The holiday season is the biggest time of the year for retailers as consumers are seeking out gifts for their loved ones. It can be discouraging, especially during the holiday season, for local brick-and-mortar retailers who have experienced the “The Amazon Effect”; an explanation for decreased foot traffic in physical stores as consumers increasingly choose online channels.
There’s good news!
At the intersection of the real-world and mobile, physical retailers have an incredible advantage catering to customers with geo-targeted, personalized interactions that online sellers cannot deliver.
I’ll let you in on the secret sauce of how to leverage the Amazon effect, as well as share your own key competitive advantages. Here are some tips to combat online channels such as Amazon:
Rank In Google Ahead Of Your Online Competitors
If you’re a local business, Google is on your side.
50% of search traffic comes from the first three Google results and local businesses have a head-start in this game. With Google My Business, search results prioritize the top three local results in their search 3-pack (shown below).
So no matter what you sell, your potential customers will know about your offering before they see anything from Amazon.
As long as you ensure your stores information is accurate and optimized, your stores will always show up ahead of retailers that deal predominantly online.
Click here to find out more about location data management.
Beat-out Amazon by appearing at the top of the Google Local 3-pack. Boost your search traffic, drive engagement, and encourage more in-store visits by optimizing your location data.
Use Geo-Targeting To Increase Foot Traffic
Retailers have a huge advantage in being able to target ads to consumers near their stores, drawing people in to fulfill an “in the moment” need.
Utilize location targeted ads and deliver messaging that is relevant to consumer interests, exactly when they need it.
Customers Shop Longer And Spend More With In-Store Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi connectivity is the baseline for today’s enhanced customer experience. SessionM found that more than 90% of consumers use their smartphones while shopping in retail stores. When shopping in person, consumers rely on in-store Wi-Fi to check product details, compare prices and read user reviews.
These connected consumers are more likely to shop longer and spend more. According to one survey, 74% of respondents would be happy for a retailer to send a promotion via email or text while using in-store Wi-Fi.
Together with in-store messaging, QR codes and barcodes, in-store Wi-Fi can bring the customer experience to the next level.
Capture customer details with Wi-Fi signup and target with in-store offers.
Equip sales associates with smartphones or tablets that offer product information, comparisons and inventory levels.
Established infrastructure for in-store Wi-Fi.
Make Payments Easier And Increase Return Business
As the smartphone gradually replaces the wallet, a significant development is that consumers are increasingly looking for easier payment options. As such, physical retailers should look to embrace Apple and Android Pay as in-store payment options.
The easier it is for consumers to make purchases, the quicker you can close the sale.
The added benefit is that customers will feel more satisfied with the smooth transactions and be more likely to revisit your business.
It also goes to say that mobile payments are quickly approaching the tipping point among consumers, and when they do, merchants who do not have the capability to accept these payment methods will be left in the dust.
Assimilate POS systems that accept mobile payments into existing store infrastructure.
Integrate this purchase data with a loyalty program to gain deeper insight into consumer behavior.
Generate Customer Loyalty With Mobile Apps
With purchase and activity data gathered through loyalty programs, retail stores gain highly valuable insights. First and foremost, the ability to communicate with consumers about what matters to them in the moment.
The best loyalty programs offer specific rewards based on consumer activity and even location. Meaning every customer can get individualized and in-the-moment incentives. If you’re able to train your staff to use this information in real time, you’ll have the added benefit of face to face customer service.
A key advantage over Amazon.
No matter how great their logistics and warehousing capabilities, they can’t compete with retailers when it comes to human interaction. This can’t be stressed enough as customers demand a positive shopping experience just as much as they want cheap prices.
Go beyond traditional loyalty by combining with location-based promotions to deliver real-time, personalized offers to loyal customers.
Amazon will never be able to meaningfully connect with people in the real world.
Physical retailers have the upper hand in customer experience with mobile marketing, location-based ads, easy payment options and mobile loyalty programs. You CAN compete against the biggest online sellers by using these tools to your advantage.
Drive traffic, increase sales and make customers happy by bridging the gap between the real and virtual worlds.
Then, deliver a personalized customer experience that even Amazon can’t fulfill.
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