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Facebook can be a valuable tool for retailers when used appropriately. But it can be intimidating, especially when it comes to figuring out what to post.
And as it’s becoming more difficult to reach users organically, it can be frustrating to put so much energy into something that doesn’t generate results.
We asked Andrea Vahl, coauthor of the free ebook How to Grow Your Local Business with Social Media, to help us curate some high-impact ways you can use Facebook for your retail business.
Email is becoming increasingly important. More than 205 billion emails are sent every day, and that number continues to grow.
There are lots of business uses for email, too. It’s 40 times more effective than social media in terms of customer acquisition, and for every dollar spent, you can generate almost $40 in ROI. Again, that’s better than social media, and it also beats out affiliate and search marketing.
On top of that, only 17% of digital marketing spend happens in email, but it still contributes 24% of revenue. If email marketing isn’t a part of your marketing strategy for your retail business, you’re missing out on major opportunities.
But effective email marketing goes beyond sending promotional emails to your entire list. Segmentation can help you be even more effective and drive more sales.
Effective inventory management is crucial to the logistics of every retail business, whether you sell in a single store or have a thriving global, multichannel business. Inventory management helps you stay on top of stock, so you can avoid disappointing customers with out-of-stocks and tying up capital with too much stock.
It’s every solopreneur’s dream: You’ve started a business, and it’s booming.
But then it starts booming so much that you can’t seem to handle it all on your own.
That’s when you consider getting some help. But how do you know if your needs warrant hiring a staff member?
There are plenty of factors that go beyond feeling overwhelmed with your workload. What types of additional costs will you have? Can you afford those costs? Can a contractor get the job done? How do you know what position to hire? How do you know who to hire? And where do you even get started?
Instagram has more than 500 million active daily users.
Yes, you read that correctly. Five hundred million. As a point of reference, that’s behind Facebook, but ahead of Twitter. Though it is important to note that Instagram users engage with brands 25% more than users of other social media channels.
Brands have caught onto this trend. It’s estimated that 48.8% of brands will have a presence on Instagram by the end of 2016, a number that’s forecasted to rise to 70.7% in 2017.
Consumers react to this presence. In fact, 75% of people take action after seeing a photo on Instagram. And if brands can etch out a significant space on Instagram — along with a seamless digital and in-store experience — the opportunities to increase sales are endless.
But an effective Instagram presence isn’t limited to a brand’s profile and self-promotion. A brand is more powerful with a strong network of advocates.
That’s why encouraging customers to post photos of a retailer’s space is so powerful. Not only does this increase brand awareness, but it also has the potential to help retailers increase foot traffic, drive more sales, create a repository of user-generated content, and build meaningful relationships with customers.
Post-purchase communication is an essential facet of any retailer’s marketing and customer retention strategy. Half of consumers feel buyer’s remorse after a purchase, so this is your opportunity to help rationalize the purchase and ease their worries.
Effective post-purchase communications contribute to higher customer retention rates. It keeps the conversation going with your customers after they leave your store, strengthens the relationship with your brand, and helps inspire brand loyalty.
From email receipts to customer support, here are some post-purchase communication strategies and examples you can steal for your retail business.
Visual merchandising refers to anything that can be seen by the customer inside and outside a store, with the overall purpose of getting customers into the store.
“It really is much more comprehensive than that. The goal is to get customers to come into your store and spend money.”
How can retailers go look beyond product displays and score some visual merchandising ideas that will pack a punch? Here are 10 steal-worthy ideas you might not have thought of on your own.
Email marketing is the key to success for a number of industries. More than 205 billion emails are sent and received every single day. And it’s another effective way for retailers to engage with and motivate consumers.
What sets email apart from many other digital marketing initiatives is the level of intimacy. The subscribers on your list have explicitly chosen to receive communications from you. They want to hear from you.
When you compare that to social media, paid ads, and other tactics, nothing is more personal than email. You’re landing directly in your audience’s inbox, every single time. Comparatively, social media only reaches a number of individuals (not your entire audience), and paid traffic is often less qualified. Those consumers might not even know your brand yet, and you’re asking them to spend money with you.
Utilizing email marketing allows you to reach a qualified audience on an intimate level — which means they’re more likely to take action. But it’s tricky to bridge the gap between the digital world and the real world. Here are some ways retailers can use email marketing to lure in more foot traffic.
We’ve all heard the expression that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. The same could be said for business — having multiple income streams from multiple sources makes for a healthier bottom line. That’s one reason having services as the one and only sales engine of your business can potentially inhibit growth and profitability.
Granted, service businesses certainly have their advantages. For example, service-based businesses have the unique opportunity to establish true, one-one-one relationships with customers. And that regular interaction builds loyalty and trust.
But even businesses that traditionally only sell services (writing, marketing consults, hairdressing, tattooing, etc.), can broaden their value proposition to customers with retail. With retail sales accounting for more than $22 trillion worldwide every year, service-based businesses have the chance to capitalize on the existing relationships with their clientele. Incorporating relevant products, i.e. a retail component to your business, allows you to monetize those interactions with your customers and increase their customer lifetime value.