Customer traffic is the lifeblood of any online retail business. Many live or die by the numbers that come through their front doors, and with increasing competition from pureplay online retailers, it’s no wonder so many retailers find it hard to keep those doors open.
But many marketing-savvy retailers are now using online tools and various marketing strategies to increase customer traffic. Below are five marketing strategies that can be used to drive more traffic to your retail business:
1. Give customers more product details on your website
Most websites for retail businesses have one common fault: not enough product detail.
The role of a website is to provide enough information so your customers can satisfy their need for information prior to making a purchase. During a search of your website, your customer wants to know if the product will solve their problem.
They also want to read customer reviews and satisfy themselves that the product is what they need and that it is in stock. You need to give them this information on your website. Once you satisfy these needs, your customer will be further down the decision-making process and more likely to visit your retail store to make the purchase.
2. Provide an incentive to buy in-store
There are many benefits of buying in-store rather than online. The main benefit is immediate satisfaction. You don’t get this with online purchases as the product needs to be ordered, processed, and shipped, which normally takes at least a few days.
You can leverage this benefit by providing customers an extra incentive to buy in-store rather than online from your competition. This could be a bonus offer or even an extra warranty offer that is in-store only.
If you want to generate more in-store traffic, you need to make it more attractive to buy in-store.
3. Use eBay to sell loss-leaders or specific products.
As the largest online marketplace in the world, retail businesses are already using eBay to drive customer traffic.
Often it is as simple as a call-to-action inviting customers to check out products in-store before they bid on them. Another strategy is to auction a range of products through eBay but includes details of other products also available in the retail store. This strategy helps increase awareness of the retail outlet and the products available for sale.
4. Use Facebook to drive traffic
Facebook is a great medium for retail businesses to engage with customers.
The key to this strategy is to use posts to drive customer traffic in-store. These types of posts included special in-store only offers for Facebook followers, posts and pictures of new products available in-store, and ensuring your profile provide your street address.
Facebook is a great medium to engage with customers and keep them informed about your business. By using it effectively, you can increase your foot traffic very easily.
5. Make sure you are easy to find on smartphones and the web
To increase customer traffic, make sure you’re easy to find when someone looks your site up on a mobile device. Take advantage of free business listing services such as Google+ Local, Yelp, Yellow Page, Linked In, and TrueLocal. Here’s another tip, if you want people to find your business on Apple Maps, make sure your business is registered on Yelp. This is where Apple sources their business listings for Apple Maps.
Gone are the days of opening your doors, putting signup, and hoping customers will come. By leveraging online tools, eBay, and free business directory services, you can increase foot traffic that can make a big impact on your bottom line.
Chris Dale is Managing Director of Sydney based marketing consulting firm, marketing