Bridging the In-Store and Online Experience

When a retailer launches with a brick-and-mortar store, they sometimes forget about their digital counterparts. They’re really busy with monitoring inventory, sales associates, shipments, merchandising, and even just working with customers in the store. Does this sound like you? The truth is your digital footprint is extremely valuable for driving sales, not just within your communities but also on a national scale. Here are a few key digital tools to elevate your in-store presence…

1. Instagram

Of course, Instagram is an amazing platform (especially if you have an e-commerce site). However, have you realized that Instagram advertising also allows you to drive people to come into your store? Instagram is a great way to show the inside of your store and how you merchandise outfits. If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, you have an experiential platform at your disposal. Everything that you’re doing inside of your store should be shared on Instagram – think of your business as a media company. Even though you may not be selling e-commerce, you still need to be thinking about how you can push out that digital message and digital platform as a media company.

2. Yelp

If you’re not on Yelp and you’re not listed, you’re not effectively making use of all the great things Yelp has to offer brick-and-mortar stores. Not only does it give you access to reviews, but you can also take advantage of hyperlocal advertising. That means you’ll have the ability to really get in front of your customer- even if they’re traveling to your neighborhood or city. Instagram is also a great tool for this, you can also hyper-locate when advertising to people traveling to your city or the people living in your city via strategic advertising. Use these platforms to form a community and to get shoppers to return to your space.

3. Signage

When you have great signage in your storefront, it should really be driving back to getting more people to engage.

  • Place strategic hashtags on your mirrors.
  • Encourage store visitors to photograph themselves in your outfits for social media, tagging your store for 10% or 15% off their next purchases.

The more you’re able to get store visitors to create that digital footprint for you, the easier it’s going to be for you to take that footprint and expand on it. The total of reach adds up. Even if people are just posting locally on their Instagram channels to their friends and family, they’re still able to help reverberate your brand messaging. Think about what that can look like as the platform continues to grow.

4. Events

Your events should not only be in-store- you should be televising them on your YouTube platform. You should be allowing people to have an inside look at your space. What’s so amazing these days is there are new technologies that are launching (you’re going to start to see them in 2018 and 2019), that are really bridging the in-store experience and taking things digital. They’re enabling small brick-and-mortar retailers to sell through Skype-like interfaces but close the actual sale through an e-commerce integration. How amazing is that? It gives you the ability to actually service people outside of your local markets and be able to close the sale with your existing inventory platform. Take advantage of the new technologies on the horizon.

5. Point-of-Sale (POS) and Discounts

Lastly, when it comes to creating that digital footprint and bringing it back in-store, think about how you’re strategically using POS and discounts. For example, on Yelp, you can offer people strategic discounts if they access Yelp mobile versus Yelp on a desktop interface. What I love about that is you can really leverage the power of now.

When you do have people in your store, it’s really important to understand who they are and their customer lifetime cycle. How often do they shop with you? Make sure you get their email addresses because if you are able to have a strong newsletter acquisition from just the people who come into your store, you can then take that information and do some great Facebook advertising using lookalike audiences. Lookalike audiences allow you to target those very same people and others with similar cohorts and attributes.

Combining digital and the offline into a single, seamless experience requires the right marketing savvy and activations. Just make sure you’re budgeting and planning for the best return on your investment. Get started today with our FREE DOWNLOAD: “How to Plan Your ROI for Marketing Activities”.

The next level is launching an e-commerce marketplace, a more robust website. When you’re ready to take those merchandising steps and take that e-commerce direction, please email us at hello@scalingretail.com. We’re your trusted resource and adviser for launching and scaling your brick-and-mortar store.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *