Marketing your products is one thing. Marketing to clients specifically is an entirely different endeavor, and it requires more of your attention than you’re probably giving at the moment. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar store or just an online retail store (or both), you need to know the best strategies to make your money go further as you scale your client base.
The focus here is going to be on tactical spending. Press and PR are great, but they can eat up a lot of money and don’t see nearly as much of a return. On the other hand, paying for ads, investing in a solid video editing tool, and even creating your own in-house campaigns and videos can help you make the most of your $10k/month budget. Here’s what you need to know.
Cost: Free, unless you pay for support services, then $250-$1,000 per month
Right now, especially in retail, customer service is everything. Competition is fiercer than ever before. Today’s customer knows that you have something to sell—what they don't know is why they should work with your store, specifically. Delivering a premium customer service experience can lead to word-of-mouth marketing and help brand your store as one that cares about its people in all possible ways.
Improving customer service could include adding a live chat option on your website, offering 24/7 answering services, or even just taking the time to address customer needs and deliver the experience that they deserve. In any case, it’s going to be a critical part of your tactical strategy to improve client acquisition and retention, so it’s important that you make sure that your customer service hits the mark.
Cost: $500-$5,000 for a competitive analysis report, free if you do it yourself
As mentioned, there’s a lot of competition out there today for the retail space. Part of knowing how to outdo them is to see what they’re doing in the first place. Competitor research is an invaluable tool that will provide you with insights and information that can drive future marketing decisions and help you provide a better experience for your own customers. It will also allow you to see what things competitors are doing that may not be working so that you can save the trouble yourself.
If you don’t have time or you just want a more professional assessment, you can hire someone to perform a competitor research study. They will look at who your competitors are, how they rank comparatively, and what their unique value proposition (UVP) is that is helping them draw in all the clients. Then, they can use that information to suggest changes for your retail store.
Cost: Free, unless you pay an SEO company to assist
Even if your retail store doesn’t have a physical location, you can still take advantage of features like local search optimization. In fact, it’s necessary today if you want to succeed in retail. A majority of shoppers are conducting mobile searches from their various devices, looking for retail stores “near me” or “nearby” or based on their current location. Therefore, if you can appear in local search results or the results for those other types of searches, you will generate more traffic and attract a whole new audience.
You probably have a lot on your plate with handling your store’s day-to-day operations. That’s okay because you can hire a marketing company or SEO firm to help you optimize your retail or eCommerce website and online presence. The cost depends on what you have them do, but you can trust that it will be an investment well-made when you see how much better your search rankings are.
Cost: Free, unless you offer cash incentives or discounts for referrals
Referrals and word-of-mouth marketing are more important than ever before. With the growing competition and increasing availability of professional services, thanks to the Internet, it has been hard for people to keep up. Therefore, they’ll be more inclined to work with a firm that they’ve been referred to by someone that they know. They may also take advice from third-party reviews and recommendations, but firsthand experience is always best.
You should take the time to implement a referral program that works and encourages everyone to participate. You might have to try a few different things at first, but once you figure out what works, stick with it. It’s a great way to encourage new clients and keep your existing clients coming back all at the same time. This is also a good place to implement that competitor research and utilize ideas from others to create a successful referral program.
Cost: $250-$1,000, varies
One of the best things that you can do for your retail store is to free up your time. That way, you can focus on managing your people and running your business. There are several different things that you can outsource in your retail store to allow you to spend your time where it needs to be spent. As mentioned, customer service is a good area to outsource, but it’s not the only one.
When you partner with Smith.ai, our virtual receptionists can provide a host of solutions, from lead screening and intake to appointment scheduling, live website chat, and even 24/7 phone answering services. While you’re busy building your empire, we can make sure that you never miss another opportunity, and we’ll do it all with a custom strategy to manage the details.
Looking for even more help? Consider us for assistance with your outreach campaigns and outbound sales efforts, too, and watch how your marketing improves across the board. We know what it takes to deliver a better customer experience and we’re ready to do it on your behalf. To learn more, schedule a consultation or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.