Does Brick and Mortar Marketing Still Work For Retail?

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Brick and mortar businesses are tough to manage in today’s digitally-driven economy. As more consumers turn to online shopping for quick and convenient access to goods and services, many businesses are faced with complex challenges. There are merchandise limitations, more overhead charges (like rent), and tougher consumer education challenges. But this doesn’t mean you’re out of solutions. Here’s how you can make brick and mortar marketing work for you: 

Have An Online Component 

You may have heard of the phrase, “brick and click.” This concept is fairly simply: today, many consumers walk into physical locations and consider the space more of a “showroom” than a store that demands immediate purchases. Of course, there are ways you can incentivize in- store purchases, but it’s important to have an integrated strategy as a brick and mortar business. 

You can’t afford to ignore the fact that many people will walk into your store, check out what you have to offer, and potentially make a purchase after they walk out. Add an online ecommerce store as an extension to your brick and mortar to suit these types of shoppers—as well as those who don’t live in the area. 

Invest In Direct Mail 

Contrary to popular belief, direct mail is not dead. So what is direct mail, exactly? Direct mail is a marketing tactic that utilizes physical mail to attract consumers. Although it’s considered more of an old school marketing tactic, data shows that it’s much more attractive than you might think. One study even found that physical mail successfully creates a deeper connection with the recipient, allowing a piece of marketing to stick longer than an online ad would. Today’s consumers ignore many ads, and since 2016, the direct mail consumer response rate increased by 43%. 

And with so many online tools, you can target your demographic easier than ever, honing in on neighborhoods that match your ideal metrics. For example, if you’re targeting budget students, there’s plenty of online data that reveals where that market is residing. You can also get as creative as you want with your direct mail efforts, designing custom window envelopes or even some 3D mailers if you’ve got the budget. Most importantly, the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns are easier than ever to track. 

Create Deals on Discount Sites 

Discount sites aren’t just about cutting the prices of your services and products; think of these deals as a “trial” potential customers to see what you have to offer. The fact is, many people aren’t sure that they want to spend the money on a business they have no history with—especially when that business is new. Creating deals on sites like Groupon allows you to capitalize on consumers that have reservations. 

Invest In Your Database 

Building your database is one of the most important things any business can do. Your email list can prove golden for all your future marketing efforts. By collecting information from your visitors (both online and offline), you can send more personalized marketing campaigns, increasing your chances of a conversation. And numerous studies have shown how retaining current customers is much easier than acquiring new ones. 

With this in mind, always be building your database and thinking of creative ways to reach them. There are also creative ways you can encourage them to provide personal contact details. For example, you might host a contest for people who drop their business cards into a fish bowl, start a loyalty program, or host giveaways. 

Advertise A Loyalty Program 

Loyalty/reward programs are a great way to boost your retention rates. Loyalty programs incentivize consumers to continue purchasing from your store. Use loyalty program platforms to help manage your loyalty programs and keep track of how effective they are. If possible, build an app for your loyalty program and/or retail shop. Furthermore, studies have shown that loyalty programs increase customer spend, provide you with more relevant customer data, and allow for better customer communication. 

Don’t Ignore Content 

Content is a great way for retailers to appeal to search engines and become more easily discovered by people around you. As previously mentioned, your strategy should have an online component—even when your goal is to drive in-store traffic and sales. For example, depending on the nature of your business, you could focus on video or written content. If you owned a hardware store, you might shoot tutorials using your products, providing informative content for people looking for DIY tips and tricks. With that in mind, it’s also important for you to invest in local SEO, making it easier than ever for local consumers to find and visit your retail location.

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