Even though you run a physical retail store, you likely already know the advantages of connecting with your customers online. However, finding ways to engage customers might be more difficult than if you run an online business. Most companies then start considering how to approach and engage with customers both in-person and online. Here are six ways businesses can engage in-store customers online to encourage higher levels of customer involvement and facilitate growth.
1. Share social media information
When looking for ways for how to engage customers, social media should be one of the first ideas you think of. If your company does not already have a presence on social media, you should set up profiles on the most relevant sites as soon as possible. Nearly all businesses benefit from having a presence and staying engaged on social media. It allows your customers to stay up to date with store news and it’s an excellent way to advertise deals and promotions. Information regarding your social media presence can be displayed on banners at your store, on business cards, above the register and other places where customers are likely to notice it.
2. Use QR codes
QR codes can be scanned by smartphones, which most customers now have, to direct them to a website, mailing list or coupon. QR codes can be used on printed banners or sidewalk advertising signs to draw the attention of passerby and provide them with additional information. This could convince people who might not have been sure about entering your store otherwise. Even if they choose not to enter your store at that time, they may be intrigued by what they read online later and either make an online purchase or return to your physical location.
3. Post photos
Photos connect your online audience to what’s going on in your physical store more than anything else. Customers will be able to see events that have transpired at your store or view new products that have just arrived. If they see something of interest, they will likely choose to stop by your physical store to pick it up. Photos also tend to catch the eye better on social media, which draws greater levels of attention to your business. In-store customers may enjoy seeing photos of themselves on your social media feeds, which can cause them to become more loyal to your brand. Video can be valuable as well for similar reasons.
4. Offer coupons in-store for online purchases
To encourage customers to visit your site or online store, you can hand out special promotional flyers or coupons in-store for an online-only discount. This not only draws attention to your online presence but is a good way of collecting e-mail information from customers who may be reluctant to provide it in-person. Of course, you must allow customers to opt-out of any e-mail newsletter correspondence, but you can leave that box checked by default to draw in more subscribers who may find your e-mail newsletters useful.
5. Offer the same or better pricing online
If a customer cannot afford to make a purchase right then and there but still seems interested, they should be told they can purchase the same item online. This puts them off the spot and makes them more comfortable, as well as gives them the option of purchasing the item later if they aren’t sure. They may be more likely to buy later if they aren’t feeling pressured to buy now. Items online should be priced either the same or for less than they are in-store to encourage a purchase.
6. Ask for feedback
A final way you can engage in-store customers online is to include online survey information on every receipt or hand it out at the register. In exchange for completing the survey, you can offer free items, discounts or other incentives. The feedback your company receives from the surveys is invaluable to bettering your offerings and the way you do business. Make sure any surveys are not too long. Customers are busy and might become irritated or bored. If they feel that way, they are not likely to complete the survey. Consider questions where the answers would be most beneficial to your business operations and only ask the most important ones.
In order for your store to have a strong online presence, you need to promote it and engage your customers both online and offline. This is especially true if you just set up a website or opened an online store. Utilize the above methods for engaging in-store customers online in order to grow and expand your business.