By Manish Patel, CEO of Brandify, a sophisticated, hyper-local software solution that helps organizations understand the strength of their digital brand. Patel also founded Where2GetIt in 1997. Over the past 18 years, Patel has used his combination of business acumen and technical savvy to establish the company as an industry-leading provider of local marketing solutions, empowering more than 500 national brands. As a graduate of Chicago’s University of Illinois, Patel has been recognized as a Top Young Executive. Where2GetIt has won multiple awards under his guidance, including “Technology Company of the Year,” “Most Innovative use of SEO,” and “Outstanding Private Company of the Year.” Patel is passionate about technology innovation, entrepreneurship and location-based strategy.
Advertisements and valuable content can bring your audience to your website, but what is driving them to your store? Even though customers are able to view and purchase items online, over 90% of consumers are still more inclined to buy at a physical location. Some techniques—like direct mail and business cards—are old-fashioned ways of driving your offline sales, but modern strategies are offering more advanced techniques for connecting with your consumers digitally. Keep up with your audience and build on-site relationships with these four tips.
1) Connect with mobile users.
A large percentage of your consumers are using their mobile devices even when they are already in your store. According to a Wanderful survey, 77% of clients have searched online for product information while shopping, and the growing millennial audience is particularly likely to engage in this at 85%. One way to encourage customers to visit your store is by merging the online and offline shopping experience through mobile applications. You can accomplish this by giving customers the option to quickly order items via mobile for same-day, in-store pickup. Be sure to highlight the benefits of this option, such as cutting out lengthy checkout processes and shipping costs while delivering instant, face-to-face service.
2) Listen and respond to customer reviews.
Your customers want to know what people are saying about your products and services. 63% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that has reviews, and visitors who read the reviews have a 6% higher average order value than those who do not. Reviews can improve things like customer confidence, SEO, and credibility. Afraid of negative feedback? One study found that negative reviews actually boost client trust by 68% if a customer complaint is immediately rectified. By addressing customer concerns, you demonstrate listening willingness to your audience in order to improve your products and experiences. A positive review of an exceptional customer experience will motivate shoppers to visit your business in search of the same encounter.
3) Monitor your social media presence.
Another way to receive and use feedback to drive offline sales is by monitoring social media conversations regarding your brand. Show customers you are ready to answer their questions and talk about their concerns by networking through your social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter are extremely valuable channels for customer interaction because they allow you to have a one-on-one connection with your patrons. You can also create virtual window shopping opportunities through sites like Pinterest to give your customers a sneak-peek at the items they will find in your store. Also, consider offering coupons that can be shared with friends and brought to your business for promotional items and discounts.
4) Go to the customer with geolocation services.
Soon, Google Maps will introduce similar technology to smaller companies in the space that already offer offline turn-by-turn voice direction and the exploration of local businesses for users with low connectivity. This means that being involved with location-based mobile targeting will be incredibly beneficial to your business moving forward. Only 23% of retail marketers are utilizing geo-targeting for mobile marketing, giving businesses that implement this strategy an early adopter advantage. A successful way to get in on geolocation services is to drive offline sales through targeted mobile coupons. Become a part of location-based social media platforms like FourSquare and encourage your customers to check-in to your location. This will show the popularity of your store to locals, prompting loyal customers to continue to visit and inviting new customers to get involved.
Understanding online shopping behavior in the digital age will benefit your offline sales strategy by giving you the knowledge you need to explore new ways to connect with your clients. They value retail experiences over simple transactions, so it is time to show them you can offer more than online exchanges. These four tips will help guide your target audience to your location by keeping you updated with their search and purchase preferences.