As we are all well aware, the Covid-19 pandemic meant that many aspects of our lives were shifted online. As a result, Ecommerce became a primary channel for retailers as in-store sales were brought to a halt. Despite an overall decrease in retail spending, Ecommerce sales have grown substantially over the last year and a half.
Nevertheless, it is crucial we don’t get ahead of ourselves when it comes to thinking only in terms of Ecommerce marketing. The impressive results over the last 18 months may overshadow the fact that Ecommerce still represents just a small percentage of total retail sales. When compared to the total volume of Swiss retailers, for example, the value of Ecommerce orders at home and abroad accounts for 14.2 per cent.
“The real road to retail success involves creating a synergy between the online and offline experience.”
So, while it is rising, this means that over 85% of retail sales still happens in physical stores. In other words, the real road to retail success involves creating a synergy between the online and offline experience. So, how can you use your online marketing efforts to ensure customers make it to the store?
Optimize your Google My Business
A critical tool for any retailer, Google My Business manages the appearance of your local business in Google Search and Google Maps. It not only contributes to more visibility but also has an impact on local SEO. As our certified Google expert, Dario Stock puts it,
“Google My Business is indispensable these days, no matter whether you own a restaurant, retail, or service provider. 80% of all searchers use the local search, according to Google. 82% use “nearby” search queries.” Find out how to leverage this vital resource here.
Understand Google and Apple Maps marketing for more in-store sales
In addition to having your Google My Business sorted, you also need to think about other places that customers might be looking for you online. And if you’re a business that serves customers face-to-face, you also need to claim and optimize the Apple Maps listing for your business.
“Remember that on iPhones and iPads, Apple is the default mapping app, not Google.”
Remember that on iPhones and iPads, Apple is the default mapping app, not Google. This is important because three out of four users of iOS devices use Apple Maps. When someone searches for a local business on an iPhone or iPad, the top result is typically from Apple. Likewise, when you use Siri to find a local business, the results come from Apple Maps. And, of course, there is the Apple Maps app itself which is used more often on iOS devices than Google Maps. To claim your Apple Maps listing, go to Apple Business Register.
Increase visibility with ads
On both Google and Apple maps, it is possible to purchase ads to boost your visibility. The new Google Maps ads are designed to help businesses be more visible when consumers are searching online (especially on a mobile device) for somewhere to eat or shop. The ads formats and features are designed to drive more foot traffic to your physical location. These include Promoted Pins (including brand logos), in-store promotions, customizable business pages, and local inventory search.
Provide your inventory availability by store
“According to Google data, one in four people avoid visiting stores because they don’t know whether a specific product is in stock.”
According to Google data, one in four people avoid visiting stores because they don’t know whether a specific product is in stock. With that in mind, it is definitely worth the effort to add local inventory information to your customizable local page. By providing Google with your local inventory feed, you can also give potential customers the ability to search through that inventory online. You can see Google’s specifications here.
Put your social media presence to work for you
When it comes to marketing your physical store online, social media can prove to be much more than just social. These social networking sites are most likely to be the first contact you have with your potential customers.
From launching a campaign and optimizing your social profiles to uploading YouTube tutorials and engaging in real-time conversation on Twitter, there are lots of steps you can take to ensure your online marketing efforts translate into more foot traffic. Get in touch to speak with one of our experts about how best to boost your in-store sales through online marketing.