Taking the brick and mortar experience to the online world on click and mortar is a must for most retail businesses. That’s because platforms can beautifully showcase the essence and intricacies of your brand, as well as expand upon its visibility and reach in the world.
When taking your retail business online, you’ll first need to consider which platforms you should be on (Pinterest is great for decor, Instagram for fashion and Facebook for hardware, for example). Rather be selective and choose what fits your brand best, and dedicate time and effort into your online presence. The customer experience of your brand should be enhanced by these online channels and while content should be tailored to meet the needs of the particular network, there should be an integrated approach when it comes to your content.
While there are many advantages of including social media in your online marketing, one of these is the versatility of what you’re able to share with your audience. This means not only the product or service, but the sharing of helpful tips or events. You can draw people to your social media pages externally too, for instance by including icons, links or website widgets to people who engage with your brand.
This external crossover links to the actual retail business too: people want you to share content relating to the actual physical store - you should be candid and share your behind the scenes moments and take multimedia footage of your displays. With that being said, consider your social media pages as your online display windows. When you're dealing with your store front, every detail is considered, from lighting to smell and product displays. This needs to be applied to your social media, with precision and thought behind each post. The look and feel you are known for needs to come across through your social pages. Here's an example from Chanel - notice how their Instagram feed matches the brand seamlessly:
Spark some creativity when it comes to your social media accounts. Think about content in a multidimensional way and don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques, from boomerang to creating animated videos to share. You also want to appeal to your audience through influencers who match your brand and can help with your reach.
Communicating for a purpose
Successful social media requires effort and when examined closely, it can take you through the user’s entire buying process. Your business should start with understanding the various insights available through social media platforms. This is not solely based on your followers, but also on presiding trends. Monitor the way in which your customer base interacts with them as a means of gaining greater insight into your target audience. If you provide a service, be cognisant of the ways in which this is shared online and likewise with products - if unboxing is important yet not being revealed online, then analyse how you could improve on this aspect, for instance.
When communicating with purpose, your retail business needs to plan content carefully and have a strategy in place. This should include consistently posting high quality content that grabs and sustains the attention of your audience. They are expecting you to ‘wow’ them and thanks to social media, you can achieve this in several ways. Finally, you need to pay close attention to the trends that occur in social media marketing, as this is an aspect of online marketing that is continually evolving.
This leads us to the purpose of retail businesses being on social media: social shopping. Whether your offering is available for purchase through online mediums or not, social media is often a starting point. From inspiration to research, your audience are open to viewing inspirational content that could improve their lives. Be sure to showcase this through high quality content that speaks to your customer. Your strategy in this regard needs to be rooted in increasing awareness and fostering buyer consideration.
Once you have that aspect down, you need to deliver the results of these efforts through traffic. Make the next point clear to the audience and ensure their next steps are simple to take. This can be achieved through call to actions and appropriate links, though one needs to assess whether a soft or hard sell approach will resonate well with your customer. This provides your strategy with purpose and if you’re increasing your reach with your social media presence, this is attainable.
Let’s not forget that social media is all about being social. This is a great opportunity for you to connect with your audience and to engage with them. Build relationships and encourage interactions. You can do this by directly messaging people or presenting questions in the captions that require comments. Your brand voice should be determined and applied consistently and your response time should be as quick as possible. Remember that business in the modern world is collaborative, so consider sharing links, information and recommendations that are pertinent to your business.
Now that you’ve got a community of engaged people online, you need to maintain these relationships and ensure the entire customer experience is optimal and loyal - every customer is king! Each experience with your business could result in a review, something which is powerful for your brand perception and future sales potential. When people are happy, they will become brand ambassadors and advocates - this is the ultimate goal for your retail business. If you’re looking for ways to enhance this, be sure to share user generated content and collaborate with representatives as part of influencer marketing.
Social media provides retail businesses with ample opportunities to share unique content pertaining to and enhancing the customer experience. With a dedicated strategy in place, you can improve your business - and bottom line - through social media.
Looking for an agency to handle all of the above for you? Get in touch with us at Nexa.