October 2010 page 2
Styles Accessories & Gifts
Chanel Styles has been a clothing consultant for 11
years. She started in 1999,
selling jewelry and accessories and added clothing a couple years later. She loves fashion and loves what she is
able to do for others. Her
business is run from her home, where she has converted her front room into a
showroom for her merchandise. She only
meets her clients by appointment, so that she can service them privately and
give them the one on one attention that she is known for. A big part of her success is her
ability to offer her merchandise and services through trade shows, conventions
and booths at local business or organizations. Chanel feels blessed that she has had so many opportunities
to service her community through her business and many doors have opened because
of her faith. She likes to reward
her regular customers with special shows and discounts.
Chanel has been a customer of The Immediate Resource since
2001! She feels that she gets the best
customer service from her representative, Joanna, because she is so in tune
with her clientele and business. She
loves that she can come to our showroom and
shop from our large variety and selection. Because she is in
Texas, she can also order by phone for special orders and get her merchandise
in just one day!
Chanel likes to keep her customers satisfied with excellent customer
service and she feels that The Immediate Resource is tops in customer service
you own a traditional business with a physical location? Do you have an online
presence to go along with it? If so, your website can serve dual purposes for
your business: it can be an additional source for your customers to shop and
buy your products and services, or it can simply act as a supporting branch of your
brick-and-mortar location. Either is a valid use for your online presence, but
many traditional businesses use theirs for the latter - to drive traffic to
their business' physical location(s). So how can you use your website to drive
customers to your store?
Your Website to Encourage Repeat Business from Current Customers
of the biggest mistakes that most businesses make is constantly pursuing new
customers and forgetting about existing customers. Avoid this at all cost. Your
current customers have purchased from you in the past and they know your
business. You simply cannot find a more qualified pool of people to market to,
so take advantage of your relationship with them. Not only will your current
customers be more likely to buy from you, but they'll be more likely to
recommend new customers to you, so keep them close by treating them well.
First you'll have to collect their information so you can stay in touch with
them and alert them about news and specials, etc., but once you've got that out
of the way, there are several ways to encourage repeat business. Since an
active customer base is the quickest and easiest way to boost sales, I'm going
to focus on that aspect of using your online presence to drive offline sales in
this article, but most of these ideas will work with new customers as well.
Your Website to Build Credibility
of the simplest ways to use your online presence to drive offline sales is to
build credibility with site visitors. There are many, many ways to do this - here
are a few.
a member of a reputable service organization - and make sure both your current
and potential customers are well aware of that you are a member. Once you
become a member of an organization like the Better Business Bureau, for
example, you can put their logo on your site. This will give you a lot of
credibility. Every chance you have to let your customers know about what a
stand-up business you run, do it. You can do this with professional
organizations, industry organizations, and chambers of commerce as well.
customer testimonials wisely. Most savvy business owners already know how
valuable testimonials can be to establishing credibility. Well, what if you
take a slightly different approach? Try using customer testimonials that focus
on the benefits of your brick and mortar store. You obviously have customers
who already shop at your physical location - ask the ones that love your
products and services to help you with some testimonials about the virtues of
any testimonial, it's best if you write it and then ask your customer to
approve it. That way, you'll get the testimonial you want when you want it
without hassling your customer. All they have to do is sign off on it - not
spend time writing it for you. Make it easy for them to help you out, and
reward them when they do.
that extol the great qualities of your store might include details about how
personable your staff is, what great customer service you have, and the
convenience of your location. You can probably think of fifty reasons why
people shop at your store. Start making a list and then compose ten
testimonials based on the list.
one at a time and ask a loyal customer to sign off on it. Keep doing this until
you have endorsers for all of them, and then rotate three or so every couple of
months on your site. As you get more customers, revisit your list and write new
testimonials to be approved. Your loyal customers will love helping you out,
and their testimonials will help you solidify your relationships with new customers.
Remind website visitors about the benefits of shopping in your store. If your
business derives most or all of its profits from in-store sales, remind your
customers about the benefits of shopping there. When customers visit your
store, they don't have to pay shipping, they can take the product home right
away instead of waiting for it to be delivered, they get hands-on customer
with any of these promotional ideas, there's surely a long list of benefits to
visiting your store. These things might seem obvious to you, but posting these
facts on your website will remind your customers that there are many benefits
of shopping in your store and increase visits from new customers who might
otherwise purchase products online.
Start implementing ideas like this into your marketing strategy, and
you're sure to see an increase in in-store traffic.
Article courtesy Tom Swanson
© 2005 Low-Hanging Fruit
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