How Brick & Mortar Businesses Can Benefit By Entering The Online World

Increasing your online presence

If you are a brick and mortar business, most of your new customers would be either finding you via foot traffic or from people who see your store while driving by. This would give you a certain amount of regular new customers, but it is for that very same reason that many physical stores underestimate the importance of effective online presence.

In your store a considerable amount of resources would have gone into the preparation of giving your customer a good experience. Things like shop fittings, displays, and even the presentation of your staff.

If somebody were to find your store online when searching for your industry niche, do you believe that they would experience the same courtesy and welcome that you have worked so hard to give your in-store customers?

If you think about the reasons that you go to all that trouble in presenting your store in the first place, you might conclude that the main reason would be to encourage your customer to stay longer. And the reason you would like them to stay longer is so that you have more of an opportunity to work with them, in coming to a decision and make a purchase.

What many store owners do not realise is that it is possible to do the same thing online. In fact, if you did do this online its effect would be 10 fold because your website will be active 24/7, which is something none of your best salespeople would be able to do in your physical store scenario.

Unless you are setting up a campaign for a particular purpose, your online presence is there to increase your customer reach by being present on Google. This is so that when someone types in your search keyword trying to find out more information before making a purchase, you will come up as an option. 

Then you would want them to click on your link and find something of interest to them when they land in their destination. 

LET’S LOOK AT HOW YOU WOULD DO THIS IN AN ONLINE VERSION OF YOUR STORE. ​

 

  1. Present images representing the store with either interior or/and exterior photos so that a new customer can immediately feel a sense of relationship with your business.a
  2. Use a similar look and feel to your physical store so that when the customer goes into your real store, they can identify with the fact that they are in the right place.
  3. Keep your brand images and colours constant, across the board so that the online business representation connects seamlessly with your real-life store. 

Special Offers - And How To Do It Online

If a new customer walked into your store, would you jump up, hold a spanner in their face and shout $5.99 at the top of your lungs?

In fact, if you did do that, your customer would be making a beeline for the exit as fast as possible.

Yet, many websites do just that. They see that someone has (mostly) accidentally ended up on their website and they treat that customer as next days lunch.

Depending on the type of business you have, there would normally be two general ways of interacting with your customer in your store;

  1. Ask the customer if they need help in finding what they are looking for, then assist them in concluding their purchases.

  2. Or, allow the customer to actually come in, offer them a cup of beverage and get them to take a seat while you explain what you have to offer.

  3. As you might imagine, doing this online is totally different to a face to face experience.

If you wanted to encourage your new online visitor to come to your physical store, you could have a pop-up form that offers them a discount. After all, they are already on your website because there is something that they want, and they believe that you may have it. 

If that is the case, why wouldn’t they buy their product from with a 20% discount?

If that is the case, why wouldn’t they buy their product from your store with a 20% discount?

In-store

  • Offer a monthly draw, they just fill in the card and drop it into the fishbowl – Easy!
  • Have a loyalty card – Just apply online and enter your details. Bing!
  • We offer regular discounts…but they only go to our members via email…Ding! Ding! Ding!

Online

  • Get your 20% coupon sent straight to your inbox
  • Go into a draw, just send us an email
  • Go into a draw and win a holiday
  • Have a pop-up

THE ULTIMATE IMPACT

Another great way to help your audience have a warm and welcoming experience with your business, would be to present them with a welcome message on your website.

In this way, you would be able to talk to them and express yourself by giving them a clear message about who you are, how important your customers are to you and what your service does to provide a good user experience for your customer.

This gives you a super opportunity to connect with your potential customer. When you present yourself in a video, you are able to provide a more personal experience and engage more naturally with your potential customer.

Speaking your words on video can double or triple your effectiveness in reaching your audience. It overcomes certain barriers that people experience when they are inquiring online with a business they have not interacted with before.

Usually, with email, you would need to make a contact several times before the customer feels some sort of familiarity with you and your business, but with video that psychological process is fast-forwarded. They can see your face, and they can gauge a certain amount of authenticity in your words (or at least they feel like they can), because they are spoken.

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