3 Steps to Effectively Market Your Retail Business Online

Are you looking for ways to effectively market your retail business? Maybe you own your own store, or you are the manager and one of your main tasks is to get more customers through the door.

Rather than standing at the entrance of your shop and trying to entice passers-by using different offline methods, focus the majority of your effort towards online marketing and promotions instead.

Here are 3 steps to help you effectively market your business online that will soon see more foot traffic through your shop doors and, as a result, more sales at the end of the day.

1. Not Your Ordinary Website

You need to make sure your website is eye-catching, easy-to-use, informative and worthwhile visiting. This means investing in great graphic design and user experience.

To make your website worthwhile visiting, it will require updates from you on a regular basis. Connect your website to your social media channels with tools like Facebook like box or face pile.

For example: including information about the samplings, newest products, constantly having a promotion targeting web users – any updates such as these need to be made on a regular basis so your customers want to visit your site more than once.

A website is tha foundation of your communication with (potential) customers, and a poorly designed one could cost you before they even set foot through your door.

2. A Social Networking Presence

Social networking sites will most likely be your first point of contact with your customers. The big two here would be Twitter and Facebook. Beware not to spam your customers.

Try to make your pages as conducive to conversation as possible. Post images of products you love and are excited about. Ask questions and respond to replies. Make your brand seem personable and enthusiastic!

Create Brand Alliances. “Following” and “friending” similar brands or stores where you believe your target customers shop already is one way to expand your following.

Make sure to approach the other brand or business first and work out a mutually beneficial agreement the two of you that will help promote both your businesses.

3. Get your Existing Customers Online

Invest in some quality flyer printing and include these in the shopping bags to let your customers know about your online-only promotions. Include an enticement for them to tell their friends and/or have a bonus if they friend you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter.

Capture all the conacts from your website and social networking sites in an opt-in mailing list. Over the time this list will become one of your most important marketing tools.

Email is bringing in $40.56 for every dollar spent on it in 2011, compared to catalogs’ ROI of $7.30, search’s return of $22.24 and Internet display advertising’s return of $19.72. – Direct Marketing Association “Power of Direct” (2011)

The key is: you want to be able to maintain contact with your shoppers once they have left your door. If you are going to invest time to transition your retail business to a digital marketing success, then you need to make sure you are building a list of followers who are enthusiastic about shopping with you. After all, they are your most effective brand ambassadors.

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Image credit Pantchoa

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1 Response

  1. Paul Richardson says:

    Another great tip for local businesses is to claim your business (provide business info, pictures, hours, etc.) in online directories like Google Places and the Bing Business Portal.

    It’s generally free, adds to local SEO and provides easy access for mobile users.

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