Today I have some advice for my retail readers, specifically the brick and click retailers who sell IRL as well as online.
This is a great time of year to refresh your website to encourage your visitors to shop for the holidays.
It’s not the best time of year to work on search for the holidays. That ship has probably sailed. So if you want to encourage your customers to come and shop with you online — and that includes browsing and then coming to your physical store — then it’s time for some physical world web marketing.
This is a good thing to do all year long, of course, but it’s especially important when you have a short-term objective. With Christmas only 20 days away, getting your share of the holiday shopping is definitely a short-term objective.
Here’s a list of things you can do to meet that objective:
- Have your staff mention the website to shoppers. They can say, “Have you visited our website?” as they check people out, or “We don’t have those in the store right now, but we still have them online. Let me help you order it right now so it’ll reach you in time.” Have cards with your URL to hand out, along with those friendly reminders. My favorite way to do that is with a bookmark saying, “Bookmark us!” Print them out on cardstock if the budget is tight, and tuck them into bags or hand them to customers.
- Put your web address on every thing in your shop that will take ink. Get a stamp made and stamp your bags, your brochures, the paper napkins by the coffeepot… Hand that stamp to your most creative out-of-the-box thinker and get that web address out there.
- Be prepared to help. Some of your shoppers go to the internet first, but some have trouble. Offer to help customers who express discomfort with ordering online. Also consider offering special deals for customers’ first online order — once they try it, they’ll like it. If you choose to do this, print flyers and put them into bags or into the hands of those who come in but don’t shop. When they get home and wish they’d bought that item, they’ll be able to find your website easily to make the purchase.