Turning Web Research into Foot Traffic
When an educated and motivated customer walks through your door, it’s a matter of nurturing the momentum that brought them in and capitalizing on their impulse to buy. After all, no one wants to wait for shipping. Sometimes they just want a face-to-face with a salesperson, but more than likely they want a demo. The art of creating compelling in-store experiences has been abandoned by many (that’s a column for another day), but it behooves you to deliver a killer demo to this customer, if at all possible. It’s also important to acknowledge the customer’s research, price awareness and general knowledge, because they are seeking validation more than a recommendation. Your opinion does matter, but people generally trust online reviews over conversations with salespeople.
To get people off their screens and in the door, you need to think strategically about your online presence. You think first think about the brands you work with and whether they are generating their own interest. Vendor partners that are not committed to building their own brands via the Internet can’t be expected to help you do the same.
If ecommerce is not part of your sales model, that’s OK, but it’s important to be thinking of how to use online tools to seamlessly hand off consumers from the Internet to the in-store experience. At SVS, one of the most important marketing tactics we employ is to analyze how consumers are researching online so we can take advantage of that behavior. We take what people are already searching, liking and talking about and learn from it, rather than develop an approach based on what we think might work. Focus groups used to cost a lot of money and give questionable results; now you can gather valuable data on consumers every time they visit your website or post on social media. That’s powerful.