As a retailer, you know that consumers are more tech-savvy than ever before. It’s also no secret that e-commerce is booming – to the tune of more than $2.3 trillion. However, this doesn’t mean the end of brick-and-mortar stores. In fact, they’re actually thriving. In 2017, 91% of all US retail sales took place in-store, not online.
It’s not one or the other — brick-and-mortar or e-commerce — but rather that the most successful retailers know how to provide an omnichannel shopping experience, giving customers the best of both worlds. To help achieve this, you have to know how to use social media to bring people into your store — and coming back for more.
Below, explore four tips to help get you started.
Engage and Be Helpful
Social media is a popular way for customers to engage with retail brands. In fact, more than 90% of consumers reach out to retail brands on social media. In addition, when consumers receive good service and positive interactions with a retail brand, 43% are more likely to make a purchase with that brand. Not only that, but 70% say that the positive interaction makes them more loyal.
In order to win that loyalty — and drive them into your store — it’s key that you offer genuinely interesting information to cut through all the social media noise. When you position your store as the place to go to ask for help or advice on a certain subject, your customers will seek out your posts instead of just scrolling past.
For example, if you sell clothing you could post a photo of an outfit of the day with a sign that displays what each different item is and why the outfit would look great on a specific shape or body type, which encourages customer engagement and entices them to come in your store. Just be sure that your photos are attractive and of high quality, and that your retail displays are tidy and presentable. Fortunately, modern phones nowadays make this easier to do than ever before.
Spark Up a Competition
If you’re looking for a way to get customers talking about your brand both online and off, competitions can be a great way to go. The key is to link between offline and online so you encourage customers already in your store to join you on social media and your social media followers to visit you in-store.
You could do a “tourist of the day” contest and run a competition where customers come into your shop and take a photo of their purchases, then encourage them to submit their pictures by posting them to your social media page. Next, have users vote for a winner… with the prize being a gift card for your store.
Another approach to consider is if you sell food, you could post an offer on social media where the first 10 who come into the store and say “insert food brand here is the best” to a member of staff gets a free item to take home.
Host Events and Demonstrations
A great way to bring your online followers in store is to host an event or how-to demonstration, which showcases your products in action and reinforces how knowledgeable you are about your products. For example, if you sell toys that are battery powered, you could have a sample in your store and offer demonstrations on how they work. If you sell locally produced wine, on the other hand, you could host an event with a sommelier who can speak about it – as well as area tourist attractions for your customers to enjoy.
Leverage your social media following by posting about your demonstration day in advane and advertising your event on each of your social platforms. Ask customers both in store and online to secure their place by clicking attending on a Facebook event. This gives them a reason to find you online, which makes it easier for them to contact you again in the future — all while giving online fans to keep your business top of mind, as well.
The Bottom Line
The great thing about social media is that it’s an inexpensive way to get people to engage with your brand. This includes local customers and tourists alike. To make sure you have all the right products you need, attend IGES held in Sevierville and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee to source a diverse array of unique merchandise that will bring people in — and keep them coming back to your store again and again and again!
By Nicole Leinbach Reyhle