5 tips to raise your digital game

digitalBy Jacqueline Hinchcliffe—lIn recent years, the way companies market their products has changed dramatically. Today, more emphasis is placed on interacting with the consumer during the initial research phase for flooring, long before entering a brick and mortar store. To keep up with the times, it’s imperative that retailers use digital marketing strategies better to drive awareness and capture those leads. Making even the smallest changes, experts say, can increase traffic to a store and/or website and thus generate more sales.

1. Personalize your SMS

When texting the consumer — be it an existing customer or prospect — it’s best to add a personal touch, according to Sam Tuttle, public relations coordinator for Podium, a software company specializing in technology. that helps companies modernize customer interactions. “Using the client’s name really makes it feel less like a marketing outreach and more like a discussion and conversation,” he explained. “I would also adopt a more conversational tone. Usually we can say things like ‘Buy now!’ or “Offer ends today,” but that’s not very conversational. That just seems very robotic. People want to feel like they are talking to a real person and not a robot or someone who doesn’t really care on the other end of the phone.”

2. Don’t stretch yourself too thin

With so many products to offer — and multiple channels to reach consumers — it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose focus. That’s why experts say it’s important to be selective in your digital marketing initiatives. “Focus on your core products, your private label brands, or your brands that give you the highest margins,” said Yuki Conlon, president of Jast Media, a company that helps various industries improve their online customer experience. “When we work with retailers and distributors, they often struggle to do marketing that includes everything. We advise them to focus on the products that make the most sense to them. Stretching yourself too thin makes marketing too complicated and cumbersome.”

3. Adjust your message accordingly

In a retail environment where consumers are bombarded with ads, it’s critical to make your communications stand out. “Personalization is really big now; just go outside and yell from a rooftop, ‘Hey! I’m selling carpeting!’ won’t grab people’s attention because there are probably six other companies in your market that say, ‘Hey! Come and buy floors from me!’” explains John Weller, CIO, Broadlume. “How do you distinguish yourself and personalize your message? Think of the people in your market and start a conversation with a smaller segment of your target group.”

4. Make use of social media

Social media is like any other advertising medium: it requires thought and may seem overwhelming at first. It really isn’t difficult, but starts with a basic understanding of your business and what you are trying to achieve. “If you’re looking to get more customers and make more money, social media is the medium,” says Lisbeth Calandrino, who has been advising flooring stores on their marketing strategies for more than 20 years. “It’s today’s marketing tool and can help you achieve what you’re looking for.”

So, what are some of the ways retailers can use the platform to their advantage? Calandrino gave this advice: “Place new products on your Facebook page and ask visitors for their opinion. If this is new to you, or if you are not familiar with these tools, ask someone to help you. Your competitors are probably already doing this. Don’t give them an undisputed advantage.”

More importantly, it’s best to be consistent in your social media activities regardless of the specific platform(s) being used. “You can’t post a week and then post three months later,” she warned. “Social media is a way to develop friendships and it takes time and consistency to build those relationships.”

5. Follow your leads

It’s great to have the latest digital tools at your disposal, but if you don’t track your leads effectively, it’s all for naught. That’s why experts like Jim Armstrong, founder of Flooring Success Systems, highly recommend that store owners and salespeople ask a simple question to every person who calls or visits their store: “‘What prompted you to visit us today? or to call)?’ Will this tell you with 100% accuracy where every lead and closed sale came from? Of course not. But by tracking this data over time, you can see patterns emerge,” Armstrong explains. picture of how much of your sales are generated by repeat customers, referrals, customers driving past your store, website visits, digital advertising, etc. And this will give you a pretty good indication of where you should keep investing your advertising dollars and where you shouldn’t. must do.”

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