It is unquestionable that the last several months have been hard for retailers, but as the adage goes, this too will pass.
While the retail winter is not over yet, we are beginning to see indications of spring on the horizon. Some states and countries are thinking about reopening their markets, and certain areas of the world are already flattening the curve.
Retailers will begin seeing business pick up again (some will encounter this earlier, but it is going to eventually happen for everybody ), so you’ve got to be prepared. And among the top things you ought to do if this happens is to encourage your loyal customers to begin shopping with you again.
Here are a few pointers to help you do precisely that.
1. Cover your bases when it comes to client comms
The first order of business: tell people who you are open, what you have been up to, and why they ought to return.
Touch base with existing clients
If you collect your customers’ details (and you totally should), now’s the time to experience your customer lists so that you can begin communicating with them. When you haven’t done so yet, segment your customers into groups according to their demographics or history.
You can, by way of instance, create a set for your VIPs and top-spenders and craft particular messaging for those clients.
Craft your messages
You have your client list. Great! What exactly should you tell them? Here are some hints:
Give them a heads up that you are open and what your business hours are. People can not buy from you if they do not know you are back in business, so let them straight away that your shop is open.
You also need to remind customers about your business hours, and include your contact details if they have any questions.
Reassure them that it is safe to shop. Consumers are going to have some health and safety concerns about purchasing offline, particularly at the beginning. You may alleviate those concerns by implementing new policies and security measures.
Look at doing things such as sanitizing your shop more frequently, positioning fixtures and displayers further apart, and restricting the amount of people within your store.
Then, communicate those policies to your clients. List them out in an email. And for simple reference, you might want a page on your site that’s devoted to all things health and safety, that individuals can always return to.
Tell them about what you have in stock. Ultimately, tell — or even better, reveal — people all of the cool products they can purchase at your store. Send messages highlighting new arrivals or items which they would find useful as they appear from lockdown.
Bonus points if you’re able to send them product recommendations based on their purchase history.
Use the Ideal communication tools
Just how should you relay your messages? That depends upon your customer base. Many contemporary shoppers prefer digital communication stations, so email and SMS messages are amazing options here.
Use tools such as Vend + Marsello so that you can segment your customers and send customized messages efficiently. An additional advantage of using these tools in campaigns is that they make it simple to measure your outcomes.
Marsello can create reports on open rates, clicks, as well as sales tied to each effort, which makes it possible to determine your ROI and permit you to work out ways to improve.
Having said that, if you’ve got personal and direct relationships with your clients, then more conventional approaches — such as calling them on the telephone — might be a better choice.
The bottom line? The perfect communication channel might vary, depending upon your organization and customer groups. Have a think about who your shoppers are and how they would love to hear from you, then proceed from there.
2. Keep serving clients from afar
Not everyone will be rushing back to the shop when lockdown steps are lifted. There’ll be a fantastic quantity of individuals who would rather keep their distance while shopping, and your company needs to be able to support that.
Going omnichannel is simply a fancy way of saying that you will need to sell both online and offline whilst making certain that those two stations are closely integrated.
Connect your POS system to your ecommerce store and see to it that your inventory, sales, and customer information are synced between the two systems. This way, you can deal with sales and orders from 1 platform. Additionally, it prevents you from having to perform tedious admin work and double-entry.
Having a tightly-integrated system lets you sell both online and offline without missing a beat. It’s possible to serve clients on all channels, without needing to be concerned about inventory discrepancies or mismatched sales and client records.
You can streamline your business and serve shoppers regardless of where or how they prefer to buy from you.
Boost your store’s online presence
Individuals that aren’t keen to store offline will turn to Google to discover the products they want. That is why it’s important to beef up your internet presence. You need your store and products to appear on Google when neighborhood shoppers enter a search.
To this end, make sure your site is optimized for search. You can do this by publishing locally-relevant content, obtaining high-quality links, and optimizing your site’s headers, pictures, and meta-descriptions.
Another way to enhance your internet presence is to get your store and products more visible in Google. This is a must is you are implementing curbside pickup. Local merchandise searches (e.g.”red dress near me”) have surged over the past few years, suggesting that shoppers are increasingly turning to internet search tools when searching for stores to go to or products to buy offline.
Moreover, data from Google found that 76 percent of individuals who hunt on their mobiles for something local visit a company in a day, and 88% of people who run a local search on a cell visit a related store in a week.
Certainly, getting in front of people searching online opens up enormous opportunities for offline visitors and sales.
Luckily, there are a number of apps that let you do just that:
Pointy — Point makes your merchandise online immediately, so you may get more customers walking through your doors.
A Pointy webpage is created automatically once you install the app, and your products will appear on your committed Pointy page. The solution also helps your store and products appear in search results.
NearSt — NearSt is a technology company with a mission to get people back into high street stores. Their technology pulls the stock from your shop and brings them into Google, helping individuals nearby locate products in local stores.
Just install NearSt then input a couple of basis shop details. NearSt starts receiving an automatic regular feed of merchandise information from the POS, which it will then use to make a live view of all of the shop’s in-store goods in the store’s Google business listing.
Do note that in order for them to work, the solution you use should incorporate with your POS system, so it can sync your stock and only display items that you’ve got available in-store.
The great news is if you are a Vend retailer, you can easily connect to Pointy or NearSt and receive your Google listing up and running right away.
Give people the opportunity to experience for shop or products from their houses
Find innovative ways to showcase your products and store online. Besides taking great product images and publishing appealing posts on social networking, see if you’re able to bring the retail shop experience to your clients.
By way of instance, hip-kid, a shop that sells apparel, toys, and accessories for children, works with clients via Facetime to help them find the ideal products.
Hip-kid is also running an initiative known as”Zoom Around Town,” a virtual shopping experience where they reveal shoppers their new things — that are available for contactless curbside pickup, local delivery, or shipping.
3. Think of compelling promotions
Your clients may need an extra push to get them to buy, and that is where promotions come in.
The ideal offer depends upon your products and sales goals. If you are trying to move surplus inventory, by way of instance, then a BOGO offer or free gift (of the additional inventory ) could be a fantastic way to go.
If the main aim is to boost basket or ticket dimensions, then you will want to research”invest and save” or”invest and receive” promotions (e.g., Spend $100 get a free gift).
It is time to ramp up marketing and customer outreach
Consumers are certain to begin shopping , and the retailers that can connect with shoppers early will be in the best position to win.
Whether you are in a part of the world that is still on lockdown or you are in an area that is already entertaining the notion of reopening, you will need to think about — and behave — measures you can take to get people shopping with you again.
Bear in mind, spring is coming. It is time to gear up.
►►► ConnectPOS is a cloud-based POS software compatible with multiple platforms including Magento, Shopify & Shopify Plus, and BigCommerce.
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