Are you a retail business suffering from low sales and traffic? Are you selling more in your store or at markets than on your actual website? Don’t feel bad - many are in your position and are helpless but rest assured, you’ve already made the effort to research how you can do better, hence why you’re here.
Being aware of ways to improve in business, and life in general - is the first step to success. The second, is actually doing it!
So in this article I want to simply make you aware of things you can do! Lets get started.
- 1. Promote your products on Instagram & Social Media
Platforms like Instagram are a gold mine to get in front of people. If you’re selling products to consumers - no matter what it is, then you should be promoting your products on social media.
If you sell clothing, then post photos DAILY of your clothes being modelled / worn, if you sell childs toys - then post pictures of kids using the toys. The main thing you need to do is ‘tag’ your posts with keywords that people are searching.
So if you sell products for kids, then tag the image with a hashtag ‘#kids’! This means that anyone searching for images about kids will likely see your image pop-up.
Video content gets a lot of attention due to the moving imagery - however, remember that on most social media platforms any video content is best without sound. 85% of people watch video on Facebook muted. So don’t do explainer / review videos on these platforms, just simple showcase video and image posts.
- 2. Get in touch with your existing customer base
If you’re already well established, you need to consider using your past customers as a platform to get repeat business. The great thing about your existing customers is they’ve purchased from you before - so they’re already a qualified buyer, and are more likely to buy from you than a new prospective customer.
Ways you can communicate with your existing customers include:
Use a tool like MailChimp which gives you the ability to create engaging, visual newsletters that re-engage past customers to buy again. When sending newsletters focus on no more than 6 products, and ensure you use high quality photos. Give people a reason to come to your website, include an offer or special price for selected products!
Use Zulu CRM as a tool for automated customer follow-up emails, these are personalised messages to your customers checking up on them and seeing if they need any more product (great for businesses selling consumables / perishables)
If you’re happy to invest in professional help - or want to spend hours learning some cool digital marketing tools, you can use your existing customer list and upload this into Google and/or Facebook, to remarked your business to existing customers. If you have over 1,000 customers in your list, this will work well. Many don’t utilise this method because it requires a bit of setup, but its a great way to keep in front of your existing customer base, bypassing their ‘saturated’ inbox of email distractions!
- 3. Get support by giving back
For those of us who love giving, a way to stand out in front of the competition is promoting that you will give back to a certain charity / group every time someone purchases from you.
I.e. “We’re donating $10 to Women’s Refuge for every $100 spent this Christmas time!”
Furthermore, you can encourage people to share this on their social media! In turn it’s a win win for everyone. The charity / beneficiary wins, the customer wins (by helping support the cause) and you the business owner wins (increased sales and also supporting a great cause).
- 4. Help busy people
How many times have you heard of people doing ‘last minute’ Christmas shopping? I know i’m guilty of this myself!
Many people are flat-out leading up to Christmas and don’t have the time to organise what to buy for their loved ones. So promote to your customers (on your website, as well as through flyers, emails, digital marketing) that you can organise their Christmas shopping for them.
You may only sells products suited to women, so promote to all the boyfriends, husbands and partners out there that for say $200, you can organise a gift, wrap it, sort out a card and have it ready in time for Christmas!
This is just one ‘strategy’ you can undertake - just offering free gift wrapping in general for Christmas is a great way to entice people to buy from you.
- 5. Get in the snow / tinsel / Christmas tree theme
While some see it as pointless, nothing is more exciting than seeing Christmas trees with decorations on them. Invest in ‘theming’ your website in Christmas paraphernalia. The great thing about making your website reflect the season is it shows you’re not only wanting to make your customers get in the holiday spirit. But it also shows you’re up to date, your business is alive and well, and just shows you care.
If you’re in the business of selling children products especially, get them excited and drawn in so that they want to convince mum and dad, to buy from you!
Because Christmas is (at least up until now!) a yearly occurrence, you can likely easily re-use your Christmas theme every year. So while it may cost you a few dollars to get your current web designer to do this, you can make it a simple flick of the switch every year and re-use your sales-driving Christmas theme!
Think outside the box. Some of these ideas are really basic but many don’t consider and think about it for 5 minutes!
The most important thing is you TRY some of these things and see what works best for your business. The more you can execute the quicker you’ll find out what works. Whatever works, focus on it!