Digital marketing is not just for online businesses. Brick-and-mortar locations can also use the power of digital marketing to drive new business. Whether your storefront focuses on a local audience or serves as a home base for a global company, your brick-and-mortar location will benefit from a strong digital strategy. Consumers today use the internet for many purposes beyond online shopping. Most will visit a store’s website before they head to the physical location. Businesses that learn to incorporate digital marketing will see increased sales and customer loyalty.
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What Is Brick-and-Mortar Marketing?
Brick-and-mortar marketing is for physical retail locations like retail stores, boutiques, or malls. It involves various strategies to drive customer traffic and increase sales in these physical spaces. It typically includes eye-catching window displays, hosting in-store events, distributing flyers or coupons, and utilizing customer loyalty programs.
This type of marketing focuses on creating a tangible and immersive experience for customers, allowing them to interact with products physically, receive personalized assistance from sales associates, and feel the overall ambiance of a physical store.
Benefits of Brick-and-Mortar Marketing:
- Communicates the store’s purpose
- Creates a sense of community
- Embraces the power of word-of-mouth advertising
- Focuses on customer service
- Generates opportunities like contests & giveaways
While digital marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years, brick-and-mortar marketing is an essential aspect of reaching and engaging with customers in a meaningful way.
Use an Omnichannel Approach in Brick-and-Mortar Marketing
Omnichannel marketing is critical for brick-and-mortar stores in today’s digital era. It allows physical stores to integrate their offline and online presence seamlessly, creating a cohesive and unified customer experience.
By adopting an omnichannel approach, brick-and-mortar stores can effectively engage and connect with customers across multiple touchpoints:
- Their physical store
- Customer service
- Social media platforms
- Email marketing
- Mobile apps
This integration enables them to provide a consistent brand experience to customers, regardless of the channel they choose to interact with.
Ultimately, omnichannel marketing helps brick-and-mortar stores stay competitive, enhance customer loyalty, drive foot traffic, and boost sales by creating a seamless, convenient, and tailored shopping experience that meets today’s consumers’ evolving needs and expectations.
Brick-and-Mortar Marketing Statistics
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, 56% of shoppers online were advocates of classic stores to check out a product in person before purchasing.
- 73% of customers use multiple channels to shop.
- Millennials rely heavily on ratings and review sites for purchasing decisions, with 99 percent researching before purchasing, whether they’re buying online or in person.
3 Digital Marketing Strategies for Your Brick-and-Mortar Location
If you’re an eCommerce site or strictly trying to engage with people online, your website will matter greatly. 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. Either your website will leave a good impression or cause them to question things.
Here’s another essential stat: two-thirds of the shoppers in your store are using their phones to check lower prices or even look up online to compare in-store prices to what you have online. Brick-and-mortar businesses need to take their website more seriously than ever.
A great website with a ton of value–understanding your company, your content, prices, how you act, and your return policy–helps your customers. They know more about your store and can create a deeper connection.
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 and lead base to educate people before they enter your store.
Develop a Solid Local SEO Strategy
People are going to find your business by how well it ranks online. Just having a website (putting it up and forgetting about it) won’t work. You need a local SEO strategy.
Local SEO is different from a broader SEO strategy. You must know what directories to be in and claim all your listings. 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 potential customers. Understand that your website is essential whether you’re doing business online or in-store.
Then, you can market your website with a robust 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. When people search “Grocery stores near me,” “auto parts store near me,” or “auto parts store in Melbourne, Florida,” a localized campaign will drive traffic to your website. They can check you out, find out how to contact you or find out where your store is. That’s a compelling way to use your website to generate more business in-store.
2. Social Media
Social media is an excellent tool for all types of businesses. The key behind social media is to be social and 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 start glossing over that because it’s become the norm. We’re sick of the same old, same old.
Brick-and-mortar stores can use Facebook Live and broadcast live from your store. Tell people what you’ve got going on. Tell people what’s happening in the business and what you’re working on. Use Instagram 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 what social media is about. It’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.
Email is still a really powerful tool. The key is segmenting your email campaigns. Not everybody wants to see every single message you want to put out. Certain people are into specific things.
You can segment your list according to different types of shoppers or seasonal shoppers. Give them the content they want to see–let them know about an upcoming sale for a holiday or a special event that’s happening–that adds value to 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, 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 won, so I’m staying connected to this business.”
Crafting your email message is essential, 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 compelling, and email is one of those tools we often overlook because we just get so bombarded with it daily. The businesses that do it right have a huge ROI.
Do you want to attract more customers to your brick-and-mortar store? Take your business to the next level with local SEO! By optimizing your website and online presence, you can improve your visibility in local search results, drive more foot traffic to your store, and stand out from the competition. Take advantage of the opportunity to reach your target audience and grow your business. Contact us to discuss a local SEO strategy today!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in January 2017 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and completeness.