Shopping has never been more accessible and more of a sport than in recent history. With mobile devices and cloud services, you can access just about any product, brand or store, compare prices, read reviews, make a secured purchase and then track the delivery of that purchase as it gets scanned at each drop off point. Consumers have never had more options or information than they do now, which is certainly a double edged sword for companies.
Want to reach your customers and stand out in the crowd with your marketing strategy? Then consider these following tips:
- Market Research – I love shopping online. I mean, what’s not to love? I get the best deal, I don’t have to run around to a bunch of stores, and returns have become incredibly easy as many mega web stores offer printable return labels and shoot an e-mail as soon as they receive the product and process your refund. Most of the time, within a week of receiving my order I have a request from the company to write a review (aka market research). Why is this important? You need to identify issues and solve them so your customers will return (and will hopefully leave positive social media feedback). If everything went perfectly, it’s a wonderful boost for company morale to acknowledge that your employees are doing a great job.
- Creating Great Online Content – Online content can make or break your business. For online companies, your website is the only face of your company that most potential customers will see. Moreover, the Internet is where your customers are going to find you in the first place and will probably look for reviews and social media chatter about your services. Check out these new stats from Piktochart.com based on last year’s analytics:
- 71% of consumers change their perception of brand after seeing a positive response to a review on social media.
- Conversions increase 133% when mobile shoppers see a review that is positive before making an ecommerce purchasing decision.
- Social traffic has increased by at least 357% as compared to the same time last year, demonstrating unprecedented growth.
- 91% of e-retailers saw an increase in SEO rankings due to social media referrals.
- 74% of consumers use social networks to make a purchasing decision.
- Incentives – As I mentioned earlier, I am an avid couponer. My mom taught me two rules growing up: Number 1) always do your best and Number 2) never pay full price (and yes, I still closely follow both rules). Consider giving first time clients a special deal such as 10% for them to try out your product or services. Once they see how awesome you are, they’ll be willing to pay full price because it’s worth the investment. The second trick is to create a club or rewards program for continuing customers. For example, buy 5 coffees get the 6th free or when a customer spends $500, they get a free upgrade. As the Godfather so poignantly said, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.”
- The Suggestion Box – Listen to your clients and see what is most important to them. Maybe making the switch to environmentally friendly packaging or offering local ingredients will keep them coming back. Maybe your price point is too high for your demographic and limiting your menu options could bring down your costs and increase your volume of customers. Maybe you own a franchise and want to advertise to broaden your customer pool. Contact your franchise lawyer to see what parameters you must work within to target a larger audience.
You may be the captain of your ship, but your customers are certainly the wind that guides your sails (sales). Don’t fight it; work with it to get safely ashore. You may end up at a different destination than what you originally mapped out, but you’ll also still be afloat.