Online Marketing Tips for Retailers
Increase Exposure by Marketing Online
When you're opening a brick and mortar retail shop, chances are you're planning for a grand opening or ribbon cutting. Marketing and advertising to get the word out about your new business were probably one of your top concerns. Marketing online is just as important for a retail store.
Don't just sit there watching cobwebs gather on your website. Whether you sell products online or have a one-page website, there are many ways to generate more in-store traffic from your online presence. Increase exposure online with these Internet marketing tips for your retail store.
Send a Press Release
One of the fastest ways to spread the word about your store, and products or services, is by sending a press release. Media outlets all thrive on press releases every day. The abundance of online news distribution services is now making it easier than ever for retailers to announce new product lines, special events, and other shop news.
Submit Product Feeds
Retailers that sell products online should most definitely be using product feeds to reach a broader audience. A product feed is simply a file generated from the website that lists product details such as photos, descriptions, pricing and even specials. These product feeds can be submitted to shopping comparison websites, search engines and also made available to customers using feed readers.
Share Your Knowledge
There are many ways a retailer can appear as an expert or voice of authority in a certain industry. One way is to host classes, seminars or workshops in-store. Another way is by signing up to teach related continuing education courses at the local college.
Internet retailers have known for years that one popular way to share knowledge and gain extra exposure is by writing content for free distribution. Article marketing, as it is known, can increase awareness of a retailer's presence, online and off.
Create a Newsletter
Newsletter and email marketing are key in keeping in touch with the customers you have managed to get in your store or on your website. It takes a lot of work to gain a customer. Why let them leave without offering a way to stay in contact?
Submit Your Site
Many new website owners submit their site to the major search engines and then sit back and wait for customers to come. While this is an important step for marketing online, website owners often overlook all the other directories available.
Look for specialized link directories and niche sites to submit your business information and website. Not only will these directories help increase your link popularity, but they can drive highly targeted traffic to your retail store.
Google, Yahoo, Superpages and other directories and search engines are creating tools for local shoppers to find your business, provide maps of location, hours of operation and even coupons. Many of these listings are free with upgrade options for a fee.
Create Your Own Commercials
If your store has paid for a print display ad in the local newspaper, you may know how ineffective marketing can be without word of mouth or a visual advertising campaign. Radio and television marketing may be too pricey for your shop's budget, but there is another option.
Video marketing online allows a retailer to extend the reach of their message to a larger audience for little investment. Unlike traditional marketing, producing a unique online ad or video to convey your message or brand your store can have an extremely high ROI.
Join Social Networking
Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn may or may not help you sell your products but if that's where your customers hang out, maybe you should too. The blogs on these sites can help retailers keep in touch with shoppers, make announcements or feature new merchandise and promotions.
One very popular and effective method of Internet marketing for retailers is the affiliate program. This is the process in which a retailer pays one or more affiliates for each sale or customer gained as a direct result of the affiliate's marketing efforts. The retailer generally provides banners, buttons or product feeds for the affiliate's use.
Many retailers manage their own affiliate programs while others opt to use a third party to track sales, orders, and payments to the affiliate. The amount of commission or bonus paid out is determined by the retailer and outlined an affiliate agreement.
Give Something Away
Shoppers love to get something for nothing! Retailers know this and have used freebies and giveaways as marketing tools for decades. Pens with the business name on them at the checkout counter and shopping bags with store logo are so commonplace in a retail store that we may not even see them as marketing items. Unfortunately, these items can become quite costly.
Not all giveaways must be expensive. A big advantage of marketing online is the opportunity to easily and quickly offer contests, coupon codes, product samples and even valuable content as promotional giveaways.