Marketing a Business That is Online and Has Physical Outlets

For any business marketing is essential. The ones that put the effort in and do it right are the ones that quickly go from being start-ups to SMEs and significant national, even international, players.

But, getting it right is not easy. Especially if you are running a business that sells in different ways. For example, using physical retail outlets as well as an e-commerce store. It is all too easy for that kind of retailer to end up being stretched too thin and failing to effectively market both branches of the business.

What you will learn from this article

To help you to avoid this issue we have come up with some tips and strategies you can use. None of them are complicated or costly to implement. As you will see, some of them will even end up saving you money.

Understand your consumers

Understanding your customers is the first step to putting together any kind of marketing campaign. If you do not know what the people who buy from you want, you will not be able to consistently provide it for them. When that happens, they will inevitably start to shop elsewhere.

This article by Neil Patel is about understanding your online customers, but virtually everything he shares in it will apply equally to your in-store buyers. It is quite long but it is also comprehensive. So, if you want to gain a deeper understanding of your existing and potential customers, it is well worth reading.

Set up analysis for every advert

A big part of understanding your customers is analysing how they respond to the promotions, advertising, and branding that you are currently using. If you are not already testing out different formats and using A/B analysis in your business, start doing it soon. It is not as complicated as you think. For example, if you are using digital signs for marketing strategies in your stores it is easy to find out which adverts and promotions convert and which do not. All you have to do is to note the time an advert went on display and check the sales data from that point until the next ad change to see if there was an uplift in sales. If there was, you know that style of advert appeals to the demographic that was in your store at the time.

The next day, you could run the same promo but use a different style of advert to see if that converts better. A similar strategy can be used with your online advert and promotion campaigns. You can find out how to do that by reading this guide.

Save time and money by creating multi-purpose advertising materials

Creating marketing materials for your business is expensive. So, you want to be sure that you get the most out of all of your marketing materials. Ideally, you want to be able to use most videos, images, gifs, memes, logos, and branding online as well as in your physical stores. Bearing this in mind at the creation stage will enable you to do this for most of your marketing campaigns.

Use events in your physical store to create online buzz

Engaging online buyers via social media is a proven marketing technique. Most business owners know this. Yet, many of them do not post regularly to their social media channels. In most cases, this is because they simply run out of material. One way to get around this issue is to run in-store events, film and photograph them, then use that to create clickbait and shareable moments for your ecommerce store’s social media pages.

Bring the online experience in-store

Most consumers enjoy shopping in-store as well as online. There are things about both experiences that they like. Retailers need to recognise this, take what their customers like about each way of shopping, and find ways to merge the best of both experiences.

Setting up touch screens in-store that enable people to browse the e-commerce store sounds counter-intuitive, but it works. It means that customers can quickly identify what they want and at a click of the button see where to find each item in-store. Opening up the opportunity for the store owner to offer a package deal for the entire outfit that includes that item. Usually, that will be the outfit that is being modelled by one of the in-store mannequins.

Sound marketing always pays both on and offline

As you can see, looking at your business as a whole is essential when it comes to marketing. But it is also important to recognize the difference between the type of consumer who buys online and the ones that still want to shop in-store. Provided you do that you will be able to produce marketing campaigns for each area of your business that is truly effective. Ones that convert well and provide you with a good return on the investment you have made into marketing and advertising.