Customers Already Want To Shop Your Store! Make It Easy For Them!
by Josh Amidon
I try really hard to shop at small local businesses, not just on Small Business Saturday, but year-round. Although, I’ll admit – you’ll find me almost every Saturday morning in Costco with a cart full of oversized items that I don’t need. Do I need a case of 1000 straws, 2 gallons of whole-grain mustard and 300 yards of aluminum foil? Maybe I do, don’t judge me! Anyway, the moral of the story is most Americans agree with me. Studies have shown that 66% of people want to shop at local businesses, but stray to bigger brick and mortar stores for various reasons (price, product selection, convenience, etc.).
The takeaway? As long as you sell what the customer is looking for, they’re more likely to shop at your store simply because it’s a small independent business. The key is building on that natural desire. Here are a few ways:
Fight “Showrooming.” Showrooming is when a shopper visits a store to check out a product but then begins searching for a cheaper price their mobile phone. However, you can counteract this by using pay per click mobile ads that target a very small radius around your store. When a prospective customer searches for a better deal for product you’re selling while in the store, the ad will serve up your company on the top of the search results (thus reassuring the customer you’re the place to buy that item).
Get Good Reviews. Only 8% of people say they never pay any attention to online reviews when looking to shop. Be sure to claim your store’s listing on ratings and review sites, and monitor your reviews daily to make sure you quickly respond to any negative reviews or complaints. Use window stickers, decals or text on your receipts to encourage happy customers to “Review us on Yelp” (or whatever review sites you use).
Plan Promotions. Discounts and loyalty programs are the most effective promotions your retail store can offer — and it doesn’t take a huge discount, either. Believe it or not, you don’t need to try to beat big retailers at their game of 40 percent, 50 percent or even 60 percent off. I’m always hesitant when I see a “60% off the entire store” sale – honestly, how much are they ripping me off the other 51 weeks of the year?
I say this a lot, but I love talking marketing – I could talk your face off about it. Don’t be shy about reaching out at firstname.lastname@example.org and 315-258-8780 on ways you can improve your sales. Also, you already know where I’m going to be this Saturday morning – don’t be shy about saying hi, just don’t judge the items in my cart.