With the rise of online shops and the need to stay at home, physical stores have started feeling the pressure to boost their presence and compete. Transactions now are done faster, and what used to take hours to do now only takes minutes and a few taps on a screen.
However, online shopping has one drawback that makes them inferior to physical retail: when you shop through an app or website, you can’t actually see the product up close until it’s been paid for and delivered. There’s no good way to examine the product, and photo manipulation only fuels distrust among customers. There’s only so much you can glean off a picture, after all.
But that doesn’t mean physical stores shouldn’t ignore digital strategies. Done right, creating an online shop, even if you already have a physical location, can attract a wider audience and boost sales. As a business owner, it’s up to you to present yourself and your brand online for maximum growth. Here’s a handy list of digital business strategies to get you started.
1. Reward loyalty with benefits
Many brands have enjoyed astronomical growth because of the quality of their products and services. But many businesses tend to ignore the fact that exclusivity for their most loyal customers is a big attractive factor, too. Rewarding your brand followers will make them feel special, and in turn, excited to keep supporting you. For instance, you can create a membership program that offers special previews and early access to fresh products.
In a digital space, you can offer special perks like an online portal to communicate directly to your brand without being on a waiting list. You can even offer loyalty points that can be used for discounts on products and shipping. Giving your loyal patrons rewards is a honeypot strategy. Now that people can easily share their shopping experiences online, you can be sure that taking care of your clients will help them take care of you by talking up your business.
2. Use mobile platforms to your advantage
Almost everybody is online right now, and many shops now offer their own app to make transactions easier. The incompatibility of a physical business and digital technology is a common myth, so it’s wise to create your own app to cast a wider net. Adapt and maintain a strong image both online and offline to make the most of this new venture.
And once you develop your own mobile app for your business, don’t call it a day just yet. Apps such as Facebook workplace monitoring tools can help you achieve your business goals. Curate your presence through different social media sites as well to show different aspects of your business. Show process videos of creating or packing a product on TikTok, or engage with your clientele on Instagram. Mobile platforms can help your business flourish — all you have to do is welcome change into your strategies.
3. Be consistent
Everything you release, from product lines and physical stores down to your online accounts, is an extension of your business. With that in mind, you can’t just say or post whatever you want without careful consideration. Present your business in a certain light and be consistent with it. Consistency helps potential customers remember your brand easier. Plan your posts and invest in making your products pop without losing your brand’s “voice.”
A good example is luxury brands that have a solid online following. If you look at their online feeds, there is a consistent palette and a tone that communicates luxury and simplicity. It’s clean and isn’t cluttered or unnecessarily loud because they know how to let the products speak for themselves.
4. Invest in your people
Now that we’ve discussed online presence, let’s return to your physical store. To create a great shopping experience, you need skilled employees that know how to handle different personalities. Investing in customer service and sensitivity training will make your employees more mindful and sensitive to people’s needs. Make sure the way they act towards your clients is consistent with the brand and image you want to communicate.
Another area you might want to invest in is training your HR department. Making them perceptive of people can help streamline the hiring process and keep them from hiring someone who might not be the right fit for your store. Well-trained HR personnel can help you improve the way the public perceives your physical store.
A final word
Business management and brand marketing have changed so much in recent years, and it can be easy to lose sight of how you want your shop to be seen. But with these four tips, you can make the jump and integrate digital methods into selling your products. Unleash your creativity and remember that you can always try different approaches online — all that matters is that people know you’re there, and your brand has something to offer.