Increase Exposure by Marketing Online
|By Shari Waters, former About.com Guide|
When you opened the brick and mortar retail shop, chances are you planned for a grand opening or ribbon cutting. Marketing and advertising to get the word out about your new business was probably one of your top concerns. Marketing online is just as important for a retail store.
Don't just sit there watching cob webs gather on your website. Whether you sell products online or have a one-page website, there are many ways to generate more in-store traffic from your online presence. Increase exposure online with these Internet marketing tips for your retail store.
One of the fastest ways to spread word about your store, and products or services, is by sending a press release. Media outlets all thrive on press releases every day. The abundance of online news distribution services is now making it easier than ever for retailers to announce new product lines, special events and other shop news.
Retailers that sell products online should most definitely be using product feeds to reach a broader audience. A product feed is simply a file generated from the website that lists product details such as photos, descriptions, pricing and even specials. These product feeds can be submitted to shopping comparison websites, search engines and also made available to customers using feed readers.
There are many ways a retailer can appear as an expert or voice of authority in a certain industry. One way is to host classes, seminars or workshops in-store. Another way is by signing up to teach related continuing education courses at the local college.
Newsletter and email marketing is key in keeping in touch with the customers you've manage to get in your store or on your website. It takes a lot of work to gain a customer. Why let them leave without offering a way to stay in contact?
5. Submit Your Site9
Many new website owners submit their site to the major search engines and then sit back and wait for customers to come. While this is an important step for marketing online, website owners often overlook all the other directories available.
6. Grab Local Listings11
Google, Yahoo, Superpages and other directories and search engines are creating tools for local shoppers to find your business, provide maps of location, hours of operation and even coupons. Many of these listings are free with upgrade options for a fee.
If your store has paid for a print display ad in the local newspaper, you may know how ineffective marketing without spoken word or visual imagery can be. Radio and television marketing may be too pricey for your shop's budget, but there is another option.
Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn may or may not help you sell your products but if that's where your customers hang out, maybe you should too. The blogs on these sites can help retailers keep in touch with shoppers, make announcements or feature new merchandise and promotions.
One very popular and effective method of Internet marketing for retailers is the affiliate program. This is the process in which a retailer pays one or more affiliates for each sale or customer gained as a direct result of the affiliate's marketing efforts. The retailer generally provides banners, buttons or product feeds for the affiliate's use.
10. Give Something Away19
Shoppers love to get something for nothing! Retailers know this and have used freebies and giveaways as marketing tools for decades. Pens with the business name on them at the checkout counter and shopping bags with store logo are so commonplace in a retail store that we may not even see them as marketing items. Unfortunately, these items can actually become quite costly.
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