“We are in a retail apocalypse!”
These are a few of the excuses that you may hear from struggling retail stores that have seen their sales slide year over year. Are these excuses legitimate? Maybe. As of September 2017, there have been over 5,300 major store closing announcements, which is triple the amount during the same period last year. But, maybe not. We have seen major retail brands like TJ-Maxx, Aldi, Ulta, Target and Ross all announce major expansion plans. In June, Warren Buffett announced a 377 million dollar stake in REIT Store Capital Corp, a huge signal that one of the world’s greatest investors believes retail is worth betting on. If your retail business is struggling you may need to analyze your marketing strategies and reevaluate the ways you are trying to generate sales. Today, we provide you with eight marketing tactics to increase your brick and mortar retail sales in the digital age.
Website – Not having a website in 2017 as a business is inexcusable, especially for a retail store. Make sure you have an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ready website that is mobile friendly and is visually appealing. A website will give your business credibility and provide customers with the information necessary for building their awareness.
E-Commerce – Having a brick and mortar store doesn’t mean you can’t sell products online as well. Look at major retailers like Wal-Mart and Walgreens who have invested millions upon millions in their e-commerce platforms. Offering sales online will not only give you an additional storefront but will allow prospective customers an inside peek of your store’s current inventory.
“Especially as a local retailer, think of the value you can get from a website AND e-commerce site. Help get rid of stale inventory and extend your sales and brand beyond your four walls. Most importantly, you want to be where your customers are – and that is not always where you are,” says Terrand Smith, CEO, and Founder at 37 Oaks Retail Consulting.
Branding – Have you considered a brand makeover? Every business must evolve their brand as time goes on. Redesigning a logo, adding fresh signage or redoing a product’s packaging can go a long way in increasing your revenue.
“Branding is one of the tactics that often gets underestimated. There is so much competition out there that it’s important to not only be clear as to how you are different, but to clearly communicate it. Customers have so many options, you want the buck to stop with you,” continues Ms. Smith.
E-Mail Marketing – Make sure you are capturing e-mails from all customers that shop in your store. Collecting an e-mail database and reaching out to previous customers offers a huge ROI.
Social Media – This is another no-brainer in 2017. Make sure your business is active and creative through social media. Have a Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at the very least. Even on a micro-budget, you should commit an amount to advertising on your social channels. At just $5 a day, you can see a good, consistent return over time.
Local SEO – 81 percent of people conduct a google search before buying something. Your business needs to be visible on Google’s first page for local keywords. For example, if you’re a bakery on Chicago’s South Side, you would want to make sure you are targeting keywords like “best bagels in Chicago” or “Southside Chicago Bakery.” Local SEO campaigns can help big time in driving traffic into your brick and mortar location.
Google Verified Business – By far the easiest to accomplish on the list, have a google verified business. Google will send a postcard to your location to validate the authenticity of your store’s location. This will help with your SEO, reputation, and credibility. It’s completely free and only a few clicks away. Here is how you begin the process.
SMS Marketing – Utilizing an SMS marketing campaign can really help improve your sales. SMS Marketing allows you to send a text message to prospective customers offering them special promotions or informing them of your in-store happenings. Coupons delivered via SMS have redemption rates 10 times higher than those of printed coupons and should only continue to grow.
If you’re not utilizing any of these marketing tactics, it’s not too late! In business, sometimes you must pivot and adapt to survive. Applying these digital strategies will definitely help those declining sales, and we are ready to help. We are experts in each tactic and would love to hear how we could help you grow your business.
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Allevi8 Marketing is a digital marketing agency located on Chicago’s Southside. We create awesome websites and digital experiences for small to medium sized businesses. Providing full branding and creative abilities to our clients, we help your business get more customers. From social media management to SEO to public relations, we will help you grow your business. Contact us today for a free consultation and be where the world is going.