With stay-at-home orders still in place or gradually lifting with limitations on the number of shoppers allowed in a store, retailers are getting creative to engage customers and make sales. Looking ahead, restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic may be in place for several months over even longer. That means a retail business’ survival may depend on thinking outside-the-box.
Here’s a list of ideas to get your brainstorming started.
Step up the outreach.
Your customers – and even non-customers – want to help businesses in their communities. Reach out. Send emails to your customers outlining how they can buy from you – online, by appointment, or during limited hours. Keep them updated as the restrictions change.
Go beyond email. If your business already has a strong social media presence, lean in. If you haven’t been active on social media and you feel a little lost about how to get started, enlist a friend who knows the ropes. Post regularly on Facebook and Instagram. Share everything from updates and offers to product features and expert tips. Before you know it, you’ll build a following and attract likes, shares, and purchases!
Tap into the data in your point-of-sale system (POS) to create customer outreach. POSIM offers built-in retail marketing capabilities that make it easy to access your POS data to design targeted email and social media campaigns.
Take your shopping experience virtual.
If shoppers can’t come to you, take your store to them. For example, a toy store owner is offering shopping via Facetime for parents and their kids looking for a new game or puzzle to fill their at-home time. A gift retailer translated its in-store assistance into an online form that gift seekers can fill in about the occasion, recipient, budget, and any ideas they may have. The gift store experts take it from there, responding via email with an array of options for the shopper to choose from.
Clothing retailers are taking personal shopping virtual. One longtime boutique owner is reaching out to regular customers with personalized notes about merchandise she knows they might like, along with suggestions for accessories. The emails are well-received, especially because she makes it clear how the recommended items work in both the current environment as well as the future when people are able to be out and about more freely.
Now’s the time to amplify your e-commerce channel. Research shows that even when the world gets back to business as usual, shoppers prefer an omnichannel experience that enables them to research and browse online while mixing in face-to-face in-store experiences. Not only does having an e-commerce option keep your store open 24/7/365, but it also expands your reach beyond your local community. It pays off. Eight in ten small businesses report that adding e-commerce capabilities result in moderate to sizable revenue growth.
Leverage your point-of-sale platform to optimize your e-commerce and keep your customers engaged in both the short- and long-term. POSIM provides integrated e-commerce options that make it simple to launch an online store, along with inventory management and reporting tools to seamlessly connect your e-commerce and brick and mortar operations.
Create a kit.
What’s better than selling one item? Making a multi-product sale, of course! You can make it easier for customers by putting items together into a package. In recent weeks, craft, fabric, or needle arts retailers have had success offering pre-packaged kits with all the supplies needed for a project. Clothing stores have been getting in on the packaged sale action as well, pairing comfy leisurewear items with accessories like complimentary scarves, jewelry, – and even stylish face masks.
POSIM offers integrated kit-building capabilities that make pulling individual items from your inventory and selling them as one product easy from both a selling and an inventory management perspective.
Demo and teach.
With limited options for entertainment, your potential customers are looking for fun ways to engage. Sharing your expertise through online video demos or Facebook live events are a great way to maintain customer relationships and attract new buyers. For example, craft and sewing retailers are pairing their kit offers with complimentary online classes to make buyers feel confident about learning new skills and taking on a project. POSIM offers capabilities that enable retailers to schedule, manage registrations, and charge fees for customer classes.
In addition, apparel retailers are sharing short videos featuring new merchandise combined with style tips. And, toy and hobby stores are answering commonly asked questions for specific audience segments, such as parents and teens. Once you open up to video, the possibilities are endless – and shoppers are receptive. Forty-eight percent of consumers say the ability to view videos about products and services they’re interested in is an important part of their decision-making process. Your customers are out there, and they want to shop. If they can’t come to you, give them creative options to interact and buy online. POSIM can help. To learn more about POSIM’s e-commerce, point-of-sale, and inventory management capabilities, contact us for a demo.