Not all retailers feel that they have the budget for online marketing but ignoring local search and social media just to spend on less efficient advertising channels could be foolish.
We all know someone who is an entrepreneur. Some of these risk takers have opened retail shops in local markets or created an online business. Online retailers know that online marketing is part of their business plan. Some local brick and mortar retailers may not have included online marketing in their business plan, at least as far as paid online advertising.
It is very hard for a new business to build significant organic reach in their first year of business. That is why new retailers need to invest in paid advertising to fill gaps in organic search. The paid channels that best apply to their business will vary. Considerations for Google SEM, display, and retargeting as well as running paid campaigns on Facebook and Instagram should be carefully discussed with an agency partner.
In the example below, Interwoven is one of Asbury Park’s most popular clothing store but they don’t appear when a consumer searches “asbury park clothing store“. The store does appear when the consumer adds the word “boutique” but that will be less common.
Based on keyword volume, retailers will need help to develop a list of keywords that their business does not show in organic results.
Navigation, Reputation, and Social
In the example above, Google Maps provides navigational assistance but it also tells consumers a little about public perception. The owner of Interwoven is obviously doing a great job serving consumers (5.0 Stars) but with only 20 reviews, her business does not stand out from other local choices. Based on consumer feedback, she should also have the highest number of reviews of all Asbury Park retailers. This is an opportunity for improvement.
Collecting more reviews is easier than post business owners think. As long as the retailer is providing great service, getting more reviews will depend on how easy the owner makes it for their fans to post reviews. Localiente has developed proven strategies to increase reviews to build a stronger local brand message.
Social media is also key to helping local retailers grow their client base. Instagram is a killer application for clothing stores. You can see that Interwoven is doing a great job merchandising and publicizing their clothes online. So it would be a great next step to add some paid advertising on social media as well as in local SEM to generate more eyeballs on their great clothing selections.
Be Your Customer
Retailers need to test the visibility of their business in Google search, Facebook, and YouTube. They must also check how the store’s website appears on a mobile phone. Too many retail website fail to perform adequately on a smartphone. Advertising online makes sense but only when the landing pages from organic and paid campaigns deliver a great first impression.
In the image gallery above, you can see that the store’s Google My Business listing (Image A) has been claimed and merchandised. It needs more reviews, as previously discussed and possibly a better cover photo.
The home page of the e-commerce website (Image B) loaded fast. It had clear navigation and a promotional pop-up to save 15% off the first order. Shopping by category (Image C) was easy and the product pages (Image D) were clean. Merchandising was enhanced by offering a payment plan, which is smart. Bravo!
When retailers fully engage with their customers online and in their stores, retention and profits increase. Need help? Set up a free consultation using the link below.