Increasingly, online business owners are deciding to open bricks-and-mortar stores. They are finding it to be a good way to raise brand awareness, reach a different customer demographic and sell a wider range of products. There are still some things that people prefer to touch and feel before buying. This is especially the case for items like homewares, furnishings, flooring, expensive clothing, luxury foods, and gifts.
Trading offline is more complex than selling online but don´t be daunted
Running a brick-and-mortar store is, in many ways, more challenging than only selling online. Just how long the list of things that need to be done often surprises e-commerce entrepreneurs.
However, there is no need to feel daunted by this. There are similarities, which means that you already have quite a bit of the knowledge and skills that you need. Below we share some simple tricks you can use to tap into what you already know to ensure that your physical store is also a big success. Ways to get things moving fast.
Repurpose your online advertising for use in-store
Take for example marketing. If a certain approach works well online, there is an extremely high chance that it will also be effective offline. The use of digital signage for shop fronts is the norm, so it is easy to use the adverts, videos, and other promotional images that convert well for your e-store for your bricks and mortar homeware outlet.
If you do decide to do that, be sure to monitor which adverts result in an uplift in sales. The best digital signage suppliers usually include the software you need to be able to do this as part of the package. Opening up the chance for you to use that data to spot new trends and come up with new promotions and marketing ideas that you can then also use to increase sales online.
Tap into your existing customer base to spread the word
Letting your online customers know about your new store is a great way to give your launch a boost. They are highly likely to share the news with friends and family. Some of whom will live close enough to attend the opening.
Use your online connections to boost your launch
If you have your customers ‘physical addresses, you could consider offering those that live within a certain distance of your store a voucher. One that can only be used in-store. This is a great way to ensure that it is busy, particularly during the vital first few weeks.
When passers-by see lots of people shopping in your store, it is more likely that their interest will be piqued, and they will pop in to see what all of the fuss is about. It is all a part of making sure that people are talking about your business. When it comes to physical stores, word of mouth is a very powerful marketing tool.
Turn every brick-and-mortar customer into online ones too
Ideally, you want your physical store customers to shop with you online too. The last thing you need is to lose them to a competitor. For example, if you run a homeware store you don´t want one of your customers to go online to buy items like rugs and curtains from one of your competitors because it is a Sunday, and your physical store is closed. If that happens and they like the products they bought from the other company, there is a good chance that you will have lost them for good.
So, you need to do everything you can to encourage everyone that comes through your doors to visit your website and online store. Offering them a voucher for giving you their email address, which also includes a discount for the first item they buy from your website is an effective way to do this.
Use email marketing to boost offline sales
Don´t forget that email marketing provides an excellent ROI. Studies show that people spend around 138% more when they purchase as a result of an email marketing campaign. That is a compelling enough reason to make collecting an email address from as many of your bricks and mortar customers a priority.
Plus, having those details opens up the chance for you to use emails to boost sales from your physical store. Something that is particularly important during times of the year when sales are typically flat. For example, after important holidays, when most people have spent a lot of their disposable income. At those times of the year running sales and promoting them via email to those who live locally is an excellent way to increase cash flow, at these times.
With time, patience, and careful planning launching a physical store is a highly effective way for e-commerce retailers to increase brand awareness and sales. So, we can expect to see other online retailers following in the steps of Amazon and others.