Even in the tech-savvy world we live in today, many small business owners still don’t see the digital space as a major marketing tool for their customers. Well, I beg to differ.
Even if your business is doing well, thriving even, there is always room for growth. I mean, who couldn’t use a little more money in the bank these days?
Here are five ways to utilize technology and improve your current clientele experience while appealing to potential customers in your area and remotely.
1. Company Website
Even if you don’t plan on selling actual merchandise online, your company’s website says more than your think to the average consumer. Even setting up basic web presence and updated landing page will provide consumers with details about your brand, the services you provide, hours of operation, company profile, etc. Consult with a web designer or set one up for free through WordPress, Tumblr, WIX, etc. It is important to have a clean, update website, where consumers can access from any device and get the information they need to find you!
Almost everyone has a smartphone, so it seems logical that many of your customers would be driven to purchase and access information through mobile devices. Mobile sites allow the viewer to see your website more clearly on smaller screens. It is extremely important to the customer’s experience. No one wants to have to squint to see tiny font and a small screen.
Another option—if you want to go for a higher quality and more interactive experience with your customer—is to explore mobile responsive designs. These are what you could call, “the one-size fits all,” web design that allows the viewer to see the site on any device clearly, with the ability to still click to any links or images. Mobile apps (applications that can be downloaded and installed to a mobile device) can also be used to share news with your customers and information in an instant, and they aren’t just reserved for Fortune 500 companies. Many app building companies can deliver a useful product to your business for around $5,000.
3. Social Media
I know this probably sounds like an old song, but none the less, it is CRITICAL for all companies (from small, family-owned to fortune 500 companies) to have a presence on social media. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ are easy to use and provide a FREE service to benefit your clients and your brand. Anything from actual products, increasing in-store and online sales, promotions, deals and events can be uploaded and shared instantly to the masses. In today’s society, setting up social media pages for your business will only drive sales and expand your customer base.
4. Newsletter (eNewsletter)
This is an easy way to reach your current customers and keep them coming back. Newsletters can offer customers a little snapshot of local news, tips, discounts, in-store events, etc. Print off as a leave behind for customers in-store, hand out around town or slip a copy into a store braded bag at checkout. If you have a string social presence, rewards members, email list, etc., blast out the newsletter electronically and cut out your paper cost. For a list of easy to use and free newsletter templates, you can search online or use Microsoft Word or Publisher to customize for your business. Online services like Constant Contact and Mailchimp even come with templates and signup forms that make designing and managing your newsletter a breeze!
5. In-store kiosks
Setting up a few iPad or tablet stations in store can be a fun way to showcase product and offer customers the ability to see pricing information, deals of the day and ask questions. This has also been referred to as “showrooming,” and this can be a huge sales driver for small businesses.
The technology allows the customer to use services like self-checkout on the tablet or device and then after drive customers to sign up for newsletters, emails and even drive to social media pages. I love to go into a store, walk up to a kiosk or interactive iPad station and find in-store coupons and promotional offers to redeem at the store’s website at a later time. Customers can also find a price on a specific item or search frequently asked questions on the site, without having to find a live person (really handy, especially if your store is low on staff). Showrooming is a fun and interactive way to get customers involved while also providing you with the opportunity to communicate post-sale.
These digital marketing tools will provide your business with the opportunity to reach more than just passerby’s and frequent visitors, while giving you the competitive advantage and bring your brand full circle.