For college retailers, brick-and-mortar stores have long captured sales from students and visiting parents, while web stores helped alumni and family farther away buy spirit gear. While they're well-suited for these purposes, your online customer base doesn't have to be mutually exclusive with your in-person shoppers. Nicole Reyhle at Retail Minded explains how you can use your website to boost visits to your physical store. Read the whole post here.
Ensure They Boost Each Other
Marketing across channels is an excellent way to reach new customers and encourage existing ones to return. Although a website can’t deliver the highly-personalized services of a skilled salesperson, it can serve as a valuable bridge to attract customers’ attention. Make sure your website delivers the information your customers need about the products and brands you sell. Include high-quality photographs that encourage them to visit your store in person for a closer look. Boost your website by encouraging retail store customers to sign up for emails that announce sales, pre-orders and other specials.
Impress With Your Landing Page
Most online searches take the customer directly to the website landing page. Like your store, it must convey a positive first impression to encourage visitors to stay and browse. Your site also needs to make your customers feel safe and secure, not like they’re being spammed. Show perks of shopping online, such as free shipping or promotion codes. Also display security badges that testify to your site’s security. A good site will show that its site is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, approved by Norton Secured and a verified merchant from Authorize.Net.
Let Them Research Online and Buy in the Store
Many customers invest more time researching expensive products online before purchasing them from a physical location, according to ShoppinPal. This gives businesses with both online and in-person stores an advantage to target customers. An infographic on MineWhat cites research from RetailingToday that says 60 percent of consumers begin product research through a search engine and visit at least three online stores before deciding where to make the purchase.
Although nothing can replace a personalized, in-store experience, a well-designed website can be a valuable sales tool that encourages customers to visit your store to forge that relationship.