How to make your digital storefront match your in-store experience
With the power of social media, you can reach more potential customers and start the customer journey at their fingertips by giving your store a digital presence. Why is it important to nail down your image online? Well, the below graphic explains it well and as you see 89% of people who follow a brand on social media will buy from that brand while 84% will choose that brand over a competitor. So let’s dive in and see how to make it happen. We will bring you through the main steps to help portray your brand and values online to help convert those viewers into followers and then into customers.
Offline and Online Store Appearance
The physical appearance of your store, externally and internally, is already part of your ‘four-walls’ marketing. This would include tasks you would do every day without even noticing for example, clean outside area, clean windows, tidy and clean interior and even the appearance and attitude of your staff. All these aspects create an experience for your customers when they enter starting from the look of exterior before the customers enter. Your store-front is the first thing that a customer and potential customer will see whether that is by walking or driving past on a day to day basis. These every day actions will make them notice and become familiar with your store.
This is the same way you should treat your social media page. Make sure you have all your basics right and easily viewable as soon as the viewer lands on your page. The basics include your cover and profile photos, about/bio section, opening hours, contact numbers and what you are about; this is often what customers are looking for.
Using your store front in your cover photo on Facebook and your logo as your profile is a great way for your customers to familiarise and relate your store page back to your store. As you can see below, this is a great representation of the store, the photograph is clear, good quality and the branding is clearly visible and repeated in the profile picture.
Take advantage of the ‘about’ section on all social channels. With a descriptive ‘about’ section on Facebook or bio on Instagram, you can target new visitors and give them an understanding about what you do and what your business is about. Make sure your opening hours are correct online and relate back to the sign you would see in the door or window of your store. This is all about mirroring the in store experience.
Going back to your four walls marketing, do you have posters in-store of your current deals? While this is a great method to push sales while the customers are in-store, what about customers who have not visited your store recently ro ever before? This is where social media posting and advertising can help. Make sure your deals and offers are reaching your online and offline audience. You never know, maybe someone sitting in their home scrolling Instagram would love a 2 for 1 deal on biscuits; and don’t forget that statistic...89% of people who follow a brand on social media will buy from that brand. This tactic can be particularly beneficial for when you have an excessive amount of stock you need to push.
There are a few ways in which you can promote your in-store deals online:
1. A post on all your social media channels
2. Promoting your deals post with some dedicated ad spend to help reach a wider and more targeted audience through Facebook Ads Manager
3. Facebook offers function
Customer satisfaction is a key factor to ensuring your customer will become loyal and revisit the store. When a customer is unsatisfied in-store the situation can be dealt with then and there. However, there will be a chance that customer concerns are not voiced until they are at home and online leading to negative reviews. Like an in-store complaint, you should not ignore online feedback and it’s important to tackle these issues quickly. 86% of consumers read reviews for local business and tend to trust online reviews as much as word of mouth. Responding to a negative online review gives you the chance to win your unhappy customer back while also showing others who may read the review that you value customer satisfaction.
To maintain this customer satisfaction online, acknowledge and reply to comments, private messages, and reviews as soon as possible as you would in-store. Have a dedicated manager on shift that would be responsible for responding to these reviews on Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook. If you are part of the Socio Local community, you can keep track of all these channels on SocioConnect using the Reputation as shown below or our soon to be delivered Inbox feature.
Your positive reviews should also be acknowledged by responding promptly to thank them for leaving the review. You could also share your positive reviews on your social media channels to help reach a larger audience so they are aware of your great service. You can read more about the importance of online reviews in this article ‘Don’t the bad apple get you’.
Showcase your Team
When customers enter your store they are greeted and served by familiar faces whether they are from the area or a long time team member. Showcasing your team on your social media channels can help increase your online engagement organically. A simple image of your team in-store can help show the personal side of your business and makes your online potential customer feel a more human connection to your store rather than a page that just promotes deals and products.
Support your Community
Customers also feel more connected to businesses that take part in their community. Just like sharing images of your team, make sure to showcase your community efforts especially at a time like this and in a world of Covid-19, people are craving community. Use your digital presence to spread the word on how you are contributing to your local community, showcase your different services and the efforts you are making.
Matching your digital storefront to your store is so important to help consumers get a feel of your brand and your values. Now more than ever,consumers are limiting their time in public spaces so online has to become part of your marketing strategy. Make sure your social profiles are branded, make sure you are sharing the excellent deals you have on offer and make sure your content is relevant to your customers and what they are looking for.
We hope this has helped you get a few tips for small changes you can make yourself with your online marketing. If you need any help or advice, please feel free to get in touch.