In the early days of internet marketing, business owners used to fret about what they could do to get their real-life customers to visit their website, subscribe to an email newsletter, or follow them on Facebook. Now, the situation has been largely reversed—lots of small and local companies want to take their online traffic and turn it into walk-in retail business.
In some ways, this can be the tougher challenge, since your website doesn’t give you the benefit of face-to-face contact or personal relationships to build from. But, there are a few proven strategies you can use to turn online visits into real-life purchases or appointments. Here are four steps you can take right away…
#1 Make Your Store Easy to Find
Certain kinds of nightclubs might be able to get by with a bit of secrecy and exclusivity, but generally speaking, you want buyers to know where your business is located. So, why not make it easy to find?
Add maps, driving directions, phone numbers, and other contact details to your website. Provide photos and nearby landmarks. Remember that some customers will be looking you up while they are on the go. Make it easy for them to find your store and they’ll be a lot more likely to check it out in person.
#2 Give Shoppers a Reason to Stop By
Don’t assume that just because potential customers like your website they’re going to make the time to visit your retail store. Unless what you sell happens to be on the top of their minds at the moment, they are likely to put it off and eventually forget.
The antidote to this is to make sure your products and services are on the top of their minds. You can do this by broadcasting information about coupons, sales, events, and product rollouts through your email newsletter and social networks. These can create a sense of urgency and draw in visits from new customers.
#3 Collect Email Addresses
Speaking of spreading the news about products, services, and sales, you won’t find an easier or cheaper way to do that than a trusted email delivery service (like Mailchimp or Constant Contact). For pennies a day, they’ll let you contact thousands of buyers instantly.
For your newsletter to have any kind of impact, however, you have to have a big base of subscribers. So, you should always be collecting email addresses from in-store customers and visitors to your website. The bigger your list, the easier it will be to bring buyers to your front door.
#4 Work on Your Online Reputation
Today’s customers are incredibly savvy. They are likely to Google your company, or check you out on a website like Yelp, before they decide to stop in or make a purchase.
Knowing that, you should do all you can to make sure your online reputation is sterling. Solicit positive reviews from your best customers, and then use them to drive walk-in traffic. You’ll be surprised at just how many customers will decide to visit you after they’ve read the great things other customers had to say online.
Your website and internet marketing campaigns don’t mean much if they can’t lead you towards more sales and a healthier bottom line. So, if you rely on walk-in customers to make your business go, then your website needs to be geared towards bringing fans and followers into your store.
To make that happen, follow these four tips.