ONLINE OR OFFLINE? Why NOT both?

After convincing your customers that a specialized shop is definitely better than an online store, how can you convince them that your shop is the right one for them? Here are some useful tips…

Nothing can beat vis-à-vis interaction with your customers, when it comes to trade. Luckily, most consumers still prefer shopping at physical stores rather than at online ones.

Through visual contact you, industry professionals, are able to understand the needs and desires of customers, but also listen to their complaints and take advantage of these data to build a specific marketing strategy. We all know that a strategy is necessary in order to establish a lasting and profitable relationship with them.

But you cannot achieve this goal by simply applying particularly low prices and offering advantageous discounts. Here you need cunning, creativity and strategy!

We are in the third millennium, in the digital age in which being constantly connected is part of everyday life.

How can we ensure the offline world coexists with the online world? Can it really be useful?

In the previous article « Low cost eyewear? Let’s be clear! » the Internet seemed to be your « worst enemy »; it’s true, sometimes it might be, but everything depends on how you manage to exploit it to your advantage!

Offline and online are two channels which can very well coexist and strengthen each other and which will allow you to offer the customer various tools to communicate with the company, creating a constant and lasting relationship, even outside the shop.

You will see that, even if not everyone, the more « modern » ones will very much appreciate the possibility of interacting with the staff and living a completely new shopping experience.

When we talk about offline communication we naturally mean channels that do not use the Internet, i.e. radio, television (although even this is now digitized), posters, printed paper, brochures and ordinary mail. Well, we know full well that this kind of approach is often no longer sufficient and not effective enough, I would say almost obsolete, don’t you agree? It takes something fresh, new and different that intrigues us and gives us new stimuli. Don’t you think? And here is a whole new and creative world, the online world, which involves tools such as websites, Google ads, newsletters and social networks. Yes, it’s true, it is no longer a world novelty, but still very underestimated. We are not suggesting that you stop using the old tools. On the contrary: join forces!

Before they come to you, consumers will have searched on the web. But what if you are not there? They would probably go to one of your competitors. That’s why we thought about putting together a few useful tips!

SITO WEB MOBILE FRIENDLY

Don’t you have a website? Have you had one for some time, but have not changed it for years? Do not delay. By now, this should be your business card. You don’t want to look old-fashioned, right?! Build or modernise a website and perhaps even a mobile-friendly blog, i.e. one adaptable to mobile devices. Do you know that the chances of a customer logging on from a smartphone or tablet are very high? Today, with the software available online, anyone can create a nice showcase on the Internet, but don’t go it alone. Rely on someone who is able to develop not only the mobile-friendly site, but also a site with SEO. SEO is a strategy to increase the exposure of your website by improving search engine ranking. All this is useful because only 1 shop out of 3 has a functioning website and only 1 out of 2 is optimized for mobile devices. It seems complicated, but in fact it is only a matter of small adaptations and initial settings.

SOCIAL MEDIA

It is a well-known fact that everyone or almost everyone has their own profiles on social media like Facebook, Instagram, Tweeter and many others. This does not mean you need to be present everywhere. Choose a channel that suits you and keep it active.

All the logos of the social networks on which you are present must always be indicated on the traditional printed information material, by means of a small banner; customers will be able to identify at a glance where to find you online. Because you do want them to find you, right? Who still looks in a traditional phone book? Exactly, NO ONE!

REVIEWS

Asking customers to leave online reviews (on the website or social media) is also a simple and effective way to receive feedback on products or services offered, and why not, even on improvements to be made? Constructive criticism and advice are welcome when it comes to enhancing sales and strengthening customer relations! Don’t you agree?

CHECK-IN

Mobile check-in in the shop: just a small sign at the entrance to invite customers to post their visit to your point of sale on social networks through geolocation. In a nutshell, make sure that your customers make it known to others that they are in the shop and that they are enjoying a unique experience. This is not possible by visiting the online store. Be creative and consider a small incentive to prompt them to act! After all, the more they talk about you the better!

CONSTANCE

Remember the repetition: it’s not enough to create a blog or send off some newsletters every year; you need perseverance and continuous presence. The web is quickly forgotten, so you must always be active!

SHARING

Finally, invite your customers to share photos with newly purchased eyewear on the shop’s Instagram page. Consider taking the photo yourself and posting it on your favourite channels. It could be your website, Facebook or Instagram. Create a hashtag, i.e. a keyword that can identify you; let it be preceded by # (hash key) and associate it with the image. Simple isn’t it? Alternatively, you can also encourage customers to do this work for you. The choice is yours.

These are just a few tips that seemingly may seem strange and complex, but don’t be afraid because it’s not that difficult. If you’re just starting up, focus on only a few tips and start from there, then expand your offer. There is no need to do everything at once. Take one step at a time, but do it well and with quality. You’ll see that, in time, you’ll attract more and more customers and a young and, in particular « connected » target.

Remember that the winning strategy will be to offer professionalism, integrity and concrete answers. This way you will achieve your goal – to be connected to both the online and offline worlds.

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