5 Ways Retail Stores Can Use Social Media and Email To Increase Sales

5 Ways Retail Stores Can Use Social Media and Email To Increase SalesIf you listen to “them” there are thousands of ways retail stores can use social media and email to increase sales, but what actually works and how can social mean actual customers in the door?

Before we get to the “meat”, we have to start with who you are trying to attract. The customers for retails stores can vary as much as the general population and if you don’t know who you are marketing to, you can spin your wheels for a very long time without results.

According to new Pew research poll, as of September 2013;

  • 71% of online adults use Facebook
  • 18% of online adults use Twitter
  • 17% use Instagram
  • 21% use Pinterest
  • 22% use LinkedIn

That could lead you to believe that your best and highest use of your marketing time would be on Facebook, but we think there is nothing further from the truth! Facebook is a crowded marketplace where people are going to socialize, not buy things.

Additionally Facebook has made some changes that make using their platform for free marketing virtually impossible (things like showing your business page posts to just 1% of your “likers”).

With that in mind, here are our Top 5 Social Media and Email Marketing tips that are NOT Facebook related!

Pinterest

www.Pinterest.com

At its heart, Pinterest is a shopping site where (primarily women) can go to “pin” their dreams and wishes. With this in mind, pinning your products is a great idea! PLUS you can even put price tags on them. These “pins” will lead back to your website when someone clicks through.

Now, are we saying that you should make your Pinterest board a shopping cart, filled with nothing but boring product pictures on a white background? Absolutely not! Your pictures should be fun and filled with life and people enjoying your offerings.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Take pictures of you unboxing a new order with the hot items you just got in
  • Ask happy customers to hold your products up and snap a photo of them
  • Show your really snazzy seasonal displays
  • Pick a product to take a picture of and then post with a little longer description
  • Do a “where’s waldo” kind of search picture and see if they can spot your product in the display
  • Take your products home and show people using them in a natural environment

Once you get started doing this kind of marketing, you brain will start jumping with ideas!

Video Marketing

In a couple of years, most people are going to find your “stuff” through either videos or pictures. With that in mind, you should jump on the video bandwagon right now! Consider that one little video can be used to do (at a minumum) 14 different postings:

  • Upload to YouTube
  • Put YouTube video on blog post
  • Upload video directly to Google+
  • Post YouTube video link to Google+
  • Post your a blog post (including the video) to Google+
  • Upload video directly to Facebook
  • Post YouTube video link to Facebook
  • Post your a blog post (including the video) to Facebook
  • Post YouTube video link to LinkedIn
  • Post your a blog post (including the video) to LinkedIn
  • Post YouTube video link to Twitter
  • Post your a blog post (including the video) to Twitter
  • Pin YouTube video link to Pinterest
  • Post your a blog post (including the video) to Pinterest

Every one of us is carrying a video recorder around in our pocket right now (it is called a cell phone!) If you can get used to making 30-60 second videos, you will have a lot of content to share.

Email Marketing

We are kind of retail gals and spend a lot of time in smaller retail stores. We can count on one hand the number of times a retail store had anything more than a lame-o, sign our guest book kind of email collection policy.

One of the biggest assets your store can have is a list of people who have said you can send them emails of your store’s activities. Using a list like this can generate both sales and interest in your business, getting your customers “on your side and pulling for you to succeed”.

We belong to an email list like this from a little shop in England. Neither of us have ever been to England, but they sell scrapbook supplies and send really great emails. Some of what they send out is:

  • Upcoming events like open houses
  • Upcoming training sessions with their teachers
  • Information about their staff
  • New products they get in
  • Products that they ordered and requests for pre-orders
  • Pictures of the store owner hob-knobbing around town (we LOVE Dyan and like to see her having fun)

Now, you might be thinking, how can having a list of people who are not even in my country help? We have shared her information far and wide to all of our other scrapbook-loving friends who might be living in or visiting England in the future. Don’t be picky, have such a great newsletter than LOTS of people will want to join your list and then aggressively try to get ANYONE to sign up!

Instagram

www.Instagram.com

Instagram is a smart phone app that lets you take pictures and put cool filters on them right from your phone. Facebook owns Instagram which isn’t a bad thing either!

Growing a following on Instagram might seem like just another thing to put on your plate, but the nice thing is that all those photos we told you take for Pinterest become a breeze on Instagram.

You can snap a photo, put a snazzy filter on it, share it automatically to your Facebook and Twitter account and then email it to yourself for posting to Pinterest. Oh and “check in Foursquare” for your store right from the app.

There is no other tool that we use which has more interesting and practical applications for retail store marketing that little old Instagram. It is so worth the time to figure it out and start taking pictures!

PicMonkey

www.PicMonkey.com

Having beautiful pictures and being able to put your website url or a store watermark on them is super important to retail store owners. Your main job with everything you do online should be to drive people to your store’s website or Google listing so they can find out about how to come in and see you!

The one skill that we think every business owner needs to learn to help with all of their social media efforts is how to use a photo editor. Now, you could buy a huge program like Photoshop and spend your days learning to use it and dinking around with your pictures until they are perfect OR you could learn to use a simple and free site like Picmonkey.com.

Having beautiful pictures WITH marketing branding will make all of your social efforts better!

Retail Store Marketing – How To Improve Your Holiday Sales

Retail Store Marketing - How To Improve Your Holiday SalesRetail store marketing peeps – the time is NOW to improve your holiday sales….I KNOW, it is only August, but we want to make sure that we rock your sales for this holiday season!

Today I am going to give you some “out of the box” ideas that are not just, “get your displays set up early”…instead they are going to be specific tactics that you can use and implement immediately.

Create buzz with video

People are too busy to visit your store right now for Christmas shopping, right? WRONG! What if you did some amazing videos of things that you suggest for Mom, Dad, the kiddies, pets, Grandma, etc. And now what if you did one a day for a month? Make sure to title them “Best presents for Mom”, “What to give Grandma for Christmas” so that you can get some SEO love from Google. BUT then you will have all kinds of things to share on Facebook for the whole holiday season and you won’t be messing around with marketing while trying to serve all those holiday shoppers. NOTE: You can post them once a month for all three months leading up to Christmas…real marketers share their videos up to 4 times per social site and no one ever yells at us!

Start an email list

I was going to suggest that you send these videos to your email list also, but most of you don’t have one yet. For the love of goodness, make sure you start an email list. A clipboard with a sign in sheet is enough to get you going. We suggest using MailChimp if you are just starting out. Now, if you have an email list, send them your videos, upcoming sale and open house dates, fun lists of the best gifts you find on the internet (with proper attributions of course), unboxing videos when you get new products in, basically all the fun stuff your customers want to see!

Pin it to win it

Take a picture of every item in your store and pin them Pinterest one to three a day! DO NOT pin your entire store on the same day because it is easier to get it all up at once. You will spam the feeds of all your followers and they will hate you. You will “shoot your load” all at once and miss anyone who doesn’t happen to be online right then. Take your time and pin a few a day! OH an you can put prices on there…cha ching!

Grab a partner, swing her round

Planning all this marketing is never fun…but what if you had a friend? Find a complementary shop and do your marketing together. Split the costs for printing, mailing etc. and get two for the price of one! For example you could do a scrapbooking store and a hobby shop…two different product lines but both deal with making things and could appeal to different people in the house or on the facebook!

Direct mail is your friend!

Speaking of mailing things…did you know that most of your customers come from a 5 mile radius? OF COURSE YOU DID! So go to the post office and find out how much it would cost to mail to the closest homes within a 5 mile radius using “Carrier Routes”. This means that the mailman will give everyone on your route your direct mail piece. Some places it can even just be a flyer…go now, find out!

Well hopefully these will get your creative retail store marketing juices flowing! I just know if you pick one or two you will improve your holiday sales!!!

Retail Store Marketing – How To Sell More At Networking

Retail Store Marketing - How To Sell More At NetworkingI have to say that I am surprised at how few retail store owners spend time networking with people around them. What if I told you that with just a couple of “tips” I could get more feet through the door and teach you how to sell more? Worth a read don’t you think!

I can count on one hand the times that have seen a retail store owner at a networking event. Maybe it is because the stores open early and they have to be there, but mostly I think it is because it never occurred to them to come.

Why should retails store owners come to networking events?

First because there are so few others there to compete with you! If you have a store and want people to come in, the easiest way to let them know is face-to-face and at networking it is your one face to their many.

Second is because many of the people in that room may not even know that you have a store or how wonderful it is! I can’t tell you how many times I have found an out of the way store that becomes my new favorite after YEARS of not knowing it’s there.

Lastly because you have “stuff” to show! Own a flower shop? Bring a bouquet for door prize. Gift store, bring one of your hot items for show and tell. Heck if you own a hardware store, bring a “guess what this is used for” tool to show during your 30 second speech.

So how can you sell more at networking?

  • Make sure to bring some products. People have very little imagination BUT if they see something they like they are all over it.
  • Have business cards with a discount and your store address (have a slow day at the store? only have the discount on that day to increase traffic)
  • Bring a clipboard where they can sign up for your email lists and to get special sale notifications
  • Offer your store as a networking event space (feet in the door AND you don’t have to miss work)
  • Specially invite them – the strange thing about people is that they are sometimes afraid to go somewhere new, even if they think they will like it
  • Have an open house monthly, spend all month driving people from networking to your open house, partner with a local winery for free booze
  • Get together with another store owner you like and go together – networking is always funner if you know someone there
  • Make sure your target demographic is in networking (as women make 80 percent of the buying decisions, anywhere with women is probably a good idea)
  • Offer a free sample to raffle off a the networking (bring a fishbowl to collect cards and make sure it is okay with the organizer)
  • Offer to speak at the networking group – tell them all your great sales or marketing tricks AND what kinds of things you sell
  • Have small items (5 and 10 dollar) that they can cash and carry right from the networking (I recommend putting them in a pretty basket so you don’t look like the creepy guy selling sunglasses from his raincoat!)

Well there you have it! If you own a retail store, I hope you at least consider attending a networking event (and not just the Chamber events, one from Meetup that you have never gone to!) You will sell more and get some new people in the door, guaranteed! 

Retail Store Marketing – 5 Ways To Use Social Networking To Get Customers

Retail Store Marketing - 5 Ways To Use Social NetworkingRetail store marketing and Social Networking go hand in hand! Over here at the Marketing and Media Monsters we like Social Networking instead of the more popular Social Media since it conveys the actual person-to-person benefit of using social.

What Is Social Networking for Retail

First off, let’s start with plain old networking. When we left our computers behind and went out into the world, networking meant shaking hands, looking someone in the eye and asking them what they did. Today too many retailers think that networking is screaming as loud as possible, buy my stuff, buy my stuff.

Now that having been said, Retail Store Marketing is a little funny. People WANT to know what is going on in your store and what you are stocking in a way that most companies don’t have. The picture from this post features a store in England that I stalk, um follow, because I like the woman who owns it very much. They send me updated info all the time and I LOVE it even though there is no chance of me visiting anytime soon.

So what kind of social networking should you do?

1) Facebook and Pinterest Store Pics – Okay, this is easy! Take pictures around your store, of new items that you get in, of customers having a great time shopping. All of these will be sharable and attract eyeballs on social media. When you can, tag your customers’ names for extra credit!

2) Make “unwrapping videos” – When you get a shipment in, start by unboxing it for the camera. Pull out the fun new products that you are going to be stocking soon and show them to your online friends.

3) Show off before new products – When you are at the shows to buy new products, take pictures and videos of items you have ordered and pre-sell them before you get them in!

4) Find online people (celebrities or tv shows) who are using your products or something like them. If you are a flower shop – snag pictures of the amazing floral sprays they use at the Oscars. Sell art supplies, check out current artist videos and share them (with a link to purchase the products they are using at your store!) Sell kids clothes? Check out what all those little trendsetter darlings are wearing and show that you have similar goods.

5) Finally (and maybe most importantly), be the store owner everyone wants to see online and off. People do not come to a store just to buy something. They come to be seen and heard, coddled and loved on. When you start being the face of your store on social networking sites, you open up that two way street so they can talk to you and tell you what they love about your establishment. Too many of our store owners worry that they will get haters…this is just not so! If you have a great store and friendly service, you will have hoards of adoring fans who want to brag about you online!

Retail Marketing – Competing In The Digital Age Using SEO

Retail Marketing - Competing In The Digital Age Using SEO In thiѕ nеw digital аgе, thingѕ change so rарidlу thаt it iѕ difficult tо keep расе with thе new аdvаnсеѕ. Smаll buѕinеѕѕеѕ cannot depend оn old standards. A few уеаrѕ back, SEO оr ѕеаrсh еnginе optimization was ѕuffiсiеnt to rесеivе lаrgе numbеr оf traffic to a website аnd hаvе good online ѕаlеѕ. It wаѕ оnlу bесаuѕе the world of online marketing wаѕ nоt so fiеrсеlу соmреtitivе as it iѕ tоdау. Thе ѕаmе рrоduсt оr service is nоw ѕоld bу thоuѕаndѕ of ѕеllеrѕ, rеѕеllеrѕ, retailers, frаnсhiѕееѕ аnd even аffiliаtеѕ. Evеn аftеr using the best SEO practices, уоu саnnоt dереnd on SEO оnlу to rесеivе thе viѕitоrѕ whо matter mоѕt. It iѕ timе tо learn how to supplement уоur SEO еffоrtѕ with other mаrkеting initiаtivеѕ.

Bеfоrе you implement оthеr оnlinе mаrkеting optimization орtiоnѕ, уоu need to know whу SEO iѕ given so muсh imроrtаnсе and why you would want to use оthеr mаrkеting орtiоnѕ. It iѕ a known fасt thаt bеfоrе buуing аnу product or service, mоѕt роtеntiаl buyers first check rеlаtеd infоrmаtiоn thrоugh ѕеаrсh еnginеѕ, likе Gооglе or Bing. At thе same timе, it iѕ also knоwn thаt mоѕt оf them dо not рrосееd beyond thе first раgе of ѕеаrсh rеѕultѕ. If a рrоduсt is ѕоld bу hundrеdѕ or thousands оf sellers thеn оnlу 10-20 оf thеm whо come up first in thе ѕеаrсh еnginе rеѕultѕ have a chance оf making аnу sale. If уоur wеbраgе dоеѕ not арреаr high in thе ѕеаrсh еnginе results then уоu are unlikеlу tо be seen and therefore unlikely to mаkе аnу sale. If уоur wеbраgе does appear high in the ѕеаrсh engine rеѕultѕ, is уоur раgе dеѕignеd аnd рrераrеd to convert thе viѕitоr into a client?

Thiѕ mаkеѕ it important tо think about оthеr alternatives tо SEO. Whilе SEO ѕtill rеtаinѕ itѕ importance, mаnу mоrе орроrtunitiеѕ hаvе еmеrgеd thаt help inсrеаѕе sales. Knоwing about thеѕе орtiоnѕ iѕ important if уоu want to succeed in the competitive environment of online retail business marketing. It iѕ not wiѕе tо рut аll уоur еggѕ in оnе bаѕkеt. If fоr some reason уоur SEO initiatives do not wоrk, thеn уоu will hаvе rеduсеd or nо ѕаlеѕ. Hоwеvеr, if you have imрlеmеntеd оthеr mаrkеting techniques, buyers will keep соming tо уоur ѕitе thrоugh other sources/channels, еvеn whеn SEO fаilѕ tо wоrk.

These аrе ѕuррlеmеntаrу орtiоnѕ, аnd nоt аltеrnаtivеѕ tо SEO. Mаnу оf these орtiоnѕ are now wеll-knоwn and hаvе bееn fоund vеrу еffесtivе in inсrеаѕing thе numbеr of сuѕtоmеrѕ who visit a well optimized site. Amоng thеѕе options, email mаrkеting is оnе of thе mоѕt рrеfеrrеd mаrkеting mеthоds. It iѕ a simple уеt really effective marketing technique. People likе rесеiving good соntеnt in their еmаil inbоx, thеу want to rесеivе infоrmаtiоn аbоut a раrtiсulаr product, service or induѕtrу. Whilе ѕеаrсh еnginеѕ рrоvidе infоrmаtiоn rеlаtеd tо a ѕресifiс kеуwоrd, the same kеуwоrd mау have multiрlе mеаningѕ, raising рrоblеmѕ аѕѕосiаtеd with thе dеѕirеd infоrmаtiоn. In thiѕ matter, ѕеаrсh engines аrе vеrу inefficient. It is timе соnѕuming to ѕhift thrоugh massive information, most оf whiсh аrе соmрlеtеlу unrеlаtеd tо whаt the person iѕ ѕеаrсhing for.

If уоu аrе able to рrоvidе vаluаblе соntеnt to your rеаdеrѕ thrоugh уоur wеbѕitе and nеwѕlеttеr thеn you get recognition аѕ an еxреrt in уоur field. Thiѕ hеlрѕ build brand rесоgnitiоn аnd establishes you in your induѕtrу аѕ an аuthоritу оn thе subject. Yоur wоrdѕ аrе mоrе convincing аnd readers аrе rеаdу tо fоllоw your buying recommendations. Yоu саn uѕе this to уоur advantage аnd еаѕilу соnvеrt ѕuсh rеаdеrѕ into сuѕtоmеrѕ.

Even when search engine optimization can gеt уоu lots of viѕitоrѕ, it mау nоt rеѕult in inсrеаѕеd ѕаlеѕ. Visitors arriving thrоugh ѕеаrсh еnginеѕ are nоt nесеѕѕаrilу buyers or immеdiаtе buуеrѕ. Fоr еxаmрlе, if уоur wеbѕitе has uѕеd wrоng kеуwоrdѕ, viѕitоrѕ whо аrrivе at уоur ѕitе fоllоwing thоѕе kеуwоrdѕ will immеdiаtеlу lеаvе thе site because it is nоt whаt they аrе ѕеаrсhing for. Thеrе аrе аlѕо viѕitоrѕ who are ѕеriоuѕlу considering buying a рrоduсt thаt уоu оffеr – but thеу are nоt ѕеаrсhing Intеrnеt with сrеdit card in hаnd. They may buy thе рrоduсt аftеr a fеw dауѕ, wееkѕ оr еvеn months. If уоu саnnоt get hоld of thеm whеn thеу аrrivе at уоur ѕitе then thеу mау dесidе to buу frоm аnоthеr ѕеllеr when thеуfinally make a рurсhаѕе.

Yоu саn avoid this hарреning by ѕimрlу rеmаining in tоuсh with уоur visitors аnd роtеntiаl buуеrѕ. With thе hеlр оf email marketing, уоu can rеmаin оn thеir rаdаr.. The mаin goal оf marketing your business online is to rесеivе targeted trаffiс, соnѕumеrѕ who аrе rеаllу intеrеѕtеd in the рrоduсtѕ or services thаt you оffеr, сарturing thеir name аnd еmаil, building your liѕt. Yоu саn use рау реr сliсk, dirесt аdvеrtiѕеmеntѕ, social mеdiа marketing, blоgging, video mаrkеting, mоbilе marketing, article marketing and even аdvеrtiѕing thrоugh traditional media.