“The first rule of retailing: To sell people things, you first have to get them into the store!” – Virginia Postrel – Bloomberg View
Consumers depend more and more on their mobile device to help them find products, compare prices, and check reviews. Some of them do it from the store #Showrooming, but many of them do it while sitting at the #local Starbucks or in front of the TV watching the last few minutes of their favorite TV show.
The days of just opening up a store, stocking it with inventory and a POS to manage your inventory and ring up your sales no longer exists. Relying on advertising in local newspapers or even television will not win over savvy shoppers. These methods are archaic and do very little to get new customers into your store or keep your existing ones returning. It is a connected world, and it’s time for independent retailers to realize that the mobile device in the consumers hand may do more to bring in shoppers than the sign on the door. #connectedcommerce is here to stay and it is drastically changing the way shoppers operate, as the lines between online and offline continue to blur.
Here are three areas that SMB retailers should be focusing on implementing into their business operation
Local Shops need to be Visible to Local Shoppers:
Local Shops looking to capture the attention of new customers need to be visible where shoppers are researching. Shoppers strategize their purchases with online research, and when they look to purchase the product local, shops must be able to show up on these searches. While independent retailers may feel it’s too costly and nearly impossible to show up on the first page of these searches, by utilizing the right technology, it is very possible and they can be successful in engaging the shopper. The solution is simple, doable and affordable. Retailers dismissing the idea of this type of visibility are disengaging themselves from potential local shoppers.
Give a reason for shoppers to return:
TMI (too much information) is a good thing if you want to be able to get your shoppers returning! Ensure that you have a CRM in place that will have you utilizing the information the system provides to have your shoppers returning. Pricing and promotions are a great way to target your shoppers with relevant information based on the CRM builder and their purchases. Pricing and creating targeted promotions gives retailers the opportunities to have their customers returning to purchases products they may have otherwise not considered. Give your customers reasons to come back!!!
Get Mobile and Get Social!
Antiquated POS systems have associates stuck behind a counter, utilizing mobile changes the customer experience from the point of sale, to the point of interaction. The interaction allows for associates to easily recognize a customer on the floor, their value to you as a frequent shopper, a profitable shopper, or a shopper that is driven by sales! The ability to easily recommend and suggest products based on their profile makes the interaction engaging and an experience that consumers expect, and will share! That’s building your brand.
If your POS is just a POS and does not combine the elements of Social Local and Mobile, you may be missing your share of the connected commerce market. Consumers are changing what they expect from the retail experience. It’s time to have a fully integrated solution that allows you to change with them.