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3 Ways to Use Digital Marketing for Brick and Mortar Locations

Dec 15, 2022
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3 Ways To Use Digital Marketing for Brick and Mortar LocationsDigital marketing is not just for online businesses. Brick-and-mortar locations can also use the power of digital marketing to drive new business. Consumers today use the internet for more than just online shopping. In fact, most consumers will visit a brick-and-mortar location's website before they head into the store. Businesses that learn to use digital marketing for their physical locations will see an increase in sales and customer loyalty.

This question comes from Robin Estevez from FoodTown. He asked, "How can I use digital marketing to increase sales in a brick-and-mortar location?” This is a question I've been asked quite a bit. What's great is that statistics show users want to connect with brick-and-mortar locations online. Here are a few stats every brick-and-mortar business owner should consider when evaluating the effectiveness of digital marketing for traditional retail businesses.

  • Regardless of the preference for digital shopping, in 2020, 55 percent of shoppers online were advocates of classic stores for the purpose of checking out a product in person before purchasing. 
  • According to Salesforce, 89 percent of survey respondents said they'd be more likely to buy from a business again if they had a good experience.
  • 73% of customers use multiple channels to shop.
  • Millennials rely heavily on ratings and review sites for their purchasing decision-making, with 99 percent researching before purchasing. This is true even if they're buying something online or in-person.

3 Ways to Use Digital Marketing for Your Brick and Mortar Location

Our agency works with many local businesses, helping them increase their online visibility and in-store traffic. In this episode of the SMA Marketing Minute, I'll share how you can use your website, local SEO, social media, and email marketing to help grow your in-store sales. Let's go!

 

Video Transcript:

Today's question comes from Robin Estevez of Foodtown in New York. He wants to know how we can use digital marketing to increase the sales of a brick-and-mortar store. Digital marketing isn't only for online businesses. It could also be very effective for traditional businesses when you want to drive foot traffic.

If you want to connect with your customer base or reach new customers and bring them into your store. There are several ways that you can use digital marketing to help you achieve your goals.

We're going to be talking about a couple of different tools. We're going to talk about your website, social media, and email marketing, and how we can use these three tools to help bring more sales to your traditional brick-and-mortar store.

1. Website

It makes sense that if you're an eCommerce site or strictly trying to engage with people online, your website will matter a lot. It matters just as much for a brick-and-mortar store as well.

Your Website Is Your Digital Front Door

The reality is your customers are making first impressions about your company and interacting with you on how they engage with your website. 99% of millennial shoppers will research your website and check you out online before they ever step in your door. That's your digital front door. Your website is going to leave either a good impression or it's going to make them question a couple of things.

Use Your Website To Add Value to Your Customers

Here's another important stat, two-thirds of the shoppers in your store are using their phones to check cheaper prices or even look stuff up online to compare the prices from in-store to what you have online as well. Brick-and-mortars need to take their website more seriously than ever.

Having a great website with a ton of value--understanding your company, your content, prices, how you act, and your return policy adds all this value to your customers. They get to understand a little bit more about your store and can connect a little bit deeper.

Use Your Website To Build Your Customer Base

Here's another thing you can use your website for. You can have landing pages and make offers on your website as a brick-and-mortar store. You can build your email list. You can start building your customer base, your lead base, so you can educate people even before they step foot in your store.

People are going to find your business by how well it ranks online. Just having a website (putting a website up and forgetting about it) isn't going to work. You need a local SEO strategy. Local SEO is a little bit different than a broader SEO strategy.

You've got to know what directories to be in and make sure that all your listings are claimed. Your location must be right because when people want to find you, what will they do? They're going to Google online. If your business and address come up with directions and it's easy to find you, you have a higher chance of getting connected with that potential customer. Understand that your website is just as important whether you're doing business online or you're doing business in-store.

Then, you need to market your website by having a strong digital marketing plan and SEO strategy. That will ensure that you're ranking for the localized keywords, terms, and phrases people are looking for right now because they want to head into your store to shop. "Grocery stores near me," for example for Robin. Maybe it's "auto parts store near me", or "auto parts store in Melbourne, Florida". Those types of localized campaigns will drive localized traffic to your website. They can check you out, find out how to get in touch with you, or find out where your store is. That's a very powerful way to use your website to generate more business in-store.

2. Social Media

Another tool is social media. Social media is a great tool for all types of businesses. The key behind social media is you have to be social. You have to engage with people. You have to start a dialog and have a conversation. A lot of time, on social media, all we see is highlights. We see perfect pictures of perfect people and we start to gloss over that because it's become the norm. We're sick of the same old, same old.

What brick-and-mortar stores can do, they can use Facebook Live and broadcast live from your store. Tell people what you've got going on. Tell people what's going on in the business and what you're working on. Use Twitter to share information, highlights, and tips on shopping and how to get better deals.

You can help your base by adding value to your customers and giving them a reason to connect with you on social media and have a relationship because that's really what social media is about. That's a great way to build trust with people. When you build trust with people, they're more likely to come and shop at your store.

3. Email

The last tool is email. Email is still a really powerful tool. Again, the key with email now is segmenting. Not everybody wants to see every single message you want to put out. Certain people are really into certain types of things.

You can segment your list according to different types of shoppers or different types of seasonal shoppers. Give them the content that they want to see--letting them know about an upcoming sale for a holiday or a special event that you've got happening--that adds value in their inbox.

We get overloaded with email in today's society. If a brick-and-mortar store or a local business can use email and add value, then people could have a reason to keep you around. They're going to have a reason to keep you in their inbox. You want them to say, "Hey man, they sent me a lot of great coupons last time. I saved a ton of money when I went into that store, so I want to make sure that I get their emails." Or, "Hey, they showed me about this raffle that I could win. I submitted it and I won so I'm totally staying connected to this business."

Crafting your email message is important, but then segment your email message so you have the right message going to the right person at the right time. Digital marketing can be really powerful and email is one of those tools that I think we often overlook because we just get so bombarded with it on a day-to-day basis. The businesses that do it right have a huge ROI.

All right, Robin, I hope that answers your question. Brick-and-mortar stores can really benefit a lot from using a digital marketing strategy. Have a website that looks great, works great, and adds value to the clients. Make sure that it ranks well so that when people are searching for those key terms in your area they can find you. Have a social strategy that's built on building relationships as opposed to just blasting out content that doesn't really matter. Use email marketing to segment your audience, ensuring you're giving people the right message at the right time. By using these three tools and putting them together to work for your local business, your brick-and-mortar store, you'll drive more visitors to your website and drive more buyers into your stores.

That's this week's episode of the SMA Marketing Minute.  We'll see you guys next week. Until then, happy marketing.

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in January 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and completeness.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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