31 search results for “Guest Contributor”

3 Questions Every Merchant Needs to Ask Themselves When Planning a Pop-Up

3 Questions Every Merchant Needs to Ask Themselves When Planning a Pop-Up

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Taking the leap from selling exclusively online to entering the world of physical retail doesn't have to be an "all-in" experience. In fact, thanks to the rise of the pop-up, you can now experiment with offline retail while avoiding all the risks and overhead costs that come with starting a traditional brick and mortar operation.

However, in order to save you from losing sleep (and money) over planning your first physical retail experiment, we're going to walk through the most important questions you'll need to ask yourself when launching a pop-up. 

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4 Easy Ways to Get Better Reviews on Your Google Places Page

4 Easy Ways to Get Better Reviews on Your Google Places Page

Customer reviews and testimonials have always been an effective way to demonstrate third party proof that your business is trustworthy and does what it says it does.

And with local search services like Google Places now prominently displaying reviews, they've become more important than ever.

However, getting authentic reviews and testimonials on a consistent basis will require a proactive approach that encourages customers to engage with your profile. 

The good news is, when used to your advantage, reviews provide multi-channel retailers with invaluable feedback about their products and services and are an excellent marketing tool that can motivate new customers to visit your website or physical retail location.

Let's take a look at how you can start getting better Google Places reviews for your business. 

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4 Strategies to Keep the Conversation Going After Customers Leave Your Shop

4 Strategies to Keep the Conversation Going After Customers Leave Your Shop

Post-purchase communications | Shopify Retail blogThere’s a certain rush only retailers know that happens when they process a sale. It’s exhilarating to recognize that their hard work has translated to purchases from consumers — although their hard work doesn’t end there.

Single transactions alone rarely add up to retail success, which is why post-purchase communication is a vital step in keeping merchants and consumers connected; especially when you consider that attracting a new customer costs five times as much as keeping an existing one.

Keeping this in mind, how can retailers create a business that generates customer loyalty and long-term profitability after a single transaction? To begin, merchants should have a strategy in place that allows them to easily manage and market their post-purchase customer engagement and ultimately their sales, as well. Because that first sale is just the first step in building a long-term relationship with each customer.

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5 Creative Ways Stores Are Experimenting With Immersive Retail Experiences

5 Creative Ways Stores Are Experimenting With Immersive Retail Experiences

Immersive retail | Shopify retail

Since the dawn of ecommerce, experts have predicted the death of physical retail.

Bombarded by a revolving door of platforms and providers, today’s consumers expect big things from their favorite brands. But even in a world that demands a digital presence, a report from brand intelligence firm L2 suggests 72% of online shoppers worldwide consider the brick-and-mortar experience most important when making a purchase.

Despite this, the physical and digital experience retailers offers is often disconnected due to the inability to gather and maintain a complete customer profile across all channels.

Now more than ever, forward-thinking retailers are seeing value in looking beyond price and service to create an immersive shopping experience meant to tug at heartstrings and capture customer loyalty, even for a little while.

Ready to learn how? Let's dive in.

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5 Types of Signage No Retailer Can Afford to Ignore

5 Types of Signage No Retailer Can Afford to Ignore

Signage for retail | Shopify Retail blogIf you want to operate a successful retail business that attracts customers and drives sales, then you need to get noticed, and that usually starts with signage.

Quality signage is an easy and effective way to drive foot traffic and communicate with your customers when designing your store. However, if done incorrectly, signage can cause overstimulation and even confusion. Signage in your brick-and-mortar business is just as important as your website design, and retail signage shouldn’t be an afterthought. 

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7 Ways To Make Your Brick-and-Mortar Store Mobile Friendly

7 Ways To Make Your Brick-and-Mortar Store Mobile Friendly

Mobile-friendly store | Shopify Retail

As a brick-and-mortar retailer, you have the advantage of connecting with customers in person, and putting a face on your brand can go a long way when it comes to forging strong relationships. But if you’re ignoring your store’s mobile presence and spending little time maximizing the use of this technology, you’re foregoing some major sales opportunities.

study from mobile software developer SOTI Inc. found that 92% of consumers want to shop in stores that are equipped with mobile shopping experiences, and the trend isn’t slowing down.

“The mobile influence factor is now over a trillion dollars, which means most people on the go are consuming media through mobile,” says Adam Meshekow, executive vice president of strategy and national sales for SITO Mobile. “Being local to those people is crucial to driving brick-and-mortar foot traffic. If you can influence them as they are moving throughout the day, and while they are near your location, you have a terrific opportunity to drive sales.”

While you’ve likely heard the advice to set up in-store WiFi to keep your mobile addicted customers browsing your racks for longer, making your shop more mobile friendly goes far beyond wireless access. But we've got seven other things you can do to maximize your sales potential with a mobile-friendly retail space.

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7 Ways to Optimize Your Google Places Listing for More Traffic

7 Ways to Optimize Your Google Places Listing for More Traffic

Offering potential customers complete, accurate, and meaningful information about your local business at the exact moment they’re searching for services or products that you sell can lead to more traffic and sales, both in-store and online.

Google Places for Business is a service that helps business owners share information about their stores, products, and geographic locations with interested shoppers when those shoppers search for products or types of businesses on various Google properties.

The service is aimed specifically at brick-and-mortar shops and boutiques or multi-channel retailers that sell both from a physical retail location and an online store.

In our last post, we looked at how to get started with Google places. In this post we'll show you seven areas you need to pay attention to in order to make your Google Places listing as compelling to searchers as possible. 

Let's dive in.

1. Follow the Google Places Quality Guidelines

The first step in optimizing your Google Places listing is making sure you meet Google's quality guidelines. This is the basic information Google wants to see in place and the foundation for creating a good listing. 

You can find the Google Places for Business Quality Guidelines in the help section of the Places site. These guidelines are short and simple, so take a few minutes to read through them.

The key takeaways are:

  • Be certain you’re authorized to manage the Places listing

  • Represent your business accurately online and offline

  • Use precise location information

2. Fully Complete Your Places Listing

Google and many marketing experts recommend that you make your Places listing as complete as possible in order to make it more attractive to searchers.

Search Engine Optimization consultant Geoff Kenyon explains“Google wants to give users the best experience possible; in most circumstances the user will have a better experience if there is more information present on the Places page. This means not only filling out the required text fields but also the optional ones."

The implication is that all other things being equal, Google, given a choice between two similar Places listings, would display the more complete listing more prominently.

Even when several results are shown side-by-side — as is the case with Google’s new local carousel (search for “coffee new york” for an example) — a more complete listing will be more compelling to the shopper.

With this in mind, be certain to include your website URL, email address, telephone number, hours of operation, accepted forms of payment and well written description of your business.

3. Choose Proper Business Categories

Google Places listings are categorized to help users find just the sort of business they want.

For the most part, Google will show a business’s first three categories to help users decide which listings to examine further when it displays local search results. Additional categories are often displayed only when the users clicks a link.

There are strong indications that Google uses the category information you provide, in part, to decide when or how prominently to display your listing.

With this in mind it is very important to select categories that accurately describe your business and that will resonate with your potential customers.

Mike Blumenthal, an expert in local search, has a neat tool to help you choose categories for your Google Places for Business listing based on words or phrases. Blumenthal also has lists of current Places categories that you can review:

Google recommends that you choose more specific categories rather than more general ones. “The important thing is that the categories are accurate and describe your business well. Google's search algorithm makes sure that users looking for ‘Book Stores’ will see businesses in more specific categories like ‘Used Book Stores,’ ‘Comic Book Stores,’ and ‘Rare Book Stores’ too.”

4. Write Meaningful Descriptions

Depending on a user’s device or context, Google may show more or less of your Google Places listing.

When the user does see a business description, you want that description to be persuasive and drive clicks.

The goal then should be to convey your core value proposition to the customer and to think of clickthroughs rather than focusing on stuffing keywords.

Google is already using your geography and the categories that you selected to decide which Places listings to show in response to a particular search query, so use this opportunity to communicate with words that speak directly to your potential customer and position your business as the solution to their problems.

5. Include Rich Content

In 2012, Digital marketing firm, Meditative, released the results of an eye-tracking study done to determine what users looked at when they were viewing Google Places listings on an iPhone.

Interestingly, for the first couple of listings, users’ eyes moved from left to right across the listing information. But by about the third listing, the user’s attention had almost completely moved to the pictures positioned along the right-side of the screen.

In other words, when given many listings to look at, people will often rely on a photograph to decide which listings merit additional attention.

Google has also started to include more photographs in some places listings, giving users the opportunity to view several of a listing’s pictures.

With this in mind, consider adding as much rich content — pictures and video primarily — as makes sense to communicate what your store sells and why it is special. Also, the higher quality images and video you can provide, the better.

You can also include other content like special offers, coupon codes, recent blog posts, or updates from Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google+.

6. Encourage Customer Reviews and Feedback

In some instances, Google will display a Place listing’s reviews, photo, and name only — with the reviews getting top billing. This means that if you want your Places listing to perform well in say the Google local search carousel, you’ll need customer reviews.

When shoppers visit your physical store, consider handing them a card with the URL for your Places listing on it, and ask them to take a moment to write a review.

You could also include a link to your Places listing on your website or encourage people to leave reviews when you send them transactional emails or newsletters.

7. Integrate with Google+

Google is encouraging business with Places listings to integrate those listings with a Google+ for Business account.

Integrating Places with Plus will give your business the ability to:

    • Create posts that customers can read

    • Respond to reviews

    • Set a cover photo

The process is as simple as creating a Google+ profile with the email address associated with your Places account.

What's your experience with Google Places? Have you found it to be a good source of inbound traffic for your business?


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Avoid a Slow January With These 4 Simple Tactics to Drive Retail Sales

Avoid a Slow January With These 4 Simple Tactics to Drive Retail Sales

Boosting sales after the holidays | Shopify Retail blogThe holiday season is one of the best times of the year for many store owners.

‘Tis the season for retail sales — after all, the average consumer was expected to spend an average of $1,226 during the holiday shopping season, according to a 2017 Deloitte survey. And this is the time of year when sales help many retailers move their accounts back to black.

But what about when it’s over? How can you continue to drive sales when everyone has finished their holiday spending sprees?

After spending significant sums in the months leading up to the holidays, some shoppers have the blues after receiving their credit card bills in January. The months of January and February are some of the lowest spending months of the year for the average U.S. consumer according to Gallup data — but that doesn’t mean shopping grinds to a complete halt.

 

The question is: How can you stay in touch with your audience and motivate them to come back and spend again? In this post, we’ll look at some tactics for driving sales even in the post-holiday spending slump.

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Boosting Customer Lifetime Value: Turn One-Time Shoppers into Repeat Customers

Boosting Customer Lifetime Value: Turn One-Time Shoppers into Repeat Customers

Shoppers engaging in storefront | Shopify Retail blogA common misconception for consumer brands is that the marketing process ends at the point of purchase.

Instead, smart brands recognize that a customer’s lifetime value — or the net profit that you’ll take in over the course of your entire relationship with a customer — is far more important than any singular purchase in terms of revenue and influence over others.

But that customer lifetime value will continue to stay low if they only shop in your store once and never return. The subject of luring customers into your storefront over and over again has become a hot topic in recent years as retailers come to this realization. Luckily, there are some surefire strategies to keep your customers coming back for more.

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Click and Collect: Reduce Returns And Increase Foot Traffic With In-Store Pickup

Click and Collect: Reduce Returns And Increase Foot Traffic With In-Store Pickup

Click and collect shipping | Shopify Retail blogWhen it comes to maintaining a healthy bottom line, returns may feel like a retailer’s kryptonite. But offering flexible shipping options, like click and collect, can minimize the need for returns and exchanges and keep sales strong.

Store pickup (or click and collect) allows customers to buy online and pick up their order from the retailer’s physical store, or from a third-party location. In recent years, it has really taken hold, with a growing number of retailers adding alternatives for customers and dedicated return locations like train station lockers popping up everywhere.

Ordering online and collecting in store is big business in commerce. By letting a customer check size, color, and shape before walking out and upselling at the same time, thousands of stores are decreasing returns and selling more, all while offering highly valued flexibility.

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