This chapter is all about getting new customers. About making sure your business is visible everywhere your customer is looking: online at work; on their laptop; at home in bed browsing Facebook or Pinterest on their tablet; walking down the high street or heading home on their commute.
Gone are the days when you could expect customers to find their way to your store of their own accord, either on the high street or via search engines. With the growth of social media, marketplaces and pop-up stores, you now have to fight your battle on many more fronts.
In this chapter we’ll look at marketing and traffic generation for an omnichannel retailer, the pros and cons of various sales channels and marketing channels, and a brief look at marketplaces like eBay and Amazon.
Why not get out of the bubble, do some exploring around new channels, and meet your customers on their home turf.
Our panel of retail experts discuss each chapter in detail with the authors of the Omnichannel Survival Guide
A study made of the top 500 retailers in the UK showed that on average, merchants provided five ways for customers to get in touch with them, with Marks and Spencer, the grocery and clothing chain, providing eight!
It’s clear that finding new customers in the modern omnichannel world involves many moving parts. How do you choose the right mix for YOUR business?
Fortunately most channels have a low cost of entry. However, to get enough data to really figure out whether it’s worth putting more time into something, you will need to commit some budget. But before you put your hard earned cash in, make sure you have systems in place to measure success.
Different channels will have different measures of success. Building up a huge following on Facebook, for example, might not drive any direct revenue, but it might start a ball rolling that later turns into financial success. The same goes for any of the other social media platforms - so maybe in the early days just look at increasing your reach, followers and engagement. Go for the long game.
On some channels, you can measure financial success directly. Time invested in listing products on Amazon or eBay should result in more sales. Simple. But don’t forget to track all costs as well as sales, so you can use profit as the measurement rather than revenue.
Whatever channels and technology you use, be consistent in your messaging. As potential customers flitter from Twitter to Pinterest to Facebook to your website, they should be seeing a strong brand that knows what it’s about. A brand with a voice. A character. A purpose. Provide a continuous thread that helps people remember they are dealing with the same company, wherever they find you
There are various marketing channels your customers might use to reach you:
Success in today’s omnichannel retail world requires your brand to be present in all these places and more. Now, let’s look at some available marketing and sales channels in a bit more detail.
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