may be due to many reasons that include pricing strategy, wider product offerings, and offering product delivery at customer’s convenience. However, considering a report from comScore.com focusing on the 2015 Holiday Season Sales For Total Commerce, brick-and-mortar resulted to 2.0 % growth points compared to online that recorded with 1.9%.
I’m sure the above can boost confidence among start-ups and growing brick-and-mortar store owners, however, not focusing on the consumer’s ever-changing needs can lose you many potential opportunities, especially during holiday season.
What can be those innovative tactics for drawing customer’s attention towards your brick-and-mortar store?
In a report by Bain & Company, although online penetration booms during holiday season 90% of retail sales happens in stores.
Technology has come a long way that it is helping retailers with multiple opportunities to attract, as well as, engage consumers; however not many are still taking an advantage of it.
To make it easy, below are effective tips and tricks that can allow brick-and-mortar store owners to enhance consumer’s experience even after Holiday Season 2016.
Let’s take a look at them:
I- Considering promotion
Online stores owners can surely be your major rivalry, however, with increasing number of departmental stores how can you attract consumers towards your offline stores.
a- Showcase fun time at your store
The environment of your store is the foremost thing that can attract and retain consumers towards your brand. Therefore, being loud about the happy moments in-store can give an idea about consumer’s shopping experience with your brand, who in turn, may not mind trying your offline brand for their holiday and future purchases.
Trick: Social media sites like “Facebook,” “Instagram” and “Pinterest” being influential platforms for making purchase decisions, sharing images of your happy customers can automatically help you increase awareness about your brand among potential consumers with time.
b- Frequently re-target your existing customers
Targeting your existing customers can be helpful to maintain sales flow, as well as, consider being a direct voice for your brand. Therefore, with the help of a contact management software understanding your favorite customer’s purchase preferences and targeting them with special offers can make stick with offline store over your competitor’s deals including online stores too.
Trick: Email marketing can be an effective approach for your loyalty promotional programs; therefore, targeting your best customers with special discounts on purchase of products they would like will automatically keep your brand alive in their mind for making future purchases too.
c- Target audience within the local radius
Whether you own a single store or a chain of stores, having an ability to connect with passersby can be an effective tactic to attract potential consumers on-the-go. Therefore, instead of blindly targeting your consumer’s why not attract them with an offer they would not want to miss.
Trick: As per Pew Research Center, 74% of adult smartphone owners ages 18 and older said they use their phone to get directions or information based on their current location. Location-based mobile marketing will allow you be a part of the larger audience who daily use their mobile devices to look-up for nearest areas and location they wish to make product purchases.
For instance, considering this holiday season many shoppers would be strolling around shopping zones trying to spot the best deals and offers. Therefore, taking an advantage of location-based marketing you can instantly target passersby with discounts and messages that make sense to them and relate their preferred locations too.
II- Considering purchase experience
With the increasing flexibility of allowing consumers to look up for product and purchase-related information online, is making it difficult for brick-and-mortar store owners to attract consumers to their brand. However, by adopting technology can help offline store owners fill the gap between their brand and modern consumer’s experience.
a- Digital window display
As an offline store owner, you may try multiple tactics to make consumers enter your store, especially during the upcoming holiday season 2016. However, if you still think displaying big banners and attractive shop name will do the game, may not be the case today.
Trick: Allowing consumers an ability to connect with your brand without having a need to enter your store can save them time and offer them a unique shopping experience. Therefore, adopting technology like digital window display (maybe at the windows of your shop or even at the entrance area) will bring curiosity among passersby and encourage many to interact with your products and brand at their own convenience.
b- Be present online
With popular search engines making it easy to allow consumers make informed decisions, it can be helpful to have your brick-and-mortar store presence online. This can give you an added advantage over competitors who overlook the potential of all those consumers who always refer online to make their offline purchase decisions.
Trick: Having your offline store presence in relevant online directories can make your brand visible to local consumers who frequently look-up for stores in their area. For instance, if you are selling handmade products and consumers look up for “handmade shops in your (city) your brand is more likely to show up in their search results.
c- Pop-up shops
Renting a short-term sales space- whether at a mall, local events, or even busy streets, can help you attract new opportunities. And, with holiday season coming up adopting this strategy can be an added advantage to boost overall revenue for your retail business.
Trick: Frequently creating up pop-up shops can help you increase awareness among more and more shoppers in the localities you organize. This way, you can also test new markets and confidently increase the number of stores with time.
III- Considering Fulfillment
Many consumers still prefer to shop offline due to an ability to feel and touch the product before making their purchase decisions. However, with the increasing number of offline stores offering same product line, allowing consumers a flexible in-store shopping experience may encourage consumers to stick with your offline brand over online stores.
a- Flexible delivery options
Consumers mostly take away their purchase orders while shopping offline, however, allowing flexibility in accepting their purchase can help you enhance their shopping experience each time they’ll shop from your brick-and-mortar store.
Trick: Offering consumers an ability to opt for purchase order delivery at their own convenience can allow them a next level in-store experience. For instance, considering the upcoming holidays season allowing consumers with an ability to purchase in-store while accepting their product delivery at their own convenience can encourage them to shop more, as well as, send gifts to their loved ones.
b- Returns and Exchange
Most of the brick-and-mortar store owners may overlook the importance of offering a security to a consumer’s purchase, as they are allowed to try before they buy. However, consumers will always prefer to shop from brands that offer a safety to ensure they don’t end up having to keep the product that is of no use to them.
Trick: Having a returns and exchange policy for products you sell in your brick-and-mortar store, can make consumers think twice of shopping online to avail the benefits. Once you have a returns policy in place, don’t forget to be loud about it to attract more and more online consumers to your offline store.
Consumers shopping behavior has been changing with time and as a brick-and-mortar store owner, it’s important to keep up with the evolving trends and technology. The above can surely help you adopt the most innovative tactics for your brick-and-mortar store, however, if you are also looking for the simplest solution to manage back-end process, contact Orderhive for gaining expert tips and advice for your multiple retail stores.
Savio Fernandes is a writer who influences. Writing for over three years at Orderhive, he is currently focused in offering eCommerce and retail solutions for start-ups and medium business owners.
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