Gaining more traffic to a brick and mortar storefront can be hard work. After all, with the numerous avenues you could potentially go down concerning promotion, picking out a strategy with a solid ROI can be tough. However, by learning how to master the online marketing, you’ll not only be gaining the most back for what you put in but potentially increasing your revenues tremendously as well. Here’s how:
Set Up An eCommerce Shop
If you’re going to be gaining more business from online, then setting up an eCommerce store might not be a bad idea. As noted by Shopify, the eCommerce industry is massive, being worth nearly $340 billion in the US alone. Although we’re not suggesting that you’re going to be near those figures, focusing on the best-selling products you have and how you can get them in customers hands online might be worth the effort.
Depending on your storefront, it might be wise to put your specialty items online first, focusing on what people come to your store for specifically. For example, if I’m mostly known for my unique inventory of peanuts, then that would be my primary choice. Another smart idea for eCommerce is to find a way to alleviate yourself from the stock that’s been taking up too much space for too long, perhaps even selling it at a discount online. Take some time to explore what options you might be able to pursue in forming an online store, as that additional form of revenue might be a significant boost for your business.
Get Engaged On Social
While a lot of businesses are on social media, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re actively engaged on there. Although it might sound like a full-time job, this is more of practice to keep with on basically a daily basis, being mindful to take an hour or two in between to set up your posts for the day, as well as comment and “like” back with your audience as well. However, to be effective with social also comes with knowing a little bit about targeting, which is essentially building your audience.
One of the first steps to building your social media audience is by first knowing which demographic visits your storefront versus where they hang out online. For example, according to Pew Internet, 71 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds are on Instagram. If you appeal to a younger crowd, then showcasing new products on Instagram can be a great route to go. Furthermore, try to experiment a bit with engaging with new audiences, breaching into new territory. The more you engage with your following, the better off you’ll be in making new fans, so be mindful of how you can start a dialogue with them and keep it going over time.
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
A common mistake a lot of businesses make when forming their website is not thinking about it from a mobile-first perspective. Despite how counterintuitive you might think that is, the numbers speak differently, as nearly 51.2 percent of all global internet traffic is on mobile (as noted by Statista). Even if your website is responsive (i.e., the design fits for mobile), that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s optimized for a mobile experience, which is worth reassessing.
When going through your mobile site, try to go down as a many ‘paths’ as you can to reach an end goal, for example, if I’m a restaurant, then the online ordering or reservation process. Furthermore, ask yourself what type of improvements could be made in regards to the flow of things, seeing how the information looks or feels, as well as what features might make the site more attractive. As your website is the hub for how others discover you, make this an item that’s front and center, giving yourself the best chance of increased inbound business.
Spark Up An SEO Strategy
Finally, although it’s a term you’ve probably heard but rarely use, SEO is an excellent tool for increasing how people discover about your business. According to Search Engine Journal, 91 percent of internet traffic goes to the first page of Google’s result, which means if you don’t have the right keyword or search strategy in place, your business could be missing out big time. If you think that this is an overwhelming or complicated practice, SEO can be more intuitive than you think.
The name of the game with SEO is the ability to hone in on keywords, or the words people would most likely type in to find your business. For example, going back to our peanut store, if I wanted to own the phrase “artisanal peanuts” for my area, then I’d try to implement the phrase “artisanal+peanuts+(name of city)” more often on my website, as well as in my indexes. Brainstorm a few different SEO terms you could use, as well as how you can capitalize on search, since this a significant step in increasing web traffic.
What are some ways you’ve found successful in boosting your brick and mortar store online? Comment with your answers below!