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Driving In-Store Visits

Retail Brick & Click Marketing

In the era of digital communication and online information overload, there is no doubt in any retailer’s mind that the industry is changing. With the majority of consumers researching a brand’s products, locations, and aired-out dirty laundry before actually committing to the exchange relationship, it is becoming increasingly difficult to spawn new foot traffic.

At Snaptech Marketing we’d like to say: Breathe! We can figure this all out! As we’ll review below, there are still many effective ways to see success in your brick and mortar locations – even in the 2018 marketplace.

Optimize Your Online Presence for Retail Locations

Before you add any new advertising it is important to take a step back and look at your brand in the mirror. First things first, who is your business? And, where are your retail locations? There is no doubt in any of our minds that consumers are growing lazier every day, and meanwhile, searching for information online is becoming easier. If your business’s website, social media channels, and cumulative digital presence does not reflect your retail locations, you are already one step behind.

A great first place to start is by creating a Google My Business page, and verifying it. Google My Business is fundamentally your way of telling Google where your retail locations are actually located. Now, it is absolutely essential to “verify” this account. All this means is that Google will send you a code in the mail with a verification message to confirm you are located where you say you are. This process builds trust with Google as a search engine, and will make them more likely to display your store locations to different people across the web organically.

Now that Google knows where your retail store is, the next people we need to communicate with are stakeholders who are actively looking for your store. These people are searching for your business online, so it is critical you provide them with accurate information as fast as possible – before they start looking for someone else. If applicable, you can optimize your search engine performance by including locations in the description of your search results. You should consider registering your business in all social mediums where consumers may be looking for you – Facebook, Yellow Pages, Yelp . . . and so forth. Lastly, try adding Google Maps or a store locator to your website to hand-hold customers through the location process.

Win the Competition for New Consumers

Now that Google and your loyal stakeholders can find your retail locations, we need to drive new customers into your doors. This process requires us to answer the most common questions potential customers may have: Does your business have what I am searching for? And, more importantly, why should I come to your business instead of competitors? There is no doubt in any of our minds that immediacy is king in the marketplace, which means that proximity is an easy answer to the second question. Consumers want a product, and they want it now! In the past years, Google has found a steady increase in “near me” or “nearby” searches. This is one key developing market to capitalize on creating new in-store traffic.

To begin reaching this market, consider how adjusting your paid online advertising can optimize in-store performance. Adding location extensions to your Google AdWords presence is an effective and visual way to point consumers in your direction. By setting up location extensions, your business becomes eligible for local search ads. These ads come up when consumers search for terms such as “shoes near me” or when customers seek direction from Google Maps.

Next, your business can leverage the power of radius advertising. Radius targeting is a powerful tool that can be used to reach consumers who are within a certain distance of your brick and mortar store. Because your store is easily accessible to this market, there is increased success in advertising to broader keywords and audiences than we would regularly see. Simply, you can target nearby customers, who may not be directly looking for you, with ads and messages that are specified to them – the result being unique new customers who usually would’ve walked right by your door.

This concept can be taken one step further with the addition of remarketing and push notifications. If a consumer has already converted (online or in-store) via one of your online advertising campaigns, reminding them of your store when they are nearby can create effective repeat visiting. This can be done through remarketing lists in Google AdWords, or sending out push notifications through your store’s app when consumers are within a certain radius.

Streamline the Cross-Platform Experience

Consumers nowadays are becoming more flexible shoppers. The days of only shopping in-store or only shopping online are dwindling. Keep in mind that both methods of shopping have flaws, which can be leveraged by the other. Consumers may even partake in both methods at once, such as looking at your competitors prices while inside your store. With more and more of your customers actively wanting to switch back and forth between an in-store and digital shopping experience, optimizing and merging these two experiences is critical.

If sending consumers in-store is one of your critical goals, consider pitfalls in your e-commerce experience. Consumers cannot try on clothes online – so, remind them of retail locations near them with that product in stock. Consumers may not be able to visualize the actual size or look of a piece of furniture online – so, direct them to a showroom near them. These kinds of downfalls of online shopping are an exceptional opportunity to both mitigate the risks of e-commerce and also drive in store visits.

The trend of empowering consumers has proved to be more than just a sustained fad. Sometimes, consumers may visit your retail location, pick up an item with the intent of buying, and not go through with purchase in that moment. E-commerce has some great advantages here, in that it is easy to remind people of items left in their shopping cart or to remarket items to consumers through display advertising. Looking for ways to create the same experience in store can encourage your customers to keep coming back. Whether this be assisting in building online shopping wish lists while inside your store, signing up for email communications, or offering discounts for repeat visits within a certain time period, consumers should always leave your location with a reason to come back.

Bring Your Store Into 2018

If driving in-store visits is your main business goal, capitalize on every possible audience. Take a step back, and ensure that both Google and your active customers know where to find you. Next, bring yourself to new consumers who are looking for a business like yours. Consider the power of radius targeting, and scoping out consumers that are nearby. Lastly, look at ways to improve your stakeholders cross platform experience.

Opportunities are available for your business – whether you are expanding in-store or online. Looking to build a stronger e-commerce presence? Stay tuned for next week’s blog, where we’ll discuss setting up and enhancing your e-commerce site.