Nowadays online stores are very much in vogue. They are easy to access, offer lower prices than stores on the street, and allow you to shop from the convenience of your home. It is no wonder then that they’ve become one of America’s most popular methods of doing their shopping, whether it is groceries or gifts for Christmas. In the face of this, many larger companies have decided to focus on online retail, and traditional brick-and-mortar stores are suffering something of a low period.
However, that’s not to say that traditional, physical stores are defeated. While online retail has the convenience of cost and convenience, many people still prefer to go out to visit actual stores themselves. So there are still plenty of ways you can draw customers into your business if you know how.
It is unsurprising that, given how long brick-and-mortar stores have been around, that marketing for them has produced quite a few strategies. Here are some of the best techniques we’ve found for marketing your brick-and-mortar store.
People love it when they think they’ve got a bargain. They save money, they get something they probably wouldn’t have been to afford otherwise, and they get to feel smart for their financial acumen. As such, offering discount vouchers in magazines, fliers and online special offers is an excellent way to draw people in off the street. Producing the coupons themselves is incredibly cheap. You can print off several thousand for a few hundred dollars, and these can spread through town rapidly shortly after they arrive.
However, a major problem with coupons is their low return value. For every hundred coupons distributed, you might just be able to get fifteen back. Most of the time, they are either lost, thrown away, or left forgotten at the bottom of someone’s handbag.
It helps to offer discounts for moving stock as well. Discounting larger items may free up more space, and help move your inventory a little.
This is one thing that brick and mortar stores have that online stores do not: good customer service. There is something about the human element of a store that makes them, in some ways, preferable to a store found on a website. It helps that your human staff can help you pull customers in.
Excellent customer service spreads through word of mouth, and people will be more willing to recommend a store if they know the staff are friendly and welcoming. If you have staff, coach them in some fundamental customer relationship management skills. It is none too intensive, and most of it is just common courtesy. Just remember to smile, welcome warmly and make polite conversation, and you’ve got at least half of it.
TV and Radio
Online stores tend to advertise on the internet as it is faster and easier to follow a link online than try to memorise a website you’ve heard mentioned while half-listening to the radio. If your business is particularly successful and can afford the associated fees, it is probably not a bad idea to look into getting an advert to your store onto TV. It is very expensive and time-consuming, but the result is an advert that can reach millions continuously over several weeks or months.
Banners and Signs
The most time honoured and traditional way to market a brick-and-mortar store is the use of signs and banners. Usually placed outside or close by to the shop, the idea is that they not only draw attention to the store proper, but they also give a brief idea of what exactly the store sells. For example, a sign for a baker may be cut into the shape of a muffin or a loaf of bread. Banners can also give details on new events or special offers that may be taking place in the store. These are quick, easy and cheap to acquire, and are relatively easy to use. However, they only work for people on the street, and who are paying attention to the stores around them. They do not advertise much further than that.
One other thing to note about signs and banners is that they are very easy to personalise. Custom-made signs have been available for centuries, and there are plenty of companies that offer the service. You can even get them online through outlets such as Quality Sign Designer.
The writer, Christian Mills, is a small business owner who strives to ensure that he is up to date on the latest of marketing techniques, and writes on the side to share his experiences with others. If you wish to learn more about Christian you can visit on Google+.