Digital retail marketing is a highly competitive yet extremely lucrative advertising approach. Its efficiency and automatability are appealing to small businesses with limited time and budgets.
28% of search engine entries ending in “near me,” result in an in-store visit, while 76% result in a same-day visit to the store, making your online presence crucial. As your first digital marketing goal, you want to guarantee you’ll show up on that online search. But that’s just the beginning…
Optimizing Your Website & Landing Page
Your digital footprint matters: 97% of people use the internet as their primary source of information on a business they’re pursuing. While vast visibility is essential for marketing your store, quality is even more important. Your site needs to compete with the thousands of other similar business platforms, to hold the attention of your potential customer. You do this by:
- Making it mobile-friendly
- Optimizing backend SEO so you pop up first in searches (92% of Internet users won’t go past the first page results to pursue a target business)
- Providing useful and clarifying content (blogs, Q&As)
- Highlighting new/best-selling products on digital carousels
- Including internal software apps that allow exclusive functions like virtual try-on (for clothing retailers), discounts, etc.
- Promoting subscription sign-ups that offer discounts and valuable newsletter content in return, aka finding ways to keep in touch
- Creating easy navigation and a pleasant user-interface experience
- Presenting cohesive branding and a noble image.
Your site should be straightforward, attractive, and intuitive. If direct online purchases aren’t a viable option, then the goal of your site becomes enticing prospects to visit your storefront.
Beyond presenting your product and purchasing perks on your website, your convincing strategy can, and should, expand to include other platforms.
Your digital retail marketing strategy has to stretch across a few virtual platforms, leveraging each one’s unique benefits and features. General social media provides a great opportunity to get friendly and engage with your target audience. Your goal here is to slowly develop a rapport. Once you’ve established who your audience is, you must show up in their favourite places on the interwebs. If their demographic is most active on Instagram, focus your efforts there.
Social media is a great way to showcase who you are as a company. You may consider a behind-the-scenes exposé of the packaging process or you may campaign for causes your company cares about. Picture-centred platforms are great for modelling and staging products in an aesthetic way that sells. Meanwhile, you can also host contests, giveaways, and incentives to promote brand awareness. Like sending some free company merch.
These platforms also allow you to go live (80% of users prefer live videos to pre-recorded ones). You can interact and learn from your audience, while creating content based on fun themes like unboxings, displaying your company culture (pranks, a-day-at-the-office, etc), hosting useful surveys, and answering questions. All of this engagement increases your online presence and visibility. There are also so many opportunities to direct people over to your website or online store.
Social media and website platforms will provide you with audience analytics. Use them. Use any direct or indirect feedback you receive from your target audience and use it to tweak your digital retail marketing strategy. Listening to their needs will pay off with rewards in the short and long term.
Your digital retail marketing strategy is going to center around the products you’re trying to sell rather than your skill or service. This means you need to have quality products because people talk, and people review and rate ruthlessly online. Your prices will have to be fitting, competitive, and justified. That’s capitalism for you.
Pro Tip: Try rounding down so you make it into filtered search ranges ($49.99 instead of $50, so that users who filter out “items $50 and over” don’t lose your product).
Offer promotion incentives to show appreciation for the risk they’re taking on you. Flexible refunds and quality guarantees offer another way to get prospects to buy. Customers will feel reassured to see that you’re confident in your product. And the process is much less daunting when they know that their commitment reversible.
Offer exclusive content like free merch, giveaways, VIP access, loyalty programs, etc. so your customers feel special and like they’re getting something in return for their contribution.
At the end of the day, your digital marketing footprint needs to be intentional. It needs to capture your store accurately, and it needs to set you apart. Develop something valuable and then showcase it in a way people can’t resist.
For more marketing tips to grow your small business, check out our online resources here! Retailers Online has you covered.