Do you have difficulty coming up with new coupons each month? Coupons and discount savings are meant to be incentives to your customers, a thank you for shopping with you. Give them the deals that they will want on the items that they buy most. You may ask “How do I know what my customers want each month?” The answer is very simple; let them decide!
The process can be fun and simple! On a white board or poster behind the register/counter, come up with 10 coupons that are directly related to the month or season going on. Create coupons that your customers will be interested in for the time frame approaching. For the entire month allow your customers who are checking out to vote for the coupon they would like to see next month.
At the end of the month, tally up all of the votes and use the top two or three highest voted coupons as your specials for the following month. Come up with some new coupons so that you have 10 more for the following month and repeat the process every month. This will keep your customers involved in the day-to-day happenings at your store and it will ensure that you are giving your customers exactly what they want!
Enticing your customers in to your store is almost like a math formula, appearance + products + marketing + deals = Customer Success, however there are formulas that exist within these categories that help secure your customer’s attention, such as good product, good deal.
Now what does this mean, good product, good deal; this idea is based on enticing your customer to be on the lookout for deals on the products that they want and need. This does not necessarily mean having a ton of specials and coupons available, but one or two very specific deals that your customers will be relieved and excited to see.
For example, winter is coming, so what products are you as a consumer going to be looking for? Shovels, snow blowers, coats, gloves, heated dog bowls, so on and so forth, whatever your specialty may be, I’m sure there are one or two items that you will grab on your way home from work. These are the products that you should be thinking about providing deals for. High demand seasonal products are a sure way to keep your customers focused on what you have to offer, driving more interest in your website, your store, and anywhere else you choose to market.
Other ideas would be to look at your website analytics and see where some of your traffic is coming from, focus on traffic from manufacturers, or the search words that consumers used to find you. Another great idea is looking back and seeing what sold at this time last year, any information used to make an informed decision on what is not only a good deal, but a product that your customers crave!
Use your website analytics to your advantage! Commonly, small business owners make the mistake of just glancing at their stats each month. If traffic is up, they are pleased. At New Media Retailer, we encourage you to take a closer look at your analytics and really note the most viewed pages to develop your marketing plan.
The most popular pages on your website illustrate what your customers are interested in. Did a specific product draw in more visitors than before? If so, you may want to consider adding similar products to meet their needs. Perhaps you can center a special promotion around a specific product or seasonal item to your coupon page to gain exposure. This is a great way to meet the needs of not only your current, but also future customers.
The most time spent on specific pages is also a good way to learn about your customers. If they are taking the time to read about the content on your page, utilize this information in your marketing efforts moving forward in the months ahead. This is also a great way to determine what’s working and what is not. Each business is unique to their own clientele.
In an effort to identify what your customers are looking for, and to meet their needs faster, use your analytics as a tool when developing your next marketing plan.
The holidays are a great time to connect with customers, especially on social media. When you’re thinking about what you’re going to do inside your store to celebrate the holidays, be thinking about the same thing for social media. What are you going to do on your Facebook or Twitter pages that are going to set you apart from your competition?
This holiday season could be the perfect time to add the personal touch to your Facebook or Twitter page that you’ve been looking for! Take a look at what other local businesses, or even your competition, are doing on social media, and think to yourself, “What can I do to make this better?”
Here are some ideas of holiday posts that can show your customers how much you care:
- Food drive
- Informational posts leading up to the food drive event
- Employees volunteering at a Food Bank/Community Pantry
- Informational posts on how others can volunteer
- Informational posts on how others can volunteer
- Donate to a charity
- Informational posts on how others can volunteer
Posts such as these will show your customers how much you care about the community, which adds value to your business in the eyes of the consumer. Adding posts such as these will help to enhance your Facebook and Twitters pages, because they will be educational and entertaining (pictures). Picture posts of your store decorated for the season can help add some variety to your page and keep the engagement up as well!
If you haven’t taken the opportunity to do some marketing research on the surrounding area and your competitors, you may be missing out on sizeable information that can enhance your business in many ways.
Company profiling basically is market research within your surrounding area. It is used to gather business intelligence on competitors, customers, suppliers and possible prospects. It can help with evaluating new business opportunities, planning marketing strategies and campaigns, preparing sales and financial forecasts and tracking trends in your specific industry.
Some of the awesome information you can gain from investing in a company profile are:
- Advertising Targeting Zones—what areas to target when you advertise pieces
- Household counts
- Median household income
- Distance to your store
- Age median
- Surrounding areas where there is increased propensity to purchase products (ie: Pet, Lawn & Garden, etc)
As an example, a local business (Feed, Farm, Pet, Lawn & Garden) in Vermont had a company profile completed. Based on the information that was provided to them, these were the top two items that they focused in on:
- Pet and Lawn & Garden stores were not in the immediate area. There was not a direct competitor within 25 miles of their business. Focusing on customizing flyers and special offers on their website to enhance the Pet and Lawn & Garden presence is a must.
- The age median was 50-59. Focusing on that median age and possibly creating a 55+ discount program on slow days can really target in on that age group.
If you would like to maximize a targeted consumer base, have an edge on your competitors, better prepare your business’ sales and financial forecasts, track industry trends, and help evaluate new business opportunities, utilizing marketing research is a sure win for you and your team!
The holidays are one of the most exciting times of the year! Everyone is in the seasonal mood, the weather has changed, and it is a great time to be around your family! Holiday parties, eggnog, winter decorations and lights are present everywhere that you go. The winter season is the perfect time of the year to do something fun and different in the store! Use it as an opportunity to help grow something that is essential to your marketing capabilities and customer outreach; your email list!
It is essential to think of something for your store that is seasonal, fun and will show appreciation to your customers! When decorating for the winter season, a tree is usually a safe bet! They can be simple, elegant and are easy to setup and maintain.
In this scenario, a tree small enough to go on or near the counter would work best. Decorate the tree however you want but be sure to place a good amount of ornaments on the tree. When a customer comes to cash out, ask them if they would like to sign up for your email list. In doing, so they will be able to pick an ornament from the tree. Each ornament will be associated with a certain prize for the customer!
There a few ways to go about this. You can just write on the ornament 10% off, $5 off, buy one get one free, 25% off, and so on! Or you can simply write numbers 1 through 10 on all of the ornaments and have a list at the register as to what the numbers correlate to. Either way, the same goal is being accomplished and you are rewarding your customers for shopping with you during the holiday season and growing your email list as well!
We all know how hectic the holiday season can be. We also know how much business is done during these months. There’s no doubt that the internet is at its prime when the holidays roll around, people are always on websites looking for gift ideas and purchasing massive amounts of gifts online. This is the time to really begin promoting not only your business, but also your website.
There’s no better way to send season’s greetings than with Holiday cards! We all get them every year from family, friends, and even friends of family friends. Holiday cards is a great way to send the Holiday cheer, and also, to promote your business and website. The best thing to do is get addresses for your customers for a mailing list. Then get together a nice Holiday card wishing them a Happy Holiday and thanking them for their loyalty and their business. This is the best way to promote your website because in the card you can include your website address, which in turn will increase your website traffic during the busy Holiday season.
Encouraging people to get to your website can be tricky at times. This is why using a simple Holiday card to send around to your customers can be so effective in promoting your website.
People always say how important it is to encourage customer reviews about your business, and they are right. Businesses have benefited from word-of-mouth marketing for years. Consumers trust reviews because they are reading them through the trusting words of their peers, which creates an enormous amount of value for your business. But did you know customer reviews can actually help improve your SEO?
Customer reviews can help improve your SEO in more ways than one. Let’s focus specifically on your Google+ Local page (formerly known as Google Place Page) for today. Google treats search results for Local pages the same way it treats organic search results, which means that Google will always display the most relevant content first. Think of Google+ Local as a prioritized listing of Google’s best recommendations for you. Google displays the pages in order of importance, and thanks to its new algorithm, reviews play a huge part in that.
Customers have the ability to describe your business in a way that you may have never thought of. When customers describe your business through online reviews they are creating authentic content, which means they are generating keywords to describe their experience. This helps Google be able to prioritize listings based on keywords provided by your customers.
It’s important to encourage customer reviews on your Google+ Local page, but it’s not realistic to assume all of the ratings will be 5-star ratings. As a small business owner, you have the opportunity to connect with each of your customers, so most of the reviews will be good. But what should you do if you get a few bad reviews? Respond! In fact, Google prefers that you do so. It only helps your page become more authentic.
Remember, it’s okay if you don’t get thirty reviews overnight, allow your page to gain reviews naturally. Let customers know the link to your page through your Facebook page, website, and email marketing campaigns, and encourage them to post. But don’t pay for posts, Google will catch on and won’t find as much value in your page.
Want to drive repeat customer visits? Want a tangible way to track your traffic coming through your doors? Want sales to continue through your slow season? If your answer is yes, which it should be, think about bounce back offers!
Simply put, a bounce back is a come back! You extend an offer to your customers, and the customers grab that offer and bring it back to you! It can be as simple as a “$5 off your next $25 dollar purchase when you sign up for our email.” There are several advantages to creating a bounce back to draw customers back to your business:
- You are peaking the interest of new and existing customers.
- You are offering an incentive to come back to the store, which benefits you and your customers.
- You have the opportunity to reach a whole new realm of customers…everyone wants a deal these days.
- You are showing your customers your appreciation for them by offering them a special.
- You are keeping it simple for you, your staff and your customers. It is important to “keep it simple” in a high-speed world. Everyone can appreciate simplicity and convenience.
- Aren’t all of these great enough reasons?
The great thing about a bounce back coupon offer is that it can be customized and tailored to fit your individual business. Perhaps you want to focus on a new product (redeem coupon to receive a free sample of …), begin a donation drive to support a local charity (donate $5 and receive a buy 1 get 1 offer, or $ off next purchase), or increase your customer reach with obtaining emails ($5 off your next purchase when you sign up for our email). I think you get the picture.
No matter what you choose as your business’ bounce back, the main focus is to drive those customers back to your store. Giving your customers an incentive whether it be a gift, a chance to win, a special offer, will keep them coming back.
*Show your appreciation to your customers; thoughtfulness counts!*
Using QR Codes To Promote Your Website:
QR codes are a great way to promote your website. If you haven’t noticed recently, they are everywhere! Next time you are flipping through a magazine, taking a drink out of a water or soda bottle, or in the mall looking at a product that you may want to potentially buy, take a close look and see if there is a QR code on or near the product. Now the question, what exactly is a QR code? A QR code is a matrix barcode that can be scanned and read by QR scanners. The most popular form of QR scanners is the QR code app on smart phones (iPod, Blackberry, Android, etc.)
QR codes are used to promote everything. People promote businesses, places, websites, products, blogs, even resumes for those who are desperate to find a job. The reason why these are so effective is because they are easy to make and you can literally put them anywhere. If someone sees it and has a smart phone, they can scan the code and it will take them to where the link was set.
This is why QR codes are such a great tool in trying to promote your website. It takes a few minutes to make one and you can link it to your website. You can even link it to a specific page on your website. After establishing your QR code you can put it literally anywhere. If you have a place of business where customers are always in and out, put them all over the store or at the front desk. You could even put them on your receipts. Put them on flyers, on emails, and any other place you can think of.
QR codes are a great effective way of promoting your website. You can’t forget the curious factor that many people would have when they see a QR code, more times than not, they will scan it just to see what it is. If you haven’t started using QR codes, do some research and start, you can’t go wrong using these to promote your website, business, or anything!