Guest Post by Steve Myring of molchester.uk. Steve Myring is owner and CEO of Molchester Digital Marketing Agency.
Generally owners of brick-and-mortar stores do not expect highly from online marketing. Several of them misconstrue it as a strategy strictly meant for online businesses while others look at it with a great deal of skepticism.
So, does online marketing influence in-store sale? Yes, it does. According to studies by Forrester Research, Yahoo, and comScore, almost 92% of purchases take place offline following online consumer activity. An Accenture study showed a similar trend.
The right digital marketing strategy can put your products right in front of your customers and prospects when they are trying to learn online about the products they want to buy. This can help you capture the attention of your customers, eventually boosting your offline sales.
Here are some tips to boost in-store sales using a digital marketing strategy:
1. Use Data to Understand Your Customer
Collecting and analysing data can help you determine the behaviours, preferences, and demographics of your key audience segments. You can assimilate data from a wide range of sources including search, social, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, and third parties. Analysing relevant data will not only help you understand the customers perception of your brand but it will also bring forth the level of engagement that you currently have with your customers. This will help you develop targeted campaigns around user behaviours, type of content they find interesting, and where they choose to interact.
2. Focus on Brand Building Online
Your brick-and-mortar store might be a well-loved destination for buyers but does your offline popularity reflect in your online presence? If not, you need to re-work your brand building efforts online. Use social media networks to channel your authenticity and all those qualities that make you popular offline. Its very important to maintain a consistent image across online and offline landscape in order to gain the trust of your customers.
3. Create a Brand Community
A brand community is essentially a community built on the basis of shared loyalty to a particular brand. You can build a community for your brand by utilising a social space to engage users. You can discuss about the latest products, you can announce product launches, talk about your future plans, or even ask users about their experiences with your products. The key to create a brand community is to have an honest voice and a true willingness to interact with your audience and seek their opinions, whether good or bad.
4. Enhance Your In-Store Tech Experiences
Technology has pervaded our lives to an extent where almost everything is tech-assisted. Mobiles and smartphones have changed the way people purchase and your offline store should support these changes to give your customers a more fulfilling experience. In-store technology can effectively bridge the gap between your customers online and offline experiences with your brand.
5. Manage Online Customer Relations
Not just phone calls or emails, you can treat Facebook or Google+ as avenues to address customer feedback. Today most consumers like to voice their opinions about products or services they have used on social sites. You should join the conversation by monitoring your social pages closely and responding to users. Review sites are a great way to reward your most loyal customers, while it can help you solve the problems of those who are not fond of your brand.
If you’re not sure how much return your online efforts will pay in terms of offline sales, you must remember that online users are your real customers and can influence your offline sales in a big way. All you need is a comprehensive and well-planned digital marketing strategy, and you will start seeing the positive impacts of it sooner than later.