What I Wish Everyone Knew About Driving Foot Traffic Through Ad-Re-marketing

Digital marketing has taken the world by storm. Over the years, advancements in technology and marketing have led to a phenomenal increase in the number of online shoppers and why not! Online shopping has made our lives so much easier. There is no hassle and you have easy access to a wide variety of products. No waiting in long queues at the checkout counter, no need to heft heavy shopping bags, and no need to drive up to a storefront. Online shopping delivers at your doorstep. What more does one need?

But, despite all the comforts of online shopping, there are still a few brick-and-mortar stores that thrive on foot traffic or on in-store customers. Stores like these need to keep up with the changing marketing strategies to make sure that they get enough and more customers to their store.

Even brick-and-mortar stores need to make effective use of digital marketing strategies to increase traffic.

This being said, how can a brick-and-mortar store that does not have virtual shopping platform use such a technique to drive foot traffic?

Establishing and maintaining contact.

 A business that operates within a physical establishment rather than the internet needs to keep their customers updated and aware about the latest happenings in that business. Since there is no online retail, re-marketing becomes all the more important as it is a way of compelling customers to walk up to their store.

The digital layer in re-marketing entails collecting relevant user data offline and then using this data to keep the customers updated with the latest promotional offers, coupons, and so on. The important thing to remember here is that when customers provide their details in-store, they are more aware of doing so and such retail stores need to be careful about their value.

Periodic reminders

 Customers can be influenced to come back to the store with periodic reminders. Constant periodic reminders are effective in reminding past customers about their experience and increases the likelihood of their return to the store.

The opt-in method

 Brick-and-mortar stores use the opt-in method to establish contact with the customers who are visiting the store for the first time. In this process, the store requests the customer to sign up for a newsletter and throws in some attractive offers to encourage the customer to sign up. The opt-in strategy can be exercised with or without a sale.

Value for money

 The challenge is to be better than what the customer is likely to get online. Re-marketing materials are released during certain periods and involves coupons and promotional offers. For instance, take the case of a TV showroom. Business is likely to go up during certain times such as during the Super Bowl. With a large number of online retailers threatening to slow down foot traffic, the strategy is to lure the customers to the store rather than purchasing from online retailers.

The TV showroom goes back to the customer data it has collected and schedules the release of a newsletter that compels its previous customers to visit the store to buy their product. Most of the times, such retailers may use coupons and the promise of attractive discounts to make the customer walk to the store.

Amidst all the strategies, one thing remains important for brick-and-mortar stores. Value. Unless and until the customer finds that the value offered by a particular brick-and-mortar store trumps the value offered by an online retailer, the chances of the customer returning are very less.

It is the value offered by a business that drives a customer to the store.

Four Easy Tips to Train Store Associates to Increase Sales

Simply placing everything in order, using visually-appealing décor and offering sales-promoting discounts is not enough for a retail store to be able to thrive in today’s competitive world. They have to focus on enhancing their in-store experiences, which is only way they can achieve their ultimate objective of boosting sale.

But ever wondered what is one critical factor shaping customers’ in-store experience? It’s the behavior of store associates. Store managers and executives and either make or break your store’s reputation. Lack of customer-service and sales skills of sales persons can cause you to lose valuable customers because they wouldn’t get the experience they expected.

As such, retail store owners should make sure you provide them regular training to enhance their customer-service skills and contribute towards increasing sales. If you are wondering how to train your store associates, then you should follow the tips below:

Know the personality of your associates

 Each individual has different skills and traits, which require different refining approaches. Before plunging into training your sales associates, you should try to understand their personality traits. While some associates are very amiable and social, others may be curt and “unfriendly”. Respect each individual’s unique traits and try to embrace the diversity. This will help you know the kind of training each associate would require.

Teach them people skills

 Good people skills are a signature of good sales associates. Unless they have the ability to listen to and communicate with people, they are likely to foul up while interacting with your customers. Your customers may have different queries related to your offers. But your sales associates need to have the patience to address them in an effective manner. You can also consider role-playing for inculcating strong people and inter-personal skills in your sales persons. Only good people skills of sales persons can provide a meaningful and fulfilling experience to customers.

Focus on product training

 Your sales associates should know what exactly is it that they are selling. As stated above, your customers will want prompt responses their product-related queries and issues. Sales persons who lack knowledge of your product would be no less than showpieces in your store because they will not able to handle customers queries. This can be a major reason behind customers’ disappointment, which can push your sales down. As such, you have to train your sales associates on various aspects of your product so that are able to provide better customer service.

Choose a modular training approach 

As a retail store owner, you have to ensure that the training goes smoothly, and people grasp and retain most of the new information. This could be a little tricky, but a modular training approach should be able to help you. This form of training involves flexible and brief training sessions instead of rigid and lengthy ones. This approach enables you to train your employees, either before the store opens or after it closes, and accommodate their training needs of all your sales persons in an effective manner.

The Truth About Increasing In-store Customer Visitation Length

If you are a retail store owner, you may be aware of the different challenges involved in keeping the store running. The first challenge that retail store owners have to overcome is grabbing consumers’ attention. You have to make a unique offer that gives your customers a reason to visit your store, and not your competitor’s store. But is getting more foot traffic to your store enough for your survival? The answer is a big no.

Your customers also have to make purchases after visiting your store, not once but repeatedly, so that you thrive in the long-run. But before that, you need to focus on something called the dwell time, which the time your customers spend in your store. As a retail store owner, you have to build customer experiences that make your customers want to spend more time in your store. In order to do so, you have to face a few truths, which are as follows:

Customer visitation length depends on sensory involvement

 Your customers are likely to spend more time in your store if you are able to engage all their senses. Your store should have a visually-appealing design, organized layout, soft background music, aromatic scents and perhaps some snacks to immerse your customers completely. These aspects have a significant effect on your customers’ mood and make them want to stay longer in your store.

Digital technologies are driving customers’ dwell time

 Ever since digital technologies came into the picture, retail stores have found ample opportunities to create memorable in-store experiences. Technologies like VR, AR and artificial intelligence are becoming big in today’s retail world. These have made it possible to create immersive and engaging in-store experiences for customers. You can use devices and gadgets backed by these technologies to showcase products, conduct games and other formats of customer engagement to increase their dwell time.

Training sales associates increase conversions

 A grumpy and unfriendly sales person can simply break your store’s reputation. Their behavior and attitude could be one of the major reasons why customers leave the store and never come back. As such, you have to ensure that you train your sales associates on how they should interact with customers. You should teach them people skills, inter-personal skills and customer-service skills so that they are able to deliver a satisfactory and fulfilling shopping experience to your customers and contribute more towards your store’s conversion.

Your store’s layout increases or decreases dwell time

 It’s obvious that no customer would want to be in a store where products are lying here and there and covered under dust. If you want your customers to spend more time in your store, you need to pay attention to your store’s appeal. Organize your products and place them prominently on shelves so that your customers can shop with any hassle. You should also consider using your brand’s colors to paint your store’s interiors because it increases your brand’s memorability. As such, you need to plan a shoppers-friendly store layout so as to provide your customers the ease they desire and increase their dwell time.

5 Ways to Build In-Store Experiences That Your Customers Would Love

Are you the owner of a retail store? Perhaps you know how challenging it is to get customers drawn to it. The first hurdle that you have to overcome is the low attention span of customers. Unless you are offering something unique, it’s unlikely that they would be interested in visiting your store. You can, however, use the power of different advertising formats, such as outdoor advertising, location-based services and of course, social media to promote your store in a positive light.

But the challenge doesn’t end here. Even if you succeed in getting your customers visit your store, how do you make them come back again? This is where customer retention strategies come to play, and the only way to retain customers is by creating in-store experiences that they would remember forever. Here are a few ways of doing so:

Integrating offline with digital experiences

You should know that customers are no longer confined to only offline these days. Their purchase journey takes an omnichannel path, where brands are required to create multiple touch points and merge customers’ online and offline experiences. Research on their buying behavior and identify different channels they use for shopping. Use data to integrate mobile, web, inventory management, point-of-sale and customer support systems to create a seamless shopping experience for your customers.

Provide some entertainment

 You can give your customers some “retailtainment” so that they have a fun-filled and unique shopping experience. For example, you can call an industry professional or celebrity to deliver a short performance or speech and have a candid interaction with your customers. Do something that will not only increase foot traffic to your store but also give you positive press coverage. You can even use VR to create immersive entertainment experiences in your store. This will engage your customers and make them want to visit your store again.

Engage all their senses

 Nobody would want to enter a store that has a pile of garbage in one corner and products sloppily put on shelves. Your customers will expect you to be a little organized and clean. In order to create a pleasant in-store experience for your customers, you have to engage all their senses. Consider spray a room freshener to make your store smell fresh. Play soft music in the background and make your store visually appealing. Categorize all your products and keep them in different shelves so that your customers find it easier to find what they want. This will surely enhance their experience.

Commit to customer services

 Last but certainly not the least, you need to provide excellent customer services to your customers if you wish to make them fall in love with you. Train your sales persons on how to present themselves and talk to consumers. Consider loyalty and rewards programs in order to make your customers feel valued. Make sure you are able to address any queries related to your products and provide prompt post-sale services to your customers. Providing personalized and useful customer service is a surefire way of enhancing a customer’s in-store experience.

How to Extend Customer Relationships Beyond the Transaction?

Businesses, whether big or small, tend to tackle with one major challenge– acquiring customers and retaining them. Take, for example, you have an amazing store selling all the unique items today’s youngsters would want. You manage to gain their attention and bring them to your store finally. In short, you have “acquired” the customers you were targeting through your advertisements.

Most of these customers make a purchase, and show signs of satisfaction. But there are others who are difficult to please. This presents the second challenge, which is customer retention. How do you retain the customers you have acquired? Well, this is a tricky question to answer. While most businesses succeed in drawing customers to stores, they often find it difficult to make customers keep coming to them.

As a seller, you have to know that the sale process doesn’t end with the transaction. You have to keep offering your customers value so that they keep coming back to you. If you are struggling to do this, here are a few tips that can help you build long-lasting relationships with your customers post sale:

Focus on customer service

 If you wish to foster lasting relationships with your customers, you have to up your customer services. You should focus on providing memorable customer services so that your customers leave your store with a positive impression in mind. You should leverage both online and offline channels to address customers’ queries and proactively resolve their issues.

Give them attention

You may not know but your customers are actually hungry for your attention. So why not give them? One good way to do so is by featuring them in your social channels. You can feature their stories on your blog or e-newsletter or conduct a short video interview that you can share on your YouTube channel. This is a great way to make your customers feel valued.

Encourage feedback from them

 Most sellers may ignore this, but customer feedback is a great way to improve your post-sale customer services. You should encourage your customers to share what they think about you and what you are offering. Both positive and negative feedback will help you understand what they like and dislike. This gives you meaningful insights into your customers’ preferences, and help you take necessary actions.

Conduct loyalty programs

Loyalty programs are a great way to reward customers for their support. Your customers may patronize your store, but they would love you even more if you reward them for being your customer. You can reward them with free samples of your product, discounts or coupons, and gift hampers, which will make your customers feel valued and make them come back to you.

Stay in touch with them always

 Last but certainly not the least, you should stay in touch with your customers always. Never forget to send them a “thank you” message after they visit your store for the first time. You should keep sending them relevant offers from time-to-time so that they know you are there to help them. You can even send them greetings on birthdays and special occasions so as to establish an emotional connection with them.

How to Drive In-Store Foot Traffic Using Social Media?

The retail business is not a picnic. Besides setting up a well-designed, chic and appealing store, there are so many other retailing aspects that you, as a retail store owner, will have to keep in mind. From procurement to logistics, marketing to after sale services, you will have to keep every process in line. Not to forget your competitors, who are always on the lookout to steal your customers. As such, you really have to provide something unique and extraordinary in order to thrive in the retail scenario.

The most challenging part of running a retail store is driving foot traffic. Most retail stores focus on in-store experiences and personalized customer experiences for attractive more people. But did you know that you can use social media to boost in-store foot traffic? If you don’t, then here are a four easy ways you can do so:

Encourage customers to check-in

In-store check-ins on Facebook, Foursquare, GetGlue or Instagram can boost your popularity on social media. The more check-ins from customers you get, greater your reach will be. You can encourage your customers to check-in at your store and give them gift cards or prizes. Check-ins on social media lets people know about your store, and click on your website for more information. This is also a good way to reach people online and draw them to your brick-and-mortar store.

Provide coupons and discounts

You can use social media to provide discounts and coupons to your customers and asking them to visit your store to get the product. You should, however, use this tactic very smartly. For example, you can offer an attractive discount to select Facebook followers or a coupon to followers who can invite their friends to follow your page. You can ask them to claim the offer at your store, which will increase the foot traffic to your store. But make sure your offer is creative and not over-promotional.

Use influencers

Influencer marketing has received a great impetus ever since social media entered the picture. Influencers are people who have a huge fan-following on social media. These are people who can be given a chance to associate with your brand and generate a buzz about your store. Most popular brands have leveraged the power of influencer marketing in brand promotion. You can approach them and ask them to share your content on their page. This is likely to influence your audience positively and drive them to your store.

Share live videos

Facebook and Instagram provide an amazing feature that allows you to share live videos and stories with your audience. You can use Facebook or Instagram Live or Stories to conduct a contest or a giveaway. These platforms also allow you to share live videos of in-store events and increase the popularity of your store. Live videos are more engaging and share-worthy, which makes your audience interested in you. This is a great way to generate positive word-of-mouth and draw more customers towards your store.

5 Out Of Home Marketing Tips You Need To Learn Now

Before you plunge into the widely-believed-to-be-profitable domain of out-of-home marketing, you should know that consumers don’t look at banners and billboards the same way they used to before. Our advertising fathers reaped whopping sales by placing a billboard of their offering in a busy traffic area. But now, things have changed. Instead of looking up, our consumers prefer to look down into their smartphones, tablets and other hand-held devices.

So let’s be honest: out-of-home marketing can be a challenging affair. Although it provides a number of benefits like better reach, cost-effectiveness, and higher sales, it’s not easy to nail this game. But don’t worry, you can follow the tips below to succeed in out-of-home marketing:

Keep Your Copy As Short As Possible

First and foremost, your copy has to be understandable. The rule of thumb is six words or less. But you can still extend this limit, depending on readability and message length. It’s a hard job to keep the copy concise. But that’s the only way you can get your message across. Drivers or pedestrians don’t have the time to read something more than this. So you should keep your advertising copy as short and precise as possible.

Always Keep It Simple

Yes you should be able to grab more eyeballs, but not in a way that makes people wonder what exactly are they looking at. The use of complex visuals or extremely bright colors can simply ruin your out-of-home advertising campaign. You should keep the visual aspect of your billboard as simple as possible so that viewers don’t see it as a distraction. Avoid using obnoxious colors that can ruin your brand’s image terribly.

Give Just One Point Of Contact

An ad without any contact information would be useless because customers won’t be able to reach the company. At the same time, providing them with too many points of contacts can confuse them completely. You should give your phone number and your website as a point of contact. This will make it a lot easier for your consumers to contact you. But make sure you make the font of the details prominent for drivers and pedestrians so that they can read it without much effort.

Let Your Creativity Flow

The more creative you get with your ad, the more eyeballs its likely to grab. People always look for something different. Then why not use this opportunity to show them something new? You can create 3D billboards or the ones with animations and moving parts in them. Such ads are more interactive and engaging. Although you might have to spend a little more on such ads, the number of impressions you get will surely compensate for it.

Be Very Smart With Whatever You Use

Yes, because a small mistake can ruin everything that you have worked for. You need to keep your brand’s image in mind while using out-of-home marketing. Whether it’s the image or colors or copy, you need to create everything smartly and align them with your brand’s values and image. This is one thing no marketer should ignore while using outdoor advertising.

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Five Outrageous Ideas For Your Direct Response Marketing

Marketers Need Direct Response Marketing

Direct response marketing can be a tough nut to crack. It involves a lot of risksfor marketers because what works for one type of a consumer may not work for another. This is the reason why direct response marketers are always testing their campaigns, offers, content and media.

No matter what, direct response marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads and increase business revenue. It helps marketers to measure consumers’ responses, determine the performance of their campaign, and take necessary corrective actions. As such, it won’t be wrong to say that marketers need to incorporate direct response marketing, both online and on-ground, in their marketing strategies.

But if you are wondering how to ace the direct response marketing game, here are five outrageous ideas you can try:

Highlight The Benefits Of Your Offering

Experts in the field of direct response marketing suggest that you should focus on highlighting the benefits rather than the features of your offering. Benefits seem to out-pull features in a number of direct response marketing campaigns. The ad should show what kind of problems your offering intends to solve and how it has done them. This is a proven technique propagated by a number of marketing gurus in the present times.

Make A “Yes Or No” Offer

It is also seen from a number of campaigns that a “yes or no” offer out-pulls more prospects than an offer without any option. A “yes or no” offer elicits either positive or negative response from prospects, and creates an urgency for them to respond right away. You can use this kind of an offer by putting a “yes” or “no” stamp or check boxes below your offer. It is also seen that a negative-option offer does better than a positive-option offer.

Justify Reasons In Your Copy

One of the most powerful ways of influencing human behavior is by telling people the reason behind your actions. The word “because” is seen to activate an automatic compliance response, which inspires them to take a particular action, such as subscribing to your email list or clicking on your website. The copy of your ad should, therefore, tell people why you are doing something.

Communicate What You Want Your Prospects To Do

It’s also important to tell your prospects what you want them to do. Your ad should guide them to the next step and also tell them what to expect by doing so. For example, you can say, “Follow these easy steps to unlock a range of benefits” or “Click here to know more, etc. This provides a helping hand to your prospects and gives them the confidence to move forward.

Always Put A Time Limit

Last but certainly not the least, you need to put a time limit on your offer in order to get better responses. An offer without a time limit does not create the urgency for your prospects to take actions. Since of the main objective of direct response marketing is to get immediate feedback, a time-bound offer will likely to pull in more prospects who would be interested in your offer.

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Never Underestimate The Influence Of Location Based Marketing

What location-based marketing does?

Gone are the days when companies had to conduct tiresome studies on preferences and the local culture before entering a new market. Technologies like smart-phones, beacons, GPS, sensors and geo-maps have certainly given location-based marketing great impetus in the recent times. Now, as the concept has emerged powerfully, marketers are able to hyper-localize their marketing strategies and come up with marketing plans that are suited to the preferences of consumers within their geographic location.

Location-based marketing has also made it possible for marketers and retailers to foster more personal relationship with their consumers. Information on availability of products, different payment options, feedback and reviews, etc. is one great thing location-based marketing has to offer to consumers today. All these have a crucial role to play in shaping consumers’ purchase decisions. As such, marketers should never underestimate the influence of location-based marketing in today’s competitive marketing world.

Why marketers need it today?

There’s no denying the fact that location-based marketing is extremely important for brand marketers today. The following are a few points to justify this:

Pushes people to take immediate action

If marketers want more visitors to retail outlets, location-based marketing can help them do so. iBeacon technology can help them connect with potential consumers directly when they are somewhere close to the store. This can be done by sending lucrative offers relevant to their needs, thus enticing them to come and make a purchase.

Creates multiple touch points

One good part of location-based marketing is that it creates multiple touch points with consumers. One location can have several unique beacons, each having a different message. This gives marketers many opportunities to connect with consumers and push them to take action. The ability to market to a consumer’s location and sending relevant offers in real time is what makes beacons so useful in location-based marketing.

Provides consumer analytics

Apps powered by beacon technology can provide marketers with the access to insightful analytical data on consumer behavior. They are able to measure the number of footfalls to their store and refine their marketing strategies based on such data. Location-based marketing through beacon-powered apps can help marketers in analyzing the performance of their campaigns and plan better ones in the future.

Builds better relationships

Consumers today want personalization. In fact, they tend to trust ads that strike an emotional chord with them. Location-based marketing makes it possible for marketers to personalize their advertising campaign according to consumers’ needs. It helps them build better relationships with consumers by giving them relevant offers. Marketers are also likely to drive brand engagement by establishing a direct line of communication between them and consumers.

Improves competitive position

All big brands, starting from Starbucks and McDonald’s to Nike and American Airlines, have invested whopping sums on location-based marketing. It is predicted that location-targeted mobile advertising will reach $15.7 billion in 2018. It won’t be wrong to say that location-based marketing will be an integral component of brands’ marketing strategies. As such, investment in location-based marketing is therefore important for today’s marketers to rise above the competition.

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Here’s What People Are Saying About Direct Response Marketing

The Growing Importance Of Direct Response Marketing

The dynamism of advertising and marketing pushed brands to adopt different strategies in order to grab the attention of prospects and consumers. One such strategy is direct response marketing, a form of marketing that aims to elicit an immediate response from prospects and compels them to take an action, such as buying a product on the website or subscribing to an email list. As such, direct response marketing has emerged as a crucial strategy for brands that aim at faster ROI, better leads, and larger profits.

People in the marketing world have recognized the importance of direct response marketing in the fulfillment of brand objectives. Let’s check out a few numbers. The response rate for direct marketing mail for people in the age bracket of 18 and 21 years is 12.4 percent. For every $167 spent on direct response marketing in the US, marketers achieve a sale revenue of $2095. These numbers are truly indicative of direct response marketing’s popularity in today’s competitive marketing world.

What Makes Direct Response Marketing So Popular Today?

Ever since digital emerged as an advertising channel, marketers can leverage the domain’s attributed in executing direct response marketing campaigns. What marketers primarily look for is measurable results, which direct response marketing tends to provide. But that’s not all that marketers have to say about the concept. Here’s why they feel it’s popular today:

Direct Response Marketing Demands Response

As opposed to mass marketing, direct response marketing calls for an immediate response from prospects and consumers. It compels them to take specific actions through a “call to action” option. In addition, the messaging can be tweaked to address an individual consumer’s interests, fears, frustrations and desires, thus making the approach more personalized in nature.

Track-Ability Offers Great Insights

The best part of direct response marketing is it’s track-ability. Marketers get to know which ad and which media generated the maximum response. These provide great insights for marketers to define their ad campaigns and messaging. Most direct response marketers feel that performance data has helped them plan better campaigns and get better results.

There’s Better Targeting

Marketers feel that direct response marketing is very useful in targeting a specific niche or target market. Based on various performance data, marketers know which class of consumers are responding better to their campaigns. As such, it’s a great way to refine a brand’s targeting and reach out to the right target market with the right advertising message.

Leveraging Social Media Become Possible

As consumers have gone social today, direct response marketers get a chance to leverage different features and targeting options of social media channels. Marketers feel that it has changed the way they reach out to consumers and sell their products and services. As such, complementing direct response marketing efforts with social media is something marketers are considering on a larger scale.

Following Up Becomes Easier

Marketers feel that direct response marketing has changed the way they follow up with unconverted leads. Marketers can continue reaching out to them and eventually convert them into actual customers by considering reasons behind their disinterest.

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