Like great conversation, there are just certain experiences that work better face-to-face. There’s a reason that most of us prefer coffee made by a barista over the same thing from a machine.
However, no matter how well your brick-and-mortar store is doing, you are missing substantial revenue and key customers by staying offline.
If you’re not also growing your business digitally, you are behind your competitors who have already mastered social media, created an online store or broadened their customer engagement. You could be providing your in-person customers with the best service around, but if you’re not interacting with them online you are missing out.
So...how do you transition seamlessly to becoming an online business?
Start now. While getting started online can seem daunting, there is no time like the present. Your online presence should complement your in-person sales, not impede them. When you get online, you have the opportunity to broaden your company’s reach by engaging with customers who would otherwise not know your company. The best way to do this?
Get a strategy.
To get ahead in your market and set yourself apart from the competition, a social media strategy is a must for both meeting AND exceeding your sales goals. Learn how to do this here.
Provide additional benefits.
In the past, you had to wait for a customer to walk into your store before you could sell to them. With an online presence, you have multiple channels in which to convince them that your product is the best. You can provide share-worthy content on social media, offer special products in your online store, or reach out to customers via email with new offers or sales.
Work to your strengths.
Make your online presence, and your customers, work in your favor! If you have fantastic service or fast response time, ask your customers to talk about it! A sign near your register is a great way to remind your in-person customers to review you online. Conversely, if online sales are booming but could use a boost in-person, give an incentive to your Facebook followers with a treat or discount if they shop in-store, too.
Simply posting on social media is no longer enough; you need to engage directly with your customers. While it’s acceptable to respond to negative reviews or comments, you should also be thanking the customers who take time to write to you, visit your store, or snap photos of your products. With permission, share your customer's feedback, photos, and discussions. Talking about your own business is great, but having someone else speak highly of you is even better.
Be who you are.
The number of online stores is endless, and there are more businesses online every day. YOUR brick-and-mortar business is one of a kind, and that is worth celebrating. Instead of trying to keep up with the big guys, focus on what works well for you and use that when you go online. It's not about how you are similar to a successful online business, but how—and why—you stand out.
Want more great tips on how to grow your business online? Moxie can help! Get in touch today to schedule your free strategy session.