Therefore, it is important independent retailers spread the word about their business, said Elie Y. Katz, president and CEO of National Retail Solutions (NRS). While there are a few ways to do so, one of the most important is a strong online presence. Katz provides a variety of tips for independent retailers that can help increase their online visibility.
“It is worth designing a logo that captures who you are, for use on your signage, and on your website and social media accounts,” Katz said. “A designer can assist you in choosing type fonts, colors. It’s valuable to build an online presence that is consistent with your theme and scheme at your brick and mortar store, if you have a physical location.”
The first step into the online world is building a website. A website can be free and simple to create. “However, it could be beneficial to hire a developer to design something that really stands out. A functional, clean, and updated website shows your shoppers you care and put effort into it,” Katz said.
In addition, the same should be true with your social media. Many buyers look to sites like Facebook and Instagram to discover businesses. Without these tools, it may be more difficult to find any information about your company. “Once you have these platforms, the connection between you and your customers is stronger,” Katz said. “You are able to post pictures of products, prices, special offers, and other important information. Finally, your website and social media should be easy to find from search engines.”
Another way to gain online attention is through advertising. Some examples include sending out email blasts or running ads on social media sites. “First, mailing lists are a really easy way to communicate with existing and potential customers. Marketing tools such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact can be extremely beneficial,” Katz said. “On the other hand, using social media to reach a greater number of people can be worth looking into. Each site has different procedures for advertising. Therefore, it is important to check out the details before running anything. If you decide to utilize this tool, make sure the information is clear and eye-catching. People are quick to scroll past ads.”
Furthermore, most sites offer a way to see data analytics on your advertisements. This will allow you to see what posts gain the most attention, the types of views you are getting, and the regions you are reaching. Overtime, it can help you adjust your ads to better fit your business.
Next, online reviews are vital to attracting customers, especially new ones. The importance of sharing feedback should not be underestimated. First, they allow for your business to gain credibility. It is not uncommon for scammers to create websites and advertisements just to trick shoppers. “However, this can be avoided through others sharing their experiences with you. The more positive reviews you can share, the better you will be able to present yourself. These comments have the potential to boost your sales against a competitor,” Katz said.
If you do not have any feedback to share yet, consider adding a way for buyers to communicate with you. They should be able to fill out a form, survey, send an email, or call. This also is important for overall shopper support. Whether it is positive or negative, it can greatly benefit you. You will either have a review to share or constructive criticism to help you in the future. Plus, customers will appreciate you listening to their opinions.
“In conclusion, there are a multitude of ways for an independent retailer to gain more attention online. In this piece, I discussed different methods, such as utilizing social media, online advertising tools, and the importance of displaying customer reviews,” Katz said. “Every business requires something different. However, utilizing a combination of the tips mentioned above can really make an impact.”