As the infamous Staples ad campaign once exclaimed, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. No, they weren’t talking about Christmas time – they were talking about back-to-school season! It’s one of the most exciting times for retailers as shoppers are out and about looking for great savings as they or their kids are heading back-to-school. It’s always important to get prepared as soon as possible, so here’s how to prepare your retail store for back-to-school season.
What are shoppers looking for this season?
It’s no surprise that inflation is a major concern for the majority of consumers these days. As the expenses associated with daily life keep rising, individuals are looking over their financial plans. In fact, more than 45% of parents are shopping for sales more often. What does this mean for retailers? Well, it presents the perfect opportunity to leverage in-store promotions and offers. When doing so you should ensure that your customers recognize the potential savings they’ll get via your deals. This will stimulate impulse purchases and increase the motive to buy products.
Back-to-school tax holiday
As the challenges of saving money continue to grow, state governments have recognized the need to step in and provide assistance during the back-to-school season. To that end, many states in the US have implemented tax holidays specifically aimed at helping parents reduce costs on school supplies. Take a look at the following list of participating states. For further details check out here.
States participating in a back-to-school tax holiday
If you are a retailer in one of these states, you should try to coordinate your store promotions with the tax holidays. This can help ensure a better shopping experience for your customers.
Don’t forget about teachers
It’s important to remember that it’s not just students who are seeking excellent back-to-school bargains. Teachers and school administrative staff are also actively searching for supplies! It’s crucial to provide attractive deals on items that cater to their needs as well. Consider offering discounts on products such as coffee mugs, tote bags, classroom supplies, and more. Moreover, you can create special promotions tailored specifically for teachers. Extend discounts on supplies that are essential to their unique requirements.
Preparing for the masses
Since numerous businesses experience a surge in customer traffic during the back-to-school season, it’s important for you and your business to be adequately prepared for the influx of shoppers. Ensuring that you have enough inventory is vital. Employing a reliable point-of-sale (POS) system that assists in inventory management can be very beneficial. Additionally, it’s worth considering whether imposing restrictions on specific products is necessary. This might involve setting limits on the quantity of items customers can purchase.
It’s important to take into consideration whether your brick-and-mortar store is equipped to handle a significant increase in foot traffic. Should you consider implementing measures to limit the number of customers inside the store? Are there any adjustments needed to the shelves or displays to accommodate the increased customer flow? Can your store efficiently manage long queues of customers? If your business is grappling with a shortage of staff, a viable solution is to use modern technology, such as self-checkout kiosks. This can expedite the sales process while simultaneously keeping labor costs in check.
Make sure shoppers know about your deals
There’s little benefit in crafting fantastic back-to-school deals and promotions if they go unnoticed by potential customers. Therefore, it’s essential to actively advertise them. Multiple avenues exist for promoting your sales. For example, you can distribute flyers (a tried-and-true approach), invest in paid social media or Google local inventory ads. Additionally, for smaller local businesses, a worthwhile strategy is to make use of local Facebook groups or boost visibility on Facebook Marketplace, as it’s popular for local searches. Sharing your back-to-school promotions in these groups can effectively reach your target audience.
The back-to-school season brings anticipation and opportunity for numerous retailers. To secure your portion of the shoppers’ limited budget, adequate preparation is crucial this year. Plan ahead, provide compelling deals ahead of time, and ensure widespread promotion of your offerings across various channels. Additionally, it’s important to recognize the role you play in alleviating some of the financial strain experienced by families during challenging times.
Effectively displaying your merchandise online is an additional effective method to attract customers to your store, particularly during the back-to-school season. Utilizing a tool like TAKU, you can effortlessly present your inventory online, boosting its visibility and appeal. Discover more by simply clicking on the banner below!
Word of mouth marketing has evolved in the last decade or so. Consumers are increasingly placing their belief in social proof and credibility. A recent study by Brightlocal, states that 98% of shoppers read online reviews for local businesses.
Customer reviews have the potential to bring your business to new heights, but they can also affect your business’s reputation negatively. However, there’s no need to worry because this article focuses on the essentials of customer reviews and provides excellent strategies to obtain positive feedback from customers.
What are customer reviews?
Essentially customer reviews are the opinions of someone who has visited your store which reflects their personal experiences, satisfaction and overall impression. Customers can leave a review on various platforms dedicated to them. One of the most popular websites being Google My Business, which we’re sure you’ve seen before. The reviews will cover many aspects of your business, from performance, store atmosphere, customer service, etc.
How can customer reviews benefit your business?
Customer reviews play a significant role in shaping the purchasing decisions of others, which can be leveraged to your advantage in attracting more customers to your business. With positive reviews you can build a positive customer reputation and public perception. By using some of your best reviews you can provide prospective customers testimonials to encourage a purchase. Additionally customer reviews can improve your business’s brand awareness, SEO, etc.
As we’ve mentioned before, social proof and credibility are really important in a business success, but how? Social proof indicates that others have had a positive experience with a product/service and this can influence customers to choose your business. Likewise credibility aids in trust and it also enhances trust in your business with potential customers.
On the other hand you may think that negative reviews will only hinder your brand’s reputation. But these negative reviews can help with finding flaws in your service so that you can improve.
How can you get positive customer reviews
In order to get positive reviews you must first offer your customers an exceptional experience. But once this is done you have to reach out to your customers to leave the review. Here are some great ways to initiate this.
Asking for reviews will never hurt—always encourage your customers to leave a review. There are a few ways to do so:
Asking customers to leave a review at checkout
When following-up via email or SMS
Rewarding customers for leaving reviews, etc.
A great way to secure reviews is to make it as easy as possible to access the review page. We suggest using QR codes like in the example above.
Dealing with negative reviews
How should you deal with negative reviews? If you are given the opportunity you should always show initiative and respond quickly to your unsatisfied customers. Then offer these customers a solution to their problem. This way you can try to change your customer’s opinion of your business.
If you are interested in learning more about Google reviews, check out one of our previous blogs, the importance of Google reviews. In this article, we talk about how to handle both negative and positive reviews as a small business.
Hopefully this article can help you improve the reputation of your business, and helped you understand how to support customer reviews. If you are interested in marketing, business, and the newest retail news, subscribe to our blog.
Marketing can be a tough nut to crack, but there’s one technique that’s been proven time and time again to be incredibly effective: word-of-mouth (WOM). People trust the recommendations of their friends and family more than any other form of advertising. So, why not harness the power of this approach with a referral program?
Offering your loyal customers a unique link to share with their loved ones rewards their loyalty and helps you expand your customer base by tapping into the power of their personal networks, creating a win-win situation. You don’t need to limit WOM to your online store. You can offer customers coupons to share with their friends and family. This way you can drive customers into your physical store as well.
Looking to give your brand a boost and stand out in a crowded market? One strategy you might consider is offering exclusive items. These products can help differentiate you from your competitors, but they can also create a sense of urgency for customers.
For example, imagine releasing a limited-edition Father’s Day item that’s only available for a short time. This creates a “must-have” mentality among your customers who know they need to act fast if they want to get their hands on the exclusive product.
The exclusive strategy isn’t limited to just a single product either. You could offer exclusive/limited-time bundles or promotions as well.
So don’t miss out on the potential benefits of offering exclusive items. Create a unique selling proposition and offer limited-edition products to drive sales and grow your brand. This taps into customers’ desires for exclusive products. Ultimately, you can drive more sales and grow your brand in exciting new ways.
Create a gift guide
Looking for a way to help your customers find the perfect gift for Father’s Day? Consider creating a gift guide! Not only does this showcase your products in a unique way, but it also provides customers with personalized options to choose from.
For example, if your store specializes in outdoor gear, you might create a gift guide for “Adventure-loving Dads”. This guide could feature items such as hiking boots, camping gear, and portable grills. Or if your store focuses on tech products, you might create a guide for “Tech-savvy Dads”, featuring the latest gadgets and accessories. With the right approach, a gift guide can be a powerful tool for driving sales.
If you’re looking for a way to generate buzz around your brand and engage your customers, consider running a themed contest. This is a fun and exciting way to get your customers involved with your brand, and offers them a chance to win a prize.
For example, a Father’s Day-themed contest, where customers are asked to like and share your post to win. Or, if your store specializes in a particular type of product, you could run a contest that encourages customers to get creative and show off their skills using those products.
A themed contest helps create more exposure for your brand, but it also shows your company’s commitment to the community. By offering customers the chance to win a prize, you’re demonstrating that you value their loyalty and are willing to reward them for it.
Hopefully you can make use of these unique ways to increase your sales this Father’s Day. For more helpful tips, you can subscribe to our blog. TAKU wishes you and your family a happy Father’s Day!
Discover 4 effective strategies to maximize your Mother’s Day sales by tapping into consumer spending behaviours. Read on to learn how you can sell more this year.
4 Ways To Sell More On Mother’s Day
1) Offer Convenience
Approximately one-quarter of shoppers prioritize convenience when choosing a Mother’s Day gift. To cater to these busy shoppers, ensure that your store and website offer a hassle-free shopping experience.
One effective approach is to set up a point-of-purchase display showcasing your Mother’s Day merchandise. Use signage to guide customers to the display so they can quickly find and purchase the perfect gift.
Maximize your sales potential by leveraging your website or ecommerce store. Creating a dedicated section for Mother’s Day gifts is an excellent way to drive sales. Make it easier for your customers by including product recommendations, such as a “Top Products for Mother’s Day” or “Most Popular Gifts for Mom” section.
If you have an ecommerce store, consider promoting popular fulfillment options on your website, such as Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) to encourage safe and convenient purchases.
2) Give Your Shoppers Gifting Inspiration
Over 80% of shoppers rely on retailers for inspiration when selecting gifts, presenting an opportunity for businesses to provide creative solutions. One way to cater to these shoppers is by developing a gift guide that offers unique and thoughtful ideas for Mother’s Day.
To create an effective gift guide, begin creating gift ideas suitable for various types of mother figures such as aunts, grandmothers, godmothers, and new mothers. While your guide should showcase items available in your store, you can also incorporate unique and personalized gift ideas, for example, homemade options.
Ensure that your gift guide is easily accessible to shoppers by featuring it on your website homepage. Given that many customers will be searching the internet for gift ideas, placing the guide in a visible location and including a call to action such as “Looking for the perfect gift for mom? Explore our Mother’s Day gift guide!” can help draw their attention and encourage engagement with your brand.
Not only will this create a better shopping experience for your customers, it will also help you appear higher up in search results.
You can also create email guides to send to your mailing list and printable guides to give to walk-in shoppers.
3) Run Google Shopping Ads For Last Minute Shoppers
With 84% of adults expected to celebrate Mother’s Day, it’s safe to say that many last-minute shoppers will be frantically searching online for gift ideas. To reach these time-pressed customers, consider using the power of GoogleAds to promote your products and special offers to local shoppers. By listing your merchandise on Google and optimizing your ads to target nearby consumers, you can effectively capture the attention of these last-minute shoppers and drive sales.
Here are some tips for driving traffic to your website or store prior to Mother’s Day:
Maximize the visibility of your Mother’s Day merchandise and minimize advertising costs by creating a dedicated campaign for these products, using custom labels to differentiate them from your regular inventory.
Increase your chances of converting shoppers into buyers by utilizing remarketing lists to specifically target individuals who have already engaged with your website. This includes those who have previously visited your site, returning customers, and those who have abandoned their shopping carts online.
Use descriptive titles and high-quality images.
Given that 15% of shoppers are looking for cost-effective gift options, it’s important to ensure that your promotional offers are easily accessible and visible to potential customers. One effective way to accomplish this is by prominently featuring your promotions on your Merchant Center.
Incorporate relevant holiday keywords into your product titles and descriptions to help increase your visibility and drive traffic to your website. Consider targeting general keywords like “Mother’s Day Gift,” “Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day,” “Mother’s Day Flowers,” and other similar phrases that shoppers are likely to search for.
That’s why it’s a great idea to create unique gift baskets for different shoppers
Some good ideas include a Mother’s Day Skincare Gift Basket and a Mother’s Day Healthy Snack Gift Basket. Click here for more Mother’s Day basket ideas.
Gift baskets can be an excellent option for shoppers who are struggling to come up with the perfect gift for their mom. Consider grouping discounted items with regular-priced items in each basket to create a sense of added value and make shoppers feel like they’re getting more for their money.
Increase your sales potential this Mother’s Day by strategically up-selling and cross-selling gift baskets to every shopper who walks through your doors. By bundling products together in a gift basket, you can increase your store’s average order value and offer customers a more complete gifting solution.
Easter is right around the corner and shoppers are looking forward to celebrating safely with their friends and family. As a result, retail owners can expect to see an increase in sales.
The NRF’s annual Easter survey indicates that there is a lot of momentum going into the Spring. This momentum is reflected in consumer spending as shoppers are expected spend an average of $192.01 each.
Below, we’ve prepared some tips to help you gear up for the Easter holiday weekend and make the most of this year’s consumer spending habits.
1. Offer Discounts and Promotions
While not every shopper plans to celebrate, plenty of them will still be on the lookout for Easter related sales. In fact, 29% of shoppers are planning to shop just to take advantage of Easter sales.
To tempt more shoppers to buy from your store, consider discounting your best selling items. You can even set up a dedicated landing page or section on your website/e-commerce site so shoppers can easily browse through sale or seasonal items.
For example, Indigo set up an Easter landing page encouraging consumers to shop for gifts from their Easter merchandise.
2. Reposition Your Products for Easter
Don’t sell chocolate or Easter related products? That’s okay – you don’t have to sell Easter merchandise to benefit from the holiday.
You can always position your products for Easter by finding a unique angle. For example, The Body Shop encouraged customers to celebrate the holiday by treating their loved ones and themselves with their nature inspired products.
Bath and Body Works did something similar with their slogan “Gifts For Every Bunny (And Basket)”.
3. Launch Retargeting Campaigns
It may be a good idea to attract old visitors back to your website with Easter offers and promotions. You can do so with Facebook retargeting ads.
By setting up your Facebook pixel on your website or ecommerce store, you can present different offers based on shoppers’ interaction with your site. The idea is to retarget past users based on their buying intent (e.g. visitors who added to their cart vs shoppers that initiated checkout).
If you are using TAKU eCommerce, click here to find out how to set up your Facebook pixel on your ecommerce site.
4. Promote Popular Fulfillment Options
While pandemic related restrictions and lockdowns are easing in some regions, many consumers still prefer popular fulfillment options such as buy online pick-up in-store (BOPIS), local delivery, and shipping.
You can encourage shoppers to purchase their Easter gifts safely by highlighting some of these fulfillment options on your website. For example, Indigo’s home page calls attention to the fact that shoppers can purchase their Easter items safely with a BOPIS option.
5. Launch a Giveaway on Social Media
Running an Easter-themed social media giveaway does not have to difficult or expensive. There are various ways to promote your giveaways, for instance, one cost-effective idea is to run a giveaway where the participants are asked to tag a friend or family member in the comment sections to enter. This can encourage the engagement with your audience and can also help reach new audience, and spread the news of your giveaway and brand.
Or you could do something directly related to Easter by asking your followers to do a virtual scavenger hunt. Your followers would have to go on your feed or website for example, and find clues to enter the giveaway. Alternatively, you can ask your followers to guess how many eggs are in a basket. you can also apply this to some of your products (e.g. making followers guess the weight of chocolate, the amount of beads in a necklace etc.).
Consider boosting your social media giveaway to widen your reach and increase the number of participants.
We hope you found these tips helpful! For more helpful retail tips, you can subscribe to our blog. Happy Easter and happy selling!
There is an art to marketing your brand to retail shoppers. Because marketing is constantly changing, you need to adapt your marketing strategy as customer habits change over time. Here are 6 retail marketing strategies that will shape retail marketing over the next decade.
1. Personalized Experiences
A growing marketing strategy is the use of personalized ads and experience. 80% of shoppers reported that they’re more likely to do business with a brand that offers a personalized experience. Additionally, almost half of most customers want to see ads targeted at their interests.
So what is personalized experience? This generally means customizing promotions and discounts to the wants of a specific customer versus a generic message to all customers. Understanding the individual tastes and wants of your customer has never been easier. Modern POS systems allow you to track customer info, as well as their purchasing habits which you can use to create personalized experiences for them. For example, if a regular customer often buys colorful socks, but they have not made a purchase recently, you could send them a personalized in-store offer related to socks to encourage them to visit the store.
2. Visual search
Google’s image search is going to be a game changer in retail marketing. Searchers can upload images onto Google and reverse-search them, finding where others have uploaded the image on the internet. Give it a try here.
This can allow people to see images of a product online, save it, then find easily find stores that sell the item. There is a reason why Gartner said that visual search is one of 5 technologies that will have a great impact on the world of digital marketing in the years to come. It can improve nearly every stage of the buyer’s journey. We predict that marketing strategies that use product images and content with visual search will become common practice within the next 5 years.
3. Strategizing for featured snippets
Featured snippets are short descriptions on websites that help you show up at the top of a Google search. The purpose of a featured snippet is to help users find a quick answer. You have probably experienced it before when you Googled a question and saw a quick answer at the top of the search results. That was a featured snippet.
This feature of Google is especially helpful as attention spans continue to decrease in recent years. Currently average attention spans are only 8 seconds long. This means it is essential to catch someone’s attention quick, or risk losing it altogether.
Featured snippets help reach catch audiences’ attentions quickly, however it can be difficult to get featured snippets. Check out this article on how you can optimize content for featured snippets. It’s worth mentioning that TAKU Retail is the first retail management software to be a trusted Google Partner. TAKU can help businesses appear higher up on Google search results and Maps when people search for you online.
4. ChatGPT and AI Chatbots
You have likely heard about how people are now using ChatGPT to search for information or to learn. But there are an increasing number of ways that AI chatbots can help retailers save time and money including:
AI-generated marketing content. With access to so much data, AI chatbots are an easy way to quickly write content for social media or even the text for marketing campaigns on the fly. Think less writer’s block, and more engaging posts.
Researching product trends for purchasing. ChatGPT’s knowledge is limited at this point, but the advantage of AI is that it will get smarter over time. It’s ability to analyze data from millions of websites makes it more likely to highlight product trends for you faster than searching for them online.
Scheduling tasks, and overall time management. ChatGPT can help you create a daily work schedule and handle time-consuming tasks including things such as performance reports, shift schedules, etc.
Solving problems. Because of the knowledge it has access to, ChatGPT is very good at generating ideas, drafting business plans, and estimating the costs to solve problems for your business. You should still always get secondary advice, but ChatGPT is a good starting point, even if only to check that you’re on the right path.
5. Accessible and inclusive content
This is one of the most underrated of the 6 retail marketing strategies we are touching on today. It’s important for marketing content to be of quality, but what’s the point if it’s not easily understood? Making content more accessible could include adjustable font sizes (or more legible ones), more use of images to convey information for cognitive or reading impairments, and transcripts for videos/podcasts to name a few. The goal is to ensure that as many people as possible can actually engage with your content, and hopefully understand it. Reducing barriers to your content is key and will ensure you can maximize your reach.
6. Metaverse marketing
If you’ve read our metaverse blog post, you’ll know that more and more people are embracing the digital world. Technology will continue to change how humans interact with each other, extending to how they interact with businesses as well. This is why so many retailers are investing into marketing on the metaverse. Read our metaverse post to learn more about how augmented reality (AR) is being leveraged by big brands such as Ikea to enhance their customers’ shopping experiences.
The next decade is going to be an interesting time for marketers and entrepreneurs alike. As new strategies for promoting your business will continue to grab people’s attention, the promotional game is surely to continue to change. Make sure you’re staying ahead of the curve by subscribing to our blog.