For most retailers, making a direct sales pitch to their customers is something they’d prefer to avoid. And with good reason—generally accepted wisdom suggests that people will buy when the product is great and the customer service is exceptional, rather than when they receive a direct ask.
That being said, a comprehensive marketing strategy remains a necessary tool in business. Though products and services are crucial to success, without the right messaging and tools to promote them, you’ll leave money on the table. This holds true regardless of whether you’ve been in business for three months or three decades.
Luckily, there are a variety of ways you can get the word out to your audience.
1. Make it easy for them to find you
Your potential customers use many online tools to find what they want, and it’s crucial that your company show up as their friendly neighborhood destination. Apple Maps, Google, and Yelp are some of the most popular directories that connect consumers with local businesses.
Not only will people want to find you, but they’ll also want to know if it’s worth making the trip. Services such as Yext and TribeLocal allow companies to take back their narrative by providing a platform to supply facts about your organization and answers to commonly asked questions.
2. Be social
It’s no secret that social media is an essential tool in modern marketing. But which platforms should you use? Retailers should stick to the big three—Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. They’re the most popular destinations for users who want to share their latest purchase or experience, and many people use Pinterest in particular to research products before they buy.
So what exactly should you do on these platforms?
Set up a Facebook Group. These communities give like-minded people a space to gather virtually and share their passions, from classic cars to knitting to vegan places to eat at Disney World.
Invest in Facebook Ads. A great complement to Groups, Facebook Ads let you target your pitch based on a wide variety of factors, including location, interests, and recent purchases.
Dive into Instagram. Because it is a photo- and video-based platform, Instagram is a great place to push your visual brand identity. Their Stories option lets you take advantage of ephemeral marketing—messaging that has a finite lifespan, usually 24 hours—a great way to present more casual, behind-the-scenes features.
Set up a Pinterest board. Boards are ways to organize your pins by topic. Make it easy for your audience to find you by pinning a mix of your own content and great stuff that others have posted.
3. Optimize your space
No matter how amazing your online content or SEO may be, the experience people have when they walk in the door is what they will remember. What story are you telling with the setup of your space?
“Lake-front property.” This is the hottest part of the store and it generates the majority of your sales. Put your best displays here—the cool, new things that you want to move.
Windows. Rotate your displays monthly throughout the year and more often during the holidays. They are great ways to tell stories unique to your business.
By the curb. Make sure this area is clean and welcoming, perhaps with exterior signage that draws people into your store.
Counters. Make sure anyone working the counters can clearly see when people come in and out. A friendly greeting can set a good tone at the outset of a customer’s visit.
Point of sale. The end of a customer’s visit presents a great opportunity to push a new promotion or loyalty program because they will have to pause for a moment to process the transaction.
4. Be an expert
More than ever, your customers know what they want. With the whole world on their phones, they walk into your store armed with an encyclopedia’s worth of detail on your products. Your staff needs to rise to the challenge and be prepared to answer any questions customers may have regarding everything from how to use and/or style your products to the fine print of your return policy.
5. Stay in touch
That moment when a customer pays for your product or service is a key chance to deepen their engagement with your company. The ideal way to accomplish this is to tie their email address to a loyalty program. Any POS solution worth its salt will already have this functionality and easily allow you to build a customer database.
From that point on, every visit that customer makes will be tied to that email, allowing you to anticipate their buying patterns, offer them recommendations or discounts, and reduce their wait time during future visits because their payment method will already be on file.
6. Harness the power of your POS
There are countless ways to grow your retail sales, but they won’t mean a thing without the right tools in place to maximize their effectiveness. A comprehensive payment system like Poynt gives you powerful marketing tools that can turn potential customers into loyal advocates.
An excellent product deserves an excellent marketing toolkit with which to sell it. Although social media presence, e-commerce, and in-store experience are important, they all are moving the customer toward a single destination: the sale.
Poynt's connected payment solution takes your customer over the finish line and gives them reason to come back (and bring their friends).