It’s the Holiday season and the malls are empty. It really doesn’t feel like Christmas is in the air. Retailers are devaluing their products to get consumers to buy. Their strategies include everything from Buy One Get One Free Deals, Gift with Purchase Incentives and significant discounts to get foot traffic. I even saw on the news this morning that a high end retail store was offering free limo rides to the mall for pregnant women to make it convenient for them to shop.
While retailers are fighting to get foot traffic in a down economy many of them aren’t taking into consideration that the malls are also slow due to the convenience of online shopping. In addition to investing efforts in in-store promotions and discounts, retailers also need to invest in their internet marketing strategy. The majority of consumers will enter your website to do research before entering your actual store. Your website is the first impression people get about your business so if your website is set up properly it will boost sales and make up for some of the revenue you’re losing in-store. Here are some things to consider.
E-Commerce website: Is your website set up so customers can easily shop online? The navigation should be simple. Make sure your products have an easy search function. Your product descriptions and photos should be clear. Your check out process should also be simple.
Online Promotions: Are your in-store promotions being offered online? The great thing about online promotions is you can offer many more incentives that don’t devalue your product such as free shipping with any order over a certain amount, free gift wrapping or a discount code for future orders.
Build Customer Relationships: If your website is set up properly it can be a powerful tool to stay in touch with your customer to build a relationship for future sales. Once a customer purchases several products you can set up your website so it starts generating recommendations for future purchases. You can also start an email marketing campaign to keep them up to date with specials and discounts. Engage your customer through social media optimization with blogs and social networks so they feel compelled to come back and make future purchases.