October to December marks the peak shopping season for retail stores. It’s a time when many retailers plan for an increase in shoppers. As the world moves out of the global pandemic, retailers need to be ready for customers with new shopping behaviors.
According to a Google study, 70% won’t consider purchasing something without seeing it online: whether it is an ad, browsing through a website, social media, or email newsletter. This means that retailers need to start ramping up on their online efforts early: whether it is sending weekly newsletters or updating social media on a regular basis, “online storefronts” are more important than ever to shoppers.
People often flip between discovery (window-shopping) and shopping (looking for products mainly based on functions or features) until they are ready to make a purchasing decision. Of the two, discovery is more emotional and can often override the rational thinking behind shopping. Which is why online “pre-shopping” discovery is so important to the entire shopping process now.
A Statista survey showed that up to 50% of people are planning to do their holiday shopping in-stores. This means that retailers need to be ready to showcase new merchandise and discounts online to shoppers even before they make it to the stores.
In 2020, up to 79% of people left their holiday shopping until one-week before Christmas. This is good news for retailers because they are able to push their efforts to the very last minute. The same study showed that 64% of shoppers planned to shop in-stores. After more than a year of restrictions, people are eager to get out. This is great for physical stores that are able to target shoppers when they’re nearby.
Convenience plays a huge role in purchasing decisions today. “Now near me” searches have grown 100% worldwide. Options for store-managed e-commerce have also increased a lot. Because some shoppers will always leave holiday shopping until the last minute, local stores have a major advantage. After all, everybody has experienced shipping delays given the increase in online shopping. Instead, more local shoppers are searching for ways to buy online and pickup in store (BOPIS) to avoid delays.
The key to successfully offering store pickup for online orders is inventory accuracy. This means using store operations software that offers real-time stock information in-store and online. One way to make sure that your store appears online is to use Google’s free product listings and Local Inventory Ads (LIA). Learn more about how to increase foot traffic to stores with Google here.
For last minute shoppers, retailers can offer store pickup. Not only does this avoid delivery delays, it helps encourage shoppers to purchase extra items when they come to the store for their orders. Make sure that your order pickup area is well-merchandised with suitable impulse products. And consider switching to an order pickup system that will allow staff to checkout customers. There’s nothing worse than losing sales from a in-store shopper just because a customer doesn’t want to line up again to pay.
Social media is all around us these days. Everyone from kids to grandparents are on at least one social media platform. So it is important to learn how to use this modern tool to boost your brand both online and in person. In fact, there are strategies for retailers focused around social media. Yes, there is such a thing as a social retail strategy. Today we will take you through what such a strategy is, and why it is important for you to have one in place.
So, what is social retail?
Social retail is an essential part of a modern omnichannel retail strategy. Social retail is using social media to communicate and engage with customers while also selling to them in-store and online. In a nutshell, the strategy succeeds by rewarding customers for sharing products they love. After all, many customers love to share their new purchases and favorite brands on social media. This is especially so when that product or brand aligns with their personality. The idea of social retail is to incentivize your customers to continue doing this – hopefully making it a habit.
For those who are familiar with word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing, social retail is just a modern, digital version. You want customers to be so happy sharing your products that their friends and followers begin to try them out as well.
It’s important to remember that it isn’t only about sharing your brand and products on traditional websites or social media channels. Some of the top performing brands in social retail feature their products on virtual platforms as well, in other words, metaverse retailing. A great example of this are some brands releasing their collections on Bitmoji. Even though they are not yet making money off of Bitmoji users wearing their brands, they are generating a lot of brand awareness.
You should keep in mind that a social retail strategy is not ideal for every type of retailer. Are you selling the type of items people would like to share? Are your customers the type of people to even want to share their purchases? These are some of the questions you should consider before investing in a social retail strategy.
Why you should do it
Whether or not your business has a large social media presence, it’s still common for customers to post about their experience online. If you provide a good experience, customers will advocate for your business and products online. It was found that 92% of consumers believe suggestions from friends and family more than advertising. So maximize this free promotion by having a social retail strategy that includes referrals.
Since social media is a place for people to connect and communicate online, it’s the best place to start or continue building a loyal community for your store. Once a community is established, your community members will be some of the most frequent buyers. They will even act as ambassadors for your store by promoting it to their friends and families. The beauty of the community is that users will inevitably end up building connections and bonds through shared experiences and values. This will boost the positive feelings associated with your brand – reinforcing your brand’s loyal community. Through a brand community paired with the right customer management tools, you’ll get to know your audience more and have better data and understanding on their expectations, wants, and needs.
How to do a social retail strategy
The first step is to decide which social media platforms you will use. It’s always better to use more than one, but take some time to consider which ones your customers are more likely to be active on. When setting up business profiles on each of them, make sure you are tagging your page with common keywords associated with your business. For example if you have a grocery store, you will want to use tags or hashtags such as: grocers, produce, food, etc. On top of that, you want to make sure your profile pictures are consistent across the board. These two steps will really help customers to find your profiles on social platforms.
The next step is to start creating content and posting! Make sure that your posts aren’t just random. Schedule them out and organize what type of posts you want and how often you want them uploaded. Create a good mix of promotional content, fun content for engagement, and content that speaks about the values of your brand.
Try to encourage customers to post or tag about your products! You can do this by showcasing their posts on the company account, having photo opportunities in-store for them to post about, hosting small giveaways or events for them to take part in, etc.
Just a reminder, not all of these examples work for all business types! Pick methods you think would work best for your own business. As long as the end goal is to encourage customers to share. Finally start adjusting your accounts and what you post based on feedback & data from your customers.
A social retail strategy is almost a given in 2022. If you haven’t started one yet, now you know why and how you should start. With 59% of the world on social media – you should be investing time and energy into boosting your brand on social and digital channels.
TAKU Retail has all of the tools needed to start selling on social media, and collect data on your customers. These essential tools will help you engage in the ultimate social retail strategy. Start today!
With spooky season right around the corner, retailers should be getting ready. Having a head start on marketing for a holiday is essential. The best retailers prepare at least a month in advance for most holidays. We have created a free resource page with Halloween marketing resources that any business can use!
On the page you will find various materials that you can use in your Halloween communications. This includes: Halloween hashtags, retail promotion ideas, over 20 royalty-free Halloween stock images, color schemes, a spooky Halloween font, and some inspiration for your Halloween displays.
Click here to access the TAKU Halloween marketing resources!
Some of the best marketing opportunities come during various holidays. Staying ahead of your holiday calendar and preparing is the key to boosting your sales. Check out our blog on year-round holiday marketing.
Fall is fast approaching, and for Canadian retailers this means gearing up for the Thanksgiving long weekend.
Although Canadian Thanksgiving isn’t as closely associated with shopping (compared to the U.S. holiday), retailers can still create a unique experience for shoppers.
Keep reading to find out how you can gobble up your fair share of sales this Thanksgiving weekend.
3 Thanksgiving marketing strategies to Help you sell more
1) Have an attitude of gratitude
Thanksgiving is the ideal occasion to express your gratitude to shoppers. At the same time, it’s an opportunity to excite them with upcoming Thanksgiving promotions and discounts.
So thank loyal customers for their business by offering them something in return – in the form of special deals, coupons, or gifts! The following is a list of possible promotions you can run during the weekend:
A Free Gift with Every Purchase: This promotion type encourages shoppers to make a purchase by offering more value for the same price. In order to create a sense of urgency among customers, retailers should stress that the promotion is limited and exclusive. Meaning that the gift is only offered for a certain period of time and until stock runs out. For example, think about using the words “while supplies last” or “offer valid from October 6-14” on your promotional materials.
Percentage Discount: This is the most straight-forward and popular promotion type. Seasonal discounts help attract new customers and get rid of slow moving or seasonal stock.
Buy One, Get One Free: Studies show that offering shoppers something for free is oftentimes more effective than a discount. You can pair high-margin items with slow moving stock. Or, you can increase the amount of items required in the promotion. For example, “Buy 3, Get 1 Free”. The Body Shop is a retailer that frequently and effectively employs this promotion strategy.
Offer treats to show your appreciation: You could offer some Thanksgiving treats in-store to your customers. Things like cookies or pumpkin pie slices are a quick and easy option to show your customers you are thankful for their support. Besides a delicious treat, customers will associate the wholesome feeling of gratitude with your store.
Gratitude in your messaging too
The attitude for gratitude shouldn’t end at your sales strategies. Practice gratitude in the messaging throughout your store and to your customers. Making sure your loyal customers understand your gratefulness towards them is an amazing way to make these customers feel special. Use sentences that express thankfulness throughout your store and adverts. Sentences like the following:
Thank you for supporting us!/ Thanks for your support! (this one is a great little message to add on your store receipts)
We love our (your brand name) family! Thank you for sticking with us!
We’re here because of you, thank you!
Once you’ve gotten your promotion strategy in place, make use of digital marketing tools to spread the word about your’s store Thanksgiving promotions. An email marketing campaign and social media are both effective tools that will help generate a buzz and increase foot traffic for your store.
Listed below are best practices to follow for creating an email marketing campaign that converts subscribers to shoppers:
Include an incentive in the subject line. Many business owners overlook the importance of email subject lines. If your email headline does not grab the attention of shoppers (even if it is drafted to perfection), it is unlikely that anyone will open it. By including an incentive in the subject line, you can improve your email open rate. An example of a compelling, incentive-driven subject line is,”35% Off Thanksgiving promotion starts tomorrow”.
There are many ways to give back to the community this Thanksgiving season.
One way is to partner up with a local food bank by holding a canned food drive at your physical storefront. Not only does this showcase your store’s community support, it also helps drive foot traffic to your store. Create incentives for shoppers to donate by giving a % discount to every shopper who drops by your retail business with canned food.
You don’t necessarily have to partner up with a food bank either. Think about teaming up with a local organization that is related to your business. For example:
A pet food store could partner with an animal shelter.
A women’s clothing store could team up with a domestic violence shelter in the area.
Health food stores could work with local homeless shelters.
Supporting a cause that both you and your shoppers believe in will help you build brand awareness and create new marketing opportunities for your retail business.
Bonus tip: use Thanksgiving hashtags
Make sure you are using relevant hashtags in all your digital communications! This allows you to reach more people who are looking for Thanksgiving related stuff. The following hashtags are great for the holiday:
Remember, Thanksgiving sets the stage for Halloween and Black Friday – two of the biggest shopping days of the year. So it’s a great opportunity to generate a buzz and get shoppers excited for upcoming promotions and deals!
Did you find this article helpful? We will be posting more holiday marketing tips in the upcoming weeks. Subscribe to our blog to stay updated!
Invented in 1994, the QR code was originally made so that Toyota could track car parts in their manufacturing process. 28 years later, QR codes have become so much more. In particular, the COVID pandemic helped popularize the use of QR codes in businesses everywhere. Whether you’ve seen it being used by shoppers adding social media accounts or to view a digital menu, it’s an increasingly common tool that retailers can use to speed up service and improve customer experience. Here are 4 different ways QR codes can help retailers.
1. Attract more shoppers to your website
QR codes can look like a complicated barcode but they are actually an image of information. For example, you can store everything from phone numbers and documents to website addresses. But sharing websites and social media accounts is definitely the most common use for QR codes. By adding a QR code to any marketing materials or signage, you are giving shoppers the fastest way for them to access your website or social media accounts. Instead of typing addresses or searching for accounts, shoppers can simply scan the QR code with the camera on their phones and access your information in 1-click.
By making it easier for shoppers to get access to your online storefront and social feeds, you will attract more shoppers to your business. After all, being found online or having an online storefront will not only increase your online sales, it helps drive foot traffic back to your physical store as shoppers have an easy way to stay up-to-date on new product launches, special offers, etc.
2. Sell from your shopfront window
Another way QR codes help retailers sell is to make it easier for stores to sell things from their physical shopfront window. For example, adding QR codes next to products that are displayed in your shopfront window that link to each specific product in your online catalog. This gives shoppers an easy way to scan a product to find out more or even buy online, even when your store is closed. Doing this makes your storefront window more engaging and informative – both of which are important for good customer experience.
3. Get more social media followers
Many retailers today use QR codes to make it easier for shoppers to follow their social media accounts. Since QR codes are scanned as website links, shoppers can easily open your social media accounts with 1 click. Making it easier for people to find your accounts will increase the likelihood that they will follow you. Place these QR codes anywhere customers and business partners can see them (email signatures, profile pictures, in-store signs, counter stickers, etc.).
4. Give fast access to free WiFi
One of the best uses of QR codes is to give shoppers 1-click access to guest WiFi in the store. You can create a QR code that store visitors can scan to be automatically connected to your guest WiFi. This is a special type of QR code that automatically enters the network name and password into an iPhone or Android mobile phone. Shoppers love it as it means no more entering network names or long passwords. It is also better for your network security as you don’t need to disclosing the actual password.
If you want to encourage shoppers to browse, offering free guest WiFi is a great way to get shoppers to stay for a longer time in your store. It doesn’t cost you anything and it’s been shown that shoppers that stay longer in a store buy more things and spend more money.
Scroll down to learn how to create your own WiFi QR code.
How to create QR codes
QR codes are very simple to create. All you need is online QR code generator to make them. When using these platforms, creating your QR code is as simple as pasting the website address you would like customers to open. Then press the generate button, and congratulations you will have just made your first QR code!
A. Standard QR codes
For standard QR codes, we have three recommendations: QR Code Monkey, QR Code Generator and Canva. QR Code Monkey is a great free option. QR Code Generator offers a few more features and even has a premium membership. Canva is our favorite option of the three. Canva is already a very versatile and easy-to-use application for creating designs. Their QR code generator paired with their design tools can allow for some really creative uses of QR codes.
B. WiFi QR codes
The main difference when creating QR codes for WiFi sharing is that the code generator needs to support WiFi information. A good tool for this is QiFi.org which was built specifically for this.
All you need to do is enter the SSID (network name) and password for your guest WiFi network. You may also need to enter the Encryption type, so check your Wi-Fi settings if you don’t already know this. Once all of the information is entered, click Generate to produce the code.
Now you know some ways QR codes can help retailers. Time to start implementing this popular technology to your business. You can follow one of the tactics we mentioned, or get creative and try your own tactic. If you end up coming up with your own QR tactic, please feel free to share it below in the comments!
If you’ve been keeping up with TAKU blogs we assume you are already offering Buy Online, Pick Up In-Store (BOPIS). If you aren’t, check out how TAKU can help you to easily offer BOPIS with 0 headaches! 85% of shoppers interviewed in this study have admitted to making extra in-store purchases when visiting to pick up their orders. It’s essential to be thinking about how retailers can get shoppers to add more to their store pick up orders since this is the best way to get the most out of your BOPIS offerings.
Let’s go over some strategies YOU can start using today to get more impulse purchases through in-store pick ups.
Start on the online front
Your first opportunity at getting customers to add more to their purchase during a BOPIS order is on the online front. Your customers are already ready to make a purchase when they go onto your website to make an order – this is the perfect time to strike! CNBC mentions that “once you’ve mentally committed to buying an item online, you know you’ll have to go through the required steps such as entering your information… so you may be more open to tossing additional stuff into your cart.” Here are two tactics you can use to upsell online.
The fear of missing out (FOMO) is a very real thing. Finder.com reported that more than half of consumers said they made an impulse purchase because of FOMO. Timed discounts are a perfect way to use this attitude to make more sales. When a consumer is making a pick up order on your website, you can upsell another item to them at a discount. Make sure this discount has a timer on it, so they have to make the decision quick or miss out on the offer forever.
You can upsell products on the checkout screen of your website with ease. You can recommend products that pair well with whatever the customer is buying and have them be easy to add to the customer’s cart right from the checkout screen.
Real-time stock quantities
Showing real-time stock levels for items on your website is a great way to get shoppers to add more to their store pick up order. Shoppers whose purchases are driven by stock availability would be excited to add more to their cart if they know those items are available and can be picked up all at once, in one visit.
On top of that, you can still appeal to a customer’s FOMO with this tactic. If the customer sees that an additional item only has 1 unit left in stock, they will be more likely to reserve the item online so that they do not miss out. Adding a tool such as TAKU’s built-in integration to Google to your own online store makes it easy for you to effortlessly showcase your available store products online.
In-store strategy to upsell
Another opportunity to increase additional sales of a pick up order is within the store itself. As BOPIS’ name suggests, your customers will have to come in-store to pick up their products. This provides another avenue to promote extra purchases. Here are some tactics that will get shoppers to add more to their pick up orders.
Transaction building with expert employees
A transaction building strategy will motivate consumers to add more to orders. For example let’s pretend you are an hardware store. If a customer comes into buy a bath tub for a washroom renovation they may realize there are some other products they will need. These can include things like caulking, shower heads, and maybe even a shower curtain rod. You can train your employees to bring these subjects up when the customer comes into pick up their order, this will ideally lead to more additions to their purchase. Having well-informed employees is a huge advantage for this strategy. Think about a time where an employee’s expertise in a store has helped you make the right purchase.
Price threshold discounts
Another simple way to get shoppers to add more to their store pick up order is to offer discounts based on their transaction price. Let’s say a customer is coming in to pick up a $180.00 order. You could tell them that if they make a $200.00 purchase they will get an additional 10% off. This will get them to look around your store for a $20 item so that they can get the discount. The urgency of the in-store offer is often enough to get them to purchase an extra item or two.
Promotions on receipts
If the customer has already made the pick up without adding anything to their purchase, you can make a last ditch effort through receipt marketing. You can leave messages on the receipts of transactions which communicate in-store promotions and discounts. This way the customer knows that next time they can take advantage of in-store promotions and add to their basket. Companies like Fobi offer products which can help you make the most out of receipt marketing.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good game? Using the reward system that games use can help your customers feel more enticed to make additional purchases. At the pick up center of your store you could add a spin-to-win wheel that will give customers special promotions with the purchase of an additional item. You could also try to upsell a specific item which will enter the customer into a raffle to win something exciting.
Don’t sleep on food
Have you ever been to a hardware store and saw their displays near the cash registers and wondered why? You know, those displays showcasing snacks like chips, candy and nuts. Well there’s a reason to include those items there. Even if you are not in an industry usually related to food, you can easily offer food items as small last minute purchases. When someone is coming in quickly to pick up an item, sometimes the convenience of having a drink or snack be easily grabbable is just what they need. Why would the customer drive to a gas station to buy a water bottle when they can easily grab one right at your store as they are picking up their order?
Make it easy to add more
In order to get the best results with any of these tips, you go to make it easy for the customer and employee. No one is going to want to add to their order if it is made a hassle. Your employees should be easily able to add additional items to the customer’s order with quickness. POS systems like TAKU make this as easy as possible.
TAKU can help your store manage BOPIS and curbside fulfillments efficiently. In addition to running all your in-store and online sales in one system, TAKU’s built-in free Google listings allow you to easily advertise your real stock availability to current customers. Want to get started? Click the button below for a free demo.