10 tips for retailers looking to bring in sales during the new year
To better compete in-store and online, it’s important for retailers to maximize their current technology investments and innovate. Celerant’s retail technology experts compiled a Top Ten list of ways retailers can improve customer experience, lower operating costs and, most importantly, boost sales. Each one of these concepts is supported by Celerant’s retail solution, and we encourage you to pick the ones that make the most sense for your business.
Have questions? We would be happy to discuss any of these ideas with you.
- Personalize Your Email Campaigns (Marketing Automation): Shoppers are tired of generic emails; they actually WANT to be engaged by their preferred retailers based on their preferences. By leveraging the data in your CRM, you can segment your consumers and personalize email campaigns that are actually meant for them – increasing the chances they will click and convert into a sale.
- Rank Your E-Commerce Website (SEO): As more and more retailers compete online, it’s crucial to earn SEO in the right, sustainable way – whether you want to be found locally or nationally. With an effective and ongoing SEO strategy, you will increase web traffic to your site, organically, ultimately increasing conversions and revenue.
- Sell Vendor Stock Online and Drop Ship (Vendor Integrations): Leverage your vendors/distributors full product line and offer a wider variety of goods to your customers on your website. Eliminate the need to stock vendor merchandise by taking advantage of their live inventory feeds/current MSRPs directly on your site and having them drop ship direct to your customers. Or if you do choose to stock your inventory, order ‘just in time’, and send automated PO’s based on Min/Max levels within your retail software.
- Sell Products through Third-Parties (Channel Integration): If you aren’t using channel partners such as Amazon, eBay, and Walmart, you are giving up sales. By selling through these Marketplaces, you get instant access to their tremendous market reach, increasing your online sales. You can also offload fulfillment, payment processing and customer service to Amazon, and offer free 2-day shipping for Amazon Prime members (major hit with consumers).
- Optimize & Automate Online Order Fulfillment (‘Best Store’ Fulfillment): How can you compete with retailers offering fast or free shipping? By leveraging all your stores as a fulfillment center factoring in: Location, stock levels, weeks of supply, planned promotions, partial/complete shipment options, staffing and pickup frequency – you can optimize fulfillment to the fullest. That way, you can provide faster delivery at a fraction of the cost with reduced manual labor.
- Let Your Customers Promote Your Brand (Social Media): Social media is one of the fastest growing marketing tools today- it can either make or break a small business. Smart retailers are catching on and encouraging their customers to share posts, pictures, stories and reviews of their products – all of which helps grow your brand without being intrusive. Marketing Rule 101- “let your customers tell your story”.
- Sell Your Brand via Storytelling (Videos):Videos are the ultimate branding tool; millennials spend 50% more time watching videos than average internet users. Using videos, retailers can effectively showcase their products and educate consumers to increase sales. And you don’t need expensive videos to be effective; start off with a few short videos using your mobile phone.
- Connect with the “Mobile Customer” (Mobile POS): Consumers are always on; they compare prices with competitors on YOUR sales floor; they read online reviews before buying; they receive instant alerts from auction sites; and pay using mobile devices. By arming your staff with mobile POS, you can take transactions and assist consumers wherever they are, before losing them to a competitor.
- Build Consumer Confidence (Online Reviews): By having product reviews on your website (or social media channels), you automatically build consumer confidence in your brand and increase the chances they will shop with you, as opposed to relying on the reviews on your supplier’s (or competitor’s) sites. Online reviews also increase content on your product pages, which positively impacts your SEO. Send automated emails after each purchase, showing the product they bought, thanking them for their order and encouraging them to quickly and easily ‘Click Here’ to post an online review on your website.
- Incentivize Customers (Loyalty Programs): Retailers that offer ‘VIP’ or ‘Reward Clubs’ not only retain their customers through incentives and promotions, they gain valuable customer data and can earn recurring revenue stream through various levels of membership. Allow members to then use their club cards both in-store and online, and offer rewards for future purchases.