If you are operating a retail business that has both physical and digital platforms, it may be difficult to succeed equally in both arenas, especially with the rise in online marketing over the past couple of decades. Here are some tips that will help you maintain a loyal shopper base both online and in-person.
Offer Different Promotions
It is important to encourage customers to shop both online and in your physical store location, and one way to do this effectively is to offer promotions online that differ from those that they can use while picking up the item at your brick and mortar store. For instance, if you are selling school supplies, try making a buy one get one free deal on your website, but offering a half off deal for your physical store. You can even make combination deals that involve buying something online and using an automatically generated coupon for the next time your customer decides to go to the store. This way, you will get business in both channels while boosting your overall sales.
Promote Exclusive Products
Another technique for getting customers to shop in both the digital and brick-and-mortar locations is to offer products only in one or the other, so that they have to pay a visit to the store in person for certain items that are in stock. Conversely, online exclusive items cannot be purchased in stores. By doing this, you can evenly distribute your traffic and income to both revenue streams and maintain customers who buy items from both formats. You can also advertise your products cross-platform. For instance, a product that is only available in stores can be shown online as an option, and vice versa. Once your customer has knowledge of the other product, they will be much more likely to purchase it.
Use Your Time Wisely
Operating physical and online locations can sometimes be very time consuming. You should try to divide your time evenly between the two, and make a list of tasks associated with each and how much time they take on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. This way, you will be able to block out your time in a way that is most beneficial to you. To save time, it may also be a good idea to hire outside help in order to accomplish tasks you do not need to perform yourself, such as someone who can monitor your online inventory, and store workers who can ring up customers at your brick-and-mortar location while you are taking care of other aspects of your business.
Streamlining your operational procedures is one of the most effective ways to run any type of business, whether online or in person. For a brick-and-mortar store, make a manual that is both physical and digital, with instructions and procedures on how to accomplish tasks most effectively. You can do the same for your online business. Once you have these processes in place, you can complete and manage responsibilities in a much more efficient manner. You can have peace of mind once you figure out the best way to perform these tasks.
Maintain Site Security
One of the most critical aspects of any business is how secure customer information is being held. For example, if you operate a website that stores data in the cloud, you may want to consider getting an AWS security system that specializes in protecting cloud-based systems. Be sure to update your security if you happen to change systems or you want an increased amount of protection, depending on what you are selling. Having a secure site will also help customers feel better about purchasing goods from your brick-and-mortar store as well.
Managing physical and online business platforms does not have to be difficult. With these tips, you are sure to effectively take advantage of both forms of selling your product or service.
About the writer: Lewis Robinson is a business consultant specializing in CRM and sales. He’s begun several small businesses and currently freelances as a writer and personal consultant.
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