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The Importance of Google Reviews for Retailers

The Importance of Google Reviews for Retailers

Did you know that 90% of shoppers read online reviews before visiting a business

This is where Google comes in – Google My Business (GMB) is one of the post popular online review platforms on the web. When managed correctly, GMB reviews can have a huge impact on your retail business’s bottom line!

So keep reading to find out how your retail store can benefit from Google Reviews. 

Advantages of Google My Business Reviews

1) Improve Your Online Visibility (SEO) on Google 

Google wants to deliver the most relevant and beneficial content to its users. In order do this, it takes many factors into consideration – mobile responsiveness, content quality, a secure website, link building, keyword optimization etc. 

However, when it comes to local search ranking, customer reviews are one of the most important ranking factors. Google even confirms this!

According to Google,  “Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking ; more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking. ” 

You’ve probably noticed that when you search Google for a local store or product, the business listings with more reviews and higher ratings appear in the “Local 3 Pack”. 

For example, when I searched for “pet stores in my area”, one of the factors highlighted by Google are customer reviews – indicating that it is an important ranking factor. You can see that the top 3 positions are occupied by stores with 1) a higher rating and 2) a large number of reviews. 

pet store GMB listings

This means that by focusing on customer review management, you can improve your store’s presence in local search results. This in turn, will increase click-through rates to your website and drive more local traffic to your store!

2) Build Trust and Credibility Among Target Shoppers 

Word of mouth has always been an incredibly powerful and beneficial marketing tool used in business.

This is because shoppers value the opinions of those around them – owing to the trust and credibility that exists in those relationships. So whether it comes from a family member, friend, acquaintance, or co-worker, store and product recommendations are taken in high regard.

The difference now however, is that rather than asking someone they know for a recommendation, shoppers can just go online!

In fact, 78% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations

And that’s why customer reviews play such an important part in your online marketing strategy. By establishing trust and credibility among target shoppers, you build a good reputation.

A good reputation will set you apart from your competitors, boost your online visibility, and ultimately increase your sales.

retail customer

3) Get Useful Shopper Insight and Feedback 

Google My Business reviews give retailers another advantage – they provide valuable shopper insights which can be used to improve business operations. 

Let’s put it this way – your retail business will make more money if your shoppers are happy. 

But how do you keep shoppers happy? And how do you know what they like or dislike about your retail business? 

By asking for customer feedback! 

That’s why each Google review you receive should act as an insight as to what your business is doing right or wrong. 

Keep in mind that top performing retailers are constantly looking for ways to improve shopper experiences. With reviews, your target shoppers are telling you exactly what they like, hate, and ultimately –  what needs to be changed.

By actively seeking feedback, you can observe what is working for your shoppers and what is not. This way, you can adjust your business operations to make your store’s customer experience the best it can be. At the end of the day, this will lead to better business and more sales. 

customer review ratings

Google Reviews Lead to Store Visits 

By now, you should have a good idea of why Google Reviews are so important. In short, Google reviews provide small retail businesses the tools to build their online presence, establish authority, and understand customers better. In turn, these factors lead to more foot traffic and higher revenue.

So reap the benefits of Google reviews today by implementing strong customer review management in your business strategy!

shopper in store

We hope you found this article helpful!

Would you like to learn more about how to attract local shoppers on Google? 

Good news- we are hosting a breakfast seminar exclusively for GTA store owners! We will be discussing how you can attract more local shoppers with POS technology among other important topics. To learn more about the event and to register, click here

#googlereviews #googlemybusiness #retailmarketing #onlinepresence #increaseretailsales #builtforretail 

Free Independence Day Stock Photos For Retailers

Free Independence Day Stock Photos For Retailers

Our team is proud to support American retailers! 

So we’ve put together a collection of Independence Day photos – completely free and available for commercial use. 

You can find beautiful, high-quality images suitable for your July 4th marketing campaigns. 

You can download the images here.


Happy Independence Day! #freestockimages #royaltyfree #stockphotography #july4th #retailmarketing

5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Retail Store’s Online Presence

5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Retail Store’s Online Presence

Many store owners face the same dilemma and they often phrase it like this: “How do I drive more foot traffic to my physical store?”

As 87% of shoppers begin their product searches online, building an online presence is a great place to start!

What Does it Mean to Have an Online Presence?

The term online presence is often confused with the existence of an online store or website. However, they are two completely different things. 

Simply put, a strong online presence means that shoppers can easily find you online. 

It is much more than just your website or online store –  it is your entire existence on the web! This includes your social media, shopper reviews, local listings/directories, your ranking in search results etc. 

Why Does My Retail Store Need an Online Presence?

It’s no secret that today’s shoppers spend a significant amount of time online. 

The majority of shoppers start their product searches online but end up purchasing in-store, giving rise to the trend of Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO).

So in order to stay relevant and meet shopper expectations, retailers must have a strong online presence. 

research online, purchase offline

5 Ways To Increase Your Store’s Online Presence

1) Google My Business (GMB)

Google My Business is one of the most effective ways to increase a retail store’s online visibility. So, if you are a local store owner looking to build an online presence,creating a GMB profile is the first step you should take!

Why?

Because most shoppers conduct online searches with location in mind. In fact, 4 in 5 shoppers use search engines to find local information. 

This is why Google My Business is so important. As Google wants to display the most relevant information, it will always display search results based on a user’s location.

For example, if you decided to Google “pet store”, the GMB profiles of local pet stores in your area would appear. 

This means that by creating a GMB listing, you can easily target local shoppers in your area. 

And the best part? It’s completely free! 

By having a complete and accurate GMB profile, the greater your chances are of ranking higher in both Google Search and Google Maps. 

Learn more about the benefits of Google My Business here.

local search

2) List Your Products Online with Google Shopping 

According to Think With Google, 4 in 5 shoppers prefer to have ads customized to their city, zip code, or immediate surroundings. 

This may be due to the fact that increasingly, shoppers are searching for products online and subsequently making purchases in store. 

In fact, 32% of shoppers visited a store or made a purchase due to location based ads.

This is why Google Shopping is one of the most important tools available to retailers – especially to those who are looking to increase their online presence. 

Google Local Inventory Ads (LIAs) give retailers the ability to display their local, in-stock merchandise at the exact moment that a relevant product search is made. 

Once a shopper clicks on the ad, they are redirected to your store’s page. Here, they can view your in-stock inventory, current promotions, store location, directions, and store hours. 

By implementing Google Shopping Ads in your online business strategy, you can increase your online visibility while driving more foot traffic to your physical store!

Click here to learn more about Google Shopping. 

Google search

3) Social Media

Social media is key to building a strong online presence. With almost half the world population using social platforms (over 3.48 billion people worldwide), it has become an effective, fast, and inexpensive way to reach target shoppers. 

According to PWC, 61% of shopper purchasing decisions are influenced by social media!

Social media also gives retailers the ability to engage with shoppers on a personal level. And 80% of shoppers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences.

So whether you choose to use unpaid (organic) or paid social media tactics, it is a great way to boost online visibility and store sales.

You can start by posting attractive content on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest, and Google My Business. You may want to determine which platforms are best for your retail store. Determining the right social media platforms for your business depends on several factors – your target shopper, retail sector/industry, and business goals. 

It’s also important to post consistently in order to deliver relevant content to your shoppers. Posting regularly also helps in growing your following and online presence. Ideally, you should aim to update your social accounts several times a week. 

Some good content ideas include: 

  • Sharing appealing images of your products and store. Videos and images are proven to receive higher engagement than text-only posts.
  • Promote exclusive events,limited time offers, and promotions to drive traffic to your store.
  • Hold social media contests. Incentivize shoppers to follow your social accounts by making it a rule or condition of the contest.
social media platforms

4) Customer Review Management 

Increasingly, shoppers are relying on reviews to help them make purchasing decisions. In fact, 90% of shoppers read online reviews before visiting a business!

This is why customer review management plays an important part in building your online presence.

It establishes trust and credibility amongst target shoppers. This in turn, helps boost your online visibility and leads to more sales!

Here are a few tips for managing shopper reviews:

Respond to reviews (even the bad ones!) 

Responding to customer reviews says a lot about your business – it shows that you are paying attention to the needs of your shoppers and that you care about providing good-quality customer service. 

It’s important to thank shoppers for leaving positive reviews. This often encourages other shoppers to leave a review as they know it will be read. 

Don’t feel discouraged by bad reviews! In the case that a shopper leaves a negative review, it is best to address it and resolve the issue. This way, potential shoppers will feel more comfortable doing business with you!

Incentivize shoppers to leave reviews

Oftentimes, shoppers do not like taking time out of their day to leave a review. So it’s a good idea to incentivize these busy shoppers! 

You can do so by offering every shopper who leaves a review a reward. Some good ideas include:

  • Offering shoppers a discount on store merchandise. 
  • Holding a monthly contest – where every shopper who leaves a review will be entered for the chance to win a prize (a gift card or popular store merchandise etc.) 
  • Giving out coupons/gift cards(for ex: $5, $10 ,15 off) that are only redeemable in-store. 

It’s important to be cautious when offering incentives! Some review platforms such as Yelp discourage incentivizing shoppers. So make sure you carefully read the guidelines of the platform(s) you choose to use. 

Display reviews on your website 

Review platforms don’t have to be the only place where you leverage the positive thoughts and experiences of your shoppers. 

Displaying shopper testimonials on your website can help establish credibility. When they are accompanied by photos, videos, and customer information, they are also highly persuasive. 

Here is a great example of ACE POS leveraging positive reviews on their website:

website testimonials example

Anyone can make up a positive testimonial and attribute it to a fake name. Since the goal is to establish credibility, it is important to include the customer’s full name, job role, company, a link to their website (if applicable), and other identifying information.

5) Make your Website “Mobile Friendly”

The majority of web searches are now being done on mobile devices rather than desktops or laptops. Meaning – shoppers have high expectations when it comes to mobile sites!

According to Think With Google, useful mobile experiences bring shoppers in-store. In fact, 76% of shoppers who search something on their phones for something nearby, visit a business within the next day

Having a mobile friendly website also has a direct impact on your online presence. Mobile-friendliness is one of the key factors used by Google when deciding how to rank your website.  

This is why it is so important that your website is optimized for mobile search!

You can check the mobile responsiveness of your website with Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. 

At this point, you may be wondering : “how do I optimize my website for mobile users?” 

Most website builders (Wix, Squarespace, etc.) provide mobile optimization – but it all comes down to what best suits your retail business. For an in-depth review of website builders for mobile editing, click here

mobile search

We hope you found this article helpful!

Would you like to learn more about how to increase your retail store’s online presence? 

Good news- we are hosting a breakfast seminar exclusively for GTA store owners! We will be discussing how you can attract more local shoppers with POS technology among other important topics. To learn more about the event and to register, click here

#retailmarketing #onlinepresence #increaseretailsales #builtforretail

Tips for Retail Stores: Increase Back-to-School Sales

Tips for Retail Stores: Increase Back-to-School Sales

Back-to-school is one of the top spending events in retail. According to the National Retail Federation, shoppers spend more on back-to- school shopping than Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day combined. 

And you don’t have to sell back-to-school supplies or clothing to benefit from one of the biggest spending seasons of the year. 

Keep reading to find out how you can take advantage of the back-to-school season and increase your retail sales. 

Smart Retailers Leverage Back-to-School 

school kids

For retail businesses that peak in the summer, the back-to-school season may seem daunting. It means lower sales and a decrease in foot traffic. But this doesn’t have to be the case. 

Back-to-school is a time of change for many people – teachers, parents, and most importantly students. Many see it as a fresh start and a time for new perspectives. 

And smart retailers play on these feelings with creative marketing tactics. 

3 Back-to-School Promotions to Help you Sell More

Even if your store has no connection to back-to-school or college, you can still engage with your shoppers in a memorable way.

Here’s how: cater your promotions to shoppers by using change as a marketing tool. 

Listed below are 3 promotion strategies that can help you sell more.

1) A free gift with every purchase made: This type of promotion offers every shopper who spends a certain amount in-store ($50 or above, $60 or above etc.) a free item.

A good idea is to give away a back-to-school basket with different school supplies. You can also imprint your brand name on each of the items in the basket. It doesn’t necessarily have to be school related either – popular store merchandise or a gift card are also effective gifts.

The benefits of this promotion strategy include: 

  • it attracts shopper attention 
  • increases the likelihood of impulse buys
  • makes it easier to up-sell and cross-sell 
  • improves shopper experience
  • enhances attraction and remembrance of your brand
back-to-school basket

2) Back-to-school discounts: 56% of consumers have stated that they have not started their back to school shoppingAnd 49% say it is because they are waiting for the best sales. So consider offering discounts on your merchandise before students go back to school.

If you do not sell back-to-school merchandise, don’t fret! Back to school discounts aren’t just for retailers who sell school supplies or electronics.

Remember to create a back-to-school tie in! As retail expert Bob Phibbs explains, “When you draw the attention of your customers to their garden, that room, or those drapes, then they will see themselves replacing, learning, or fixing-up, and then they will come into your store to get whatever new things they need.” 

back-to-school sale

3) Run a Social Media Contest: Social media contests are a great tool to increase sales and generate a buzz online. As most shoppers (college students and millennials especially) are conducting product research online, it is also a great method to reach target shoppers. 

This back-to-school season, 49% of K-12 families and 45% of college shoppers are planning to shop online. So get in front of these consumers by running a giveaway or contest with effective prizes. 

Here are some ideas for effective prizes: 

  • A “back-to-school survival kit” 
  • A de-stress prize such as a gift card for a popular restaurant or spa nearby (consider partnering with a local business) 
  • Free tickets to fall festivals, concerts, apple picking or other events
social media

Promotion Examples

Here are some examples of creative back-to-school tie ins: 

A store that sells cleaning supplies could offer discounted packages for college students. It could be marketed it as an all-in-one package for cleaning dorm rooms. 

A health food store or grocery store could give away healthy meal plans and recipes for college students. Or alternatively – recipes for preparing healthy lunches for children. 

Families love including their pets in holidays, birthdays, and other milestones. So a pet store could offer back-to-school merchandise for pets! Pet-smart is a great example of a store that has leveraged back-to-school. In the past, the retailer has taken advantage of the back-to-school season with their school-themed pet gear. 

promotion
Canada Day Free Stock Images

Canada Day Free Stock Images

Looking for high-resolution images for your marketing initiatives on Canada Day?

 We’ve put together some stunning, royalty-free images – perfect for your website or social media. All images are free for commercial use, no attribution is required.

 Click here to download the images for free.


Happy selling and happy Canada Day! #CanadaDay #freeimages #stockphotography #royaltyfree #retailmarketing #retailsales

Breakfast Seminar: How to Grow Your Store Sales With POS Technology

Breakfast Seminar: How to Grow Your Store Sales With POS Technology

Learn how to increase store sales and lower costs with in-store technology.

Are you a store owner looking to attract more local shoppers and increase your retail sales?

Our team is dedicated to helping retailers like you grow. That’s why we will be hosting a free event to show you how cloud POS technology can help transform your retail store.

Take Advantage of POS Technology to Grow Store Sales

Whether you own an established retail business or you are just starting out, cloud POS technology can be used to drive store growth and improve operations! 

Learn more about the benefits of cloud technology here.

You will learn: 

  • How to attract new local shoppers searching on Google
  • The top 5 retail POS mistakes to avoid
  • How to reduce store inventory costs
  • How much work is it to onboard a POS?
  • How to lower PinPad processing fees
grocery store

Event Details

If you are interested, please join us and other local Toronto retailers for an exclusive breakfast seminar. Please note that limited tickets are available.

When: September 17th, 2019 from 8:30 am to 10:30am

Where: Staples Spotlight Studio 

375 University Avenue,

Toronto, ON, M5G 2J5

Attendees: Owners and staff of physical retail stores.

 You can sign up for the event here. 

Learn From Industry Experts

Hear from Karen Wong, the founder and CEO of both ACE POS Solutions Ltd. and Takulabs Ltd.  With over 15 years of experience in retail, marketing, and distribution, Karen is an expert at developing solutions that help drive retail growth. 

Karen’s companies have worked with more than 6,000 retailers in North America and are experts in retail POS needs. She holds a Masters degree in Marketing and Strategy from the Schulich School of Business. If you would like to learn more about Karen, click here.

note taking

#retailevent #gtaevent #toronto #seminar #cloudpos #builtforretail #foottraffic