There’s a common misconception among small business retailers that traffic will come to an e-commerce site automatically after it goes live. Yet, the truth is that acquiring online customers is not a waiting game. It requires you to be proactive both on and offline. Fortunately, advertising your new website doesn’t have to be complicated. You can easily incorporate it into your everyday routine at your brick and mortar store or local community. Here are several easy marketing tips for brick and mortar retailers:
Offering discounts in pamphlets and fliers is an excellent way to get in-store foot traffic. Many retailers have a Sunday circular showcasing their promotions. Who doesn’t love a bargain? Making sure that you advertise your online store in these promotional fliers will ensure that customers know they can redeem the offers no matter how they shop with you – even if it’s Friday night, on the couch eating take-out! Just be sure that the coupons are set up to be redeemed via your online store.
Banners & Signage
Banners and signage in your window or in your store are another great way to let customers know about your online site. They attract people walking on the street, showcase the selection you sell online and in your store, and advertise your offer of home-delivery. We recommend making your online store’s URL front and center, and clearly advertising 1-3 day home delivery.
Customer Service Word Of Mouth
Customers talk. Thus, providing shoppers with great customer experience in store is an obvious way to promote your store both offline and online. Why not have your store associates wear pins or t-shirts that advertise your new online store’s URL and home delivery offering? Similarly, you can place signage at your checkout counter and print custom shopping bags with your URL. This way, when your friendly store associates impress customers with excellent service, your customers will be more likely to visit you online when they need something delivered, or recommend you to their friends through social channels!
As we mentioned in our article on Local SEO, your best customers are the local ones. Try to make them aware of your new site through advertisements in local magazines, newspapers, and even within local shops! Ask your local newspaper or other local media outlets if they have remnant pricing – this is when a media outlet has leftover space to sell at a discount, usually close to print deadlines. Similarly, work with other local retailers and see if they’d be open to showcasing a flyer in their store or boutique. For example, nail and hair salons often have materials for customers to look through while they’re waiting for their appointments. Similarly, coffee shops often display local advertisements on bulletin boards or in their lounge spaces.
Free Promotional Items
If your budget allows, try making free pins, re-usable carrier bags or stickers that the customer can take with them. This way, they will not only feel special, but will also take your new site information home with them. If this isn’t possible, try getting new plastic or paper shopping bags that advertise your site. This way, people will see your URL on the bag and remember that the next time they want to shop for their supplies online, and get them delivered, you can offer that service to them.
Sponsor a local sports team or small event. This will get your business on a t-shirt or banner that reaches people in your local community in a more intimate setting. Consumers want to support their local community and businesses, but sometimes they want the convenience of online. Making sure they know you can offer both is the key to ensuring you’re the one serving your customer when they want to shop online.
Attend more community events! Make sure you keep tabs on your community’s county fairs, farmer’s markets, and local fundraising events. Seeing and interacting with people face to face will ensure a positive first impression of your business. This will also assist with networking and referrals.
We hope these ideas inspire you to start a great offline marketing campaign. Be sure to continue reading our blog for more helpful tips and tricks.
To learn more about marketing locally, check out our article on Local SEO.