The world we live in has become so small that with the click of a button one can go globe-trotting. This is having a far reaching effect on the way businesses run. Retail Industry is no different.
Although the usage of the internet and the evolution of e-commerce stores has increased, the retail businesses are here to stay. The internet & Digital Marketing has enhanced retail shopping experience, which businesses are smartly including in their marketing strategies. A recent study has shown that forty percent of consumers buy more from retailers that provide a personalised shopping experience across digital and physical stores.
Here are a few key components that can help you with winning digital marketing strategies for your retail business.
Utilize Google My Business:
The most essential online tool for every retail business is Google My Business (which is now known as Google Business Profile). While many retail businesses have a basic GMB profile, the effective use of this local discovery tool brings more customers, especially new customers.
Any physical store like grocery or pet shop, or service points like hotel, gym or spa, or establishments like corporate office, college can create a Google My Business profile to manage their content on Google. Each business profile provides important information like location of the store, website’s address, contact information, and working hours besides managing the reviews of customers.
Google offers this online listing service for free and helps in getting the business ranked on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The other benefits of Google My Business include:
1. Targeting local audience:
When it comes to digital marketing, it is always wise to gain the attention of the local audience at first, and then reach the larger audience. Google displays results based on the searcher’s location, thus making the retail business appear on top in the search results. For instance, if a user decides to google ‘grocery store’ for purchasing things, a list of grocery stores in and around the user’s locality will appear with all the important details that makes the user to approach the store.
2. Having control over online reputation:
A Google My Business profile helps the retail business owners to have control over their online reputation. The reviews and feedback of shoppers help more customers come in as well as go out. Frequent replies to feedback and customer reviews give hopes to internet users that the retail business is trustworthy or can be relied upon.
3. Collecting local shopper data:
GMB not only helps in attracting local audience, it also gives data on the type of audience looking for your business, the channels through which they approached you (direct, branded, or discovery search), the location of the shoppers, the actions they performed while visiting your GMB like visiting your website, or viewing pictures, or calling you.
4. Free traffic driving tool:
GMB allows retail business owners to upload pictures of their physical establishment, posters on the latest arrivals, the offers on certain products, and as such that help generate traffic to your website and store. GMB can be treated as a free bulletin board for visitors who are searching for retail stores nearby.
(At Pixel Studios, we have successfully set-up Google My Business for retail businesses and also for chain stores, that can be managed under a single GMB account for better control & analysis. We have also seen effective use of GMB as it has helped drive more than 50% traffic to our client’s stores by itself.)
Offer In-Store Wi- Fi:
Research has repeatedly shown that shoppers stay longer and spend more at stores that offer free Wi-Fi. Providing free Wi-Fi at the retail stores not only increases sales but also provides vital information about the customers, and their shopping behaviour that can be used for marketing the products digitally.
In exchange for free Wi-Fi, retail businesses can ask their customers to share information like their email id, phone number or any other valuable data. The Wi-Fi platform can help in tracking the customers’ shopping habits and map their shopping journey, i.e., browsing for more information about a product in your store until the actual purchase can be tracked via the POS. The Wi-Fi network will also help build the email database or calling list of the retail business for running specific offers to prospective customer groups.
The retail owners can also alot cool spots in their stores for clicking pictures and display their hashtags that can be used by the customers for posting their status on Instagram and Facebook. Encouraging the shoppers to share their status in social media by clubbing in-store offers or loyalty points increases the possibility of generating user content for the store.
Use Retail Analytics Data rigorously:
Many retailers have already recognised the importance of data for their business’ success. In a recent study, 76% of retailers have confirmed the importance of understanding their customers through analytics data is critical for their business’ performance. However, only 16% of the retail business owners seek the help of experts in analysing the data while others are in the ‘newbies’ or ‘getting there’ stage.
The retail data can be collected from various sources like POS, website Google Analytics, fb pixels, email response, social media interaction, etc. Some retailers have already started implementing Foot Traffic Analytics using people counters, beacons, etc as they help in understanding the traffic flow, and dwelling time of the internet users. With more data & intelligent analytics, retail businesses can glean enough information that help attract the right customers, run customised offers & even forecast demand.
The internet has not made the retail industry disappear but only changed the way the game is being played. Smart integration of online & offline strategies to engage with the customers, and the providence of seamless experience using cutting edge technology & tools is spearheading the retail space. The retail industry will see many more changes in the future, with an increase in the usage of innovation in technology.
Reach Pixel Studios, to take your retail business step-by-step into digital medium by enhancing your presence on the internet and bring in more customers.