6 Inexpensive Strategies that Increase Consumer Engagement and Make Your Location One of the Best Office Spaces
The best office spaces in New Jersey are not necessarily those that lie on a main street; rather, the best office spaces are inviting and easy to find. While retail trends have changed due to the advent of online shopping, brick-and-mortar stores are far from obsolete. Consumers still want to learn about products and services in person. Below are six strategies that your business can employ to market your off-main street location. In turn, your business can encourage consumers to visit your location in person.
1. Do not underestimate the value of a coupon
Coupons are a fantastic way to encourage consumers to visit your location. Almost 80% of consumers report that coupons influence their choice of store. Retail trends in 2017 show that while digital advertising continues to have a greater impact on consumer engagement, almost 45% of shoppers prefer receiving coupons by mail. Of all coupons used, 85% of them originate from the mail. 88% of consumers are influenced to switch stores when competitors offer weekly specials. Therefore, businesses should also offer frequent sales and deals in order to influence consumer engagement. You can also send coupons by e-mail or make them available in store. 35% of consumers utilize the internet when searching for savings, coupons, or deals. Regardless of how coupons are delivered to consumers, the coupon itself should always include clear directions to your business’ location as well as display your social media handles and business contact information.
2. Consumers rely on research & recommendations when choosing where to shop
Almost 50% of consumers research brick-and-mortar stores’ services and products online. Currently, major retail trends find that consumers shop from the comfort of their homes, making decisions before visiting locations in person. 81% of purchases are influenced by recommendations. Businesses need to engage with consumers directly on social media. There are a number of ways to promote your business directly. Encourage consumers to take selfies within your store and post them on their personal social media pages. Design an easy hashtag for consumers to use in their posts discussing your business. The best practices for hashtags include keeping them short, between six and ten characters, and not overloading a post with more than a handful of hashtags. Businesses that encourage consumers to post unique content regarding the business’ products or services will be more successful than businesses that solely post social media updates on their business’ accounts.
3. Use Google’s free services to your advantage
Four out of five consumers find local businesses through search engines. Google offers an application called Google My Business, a completely free browser-based Google application. This software allows business owners to curate their information on Google Maps. Businesses should list their brick-and-mortar address and hours of operation. As well as link official websites and social media accounts to the Google Business page. There is also a free mobile app so businesses can post updates on-the-go. Google Maps and Google searches can reflect a business’ current sales or deals, so business owners should consistently update their Google My Business page with that information. Google My Business also provides business owners with the opportunity to engage with consumers through Google reviews. By being able to directly address consumer concerns or thank a consumer for a positive review, your business can increase its positive online presence.
4. Digital engagement is the key to success
A businesses’ proficiency with digital marketing tools is a primary determining factor of online consumer engagement. There are a handful of levels of digital savvy, but many businesses sit at an intermediate level of digital engagement. These businesses have simple websites and partial social media presences. While they use basic online marketing strategies, such as advertising through e-mail, these businesses suffer due to their lack of digital acuity.
High digital engagement
Businesses that move toward a high digital presence will see increased consumer engagement. High digital engagement businesses maintain polished websites, designed to work on both desktop and mobile browsing. These businesses utilize multiple online advertising methods, such as engaging with consumers on social media. Over a 12-month period, high level digital engagement businesses saw the possibility of customer interaction increase by almost 50%. The likelihood of consumers asking purchasing questions increased by 37% during the same period.Conversely, businesses that have an intermediate level of digital engagement do not perform as well over a 12-month period. These businesses saw the possibility of customer interaction increase by only 37%, and they saw the likelihood of consumers asking purchasing questions increase by 26%. Therefore, it is imperative that small businesses take the steps to be more present online.
Some of the above strategies, like using Google My Business and increasing social media posts, can help. However your business should also focus further on investing in a good website. A website that is mobile friendly will appeal to the 88% of consumers who use smartphones to search for local businesses. Your business can accomplish this either by using website building software or by working with a local web designer. Create and maintain a dedicated social media posting schedule, and your business will reap the benefits of a high digital engagement presence.
5. Join the local chamber of commerce
Chambers of commerce offer networking events and community outreach opportunities to small businesses. Almost 70% of consumers view businesses that are in a local chamber of commerce as demonstrating good business practices. 67% of consumers believe businesses in a chamber of commerce have a good reputation. When small businesses prominently feature their chamber membership, they increase the possibility of consumers frequenting their location. Therefore, it is important to routinely advertise chamber membership. This be can done both in-store and on your business’ social media pages. Each chamber has its own membership fees, so the range of affordability may change depending on location.
An alternative to joining a chamber of commerce is directly involvement with your local community. Your business can attend local school events, sponsor a youth sports team, or attend a local fair. Reaching out to your community can further strengthen your relationship with consumers. This will encourage them to visit your location more often.
6. Spruce up your storefront
Once your business has drawn more consumers to your location, it is vital that it is welcoming and easy to find. Inadequate signage causes nearly half of consumers to pass a desired business while driving. Businesses that increase the number of signs outside their storefront see a 12% average increase in sales. Simple and regularly updated sandwich boards can slow down pedestrian traffic outside of a storefront. Signs that stand out encourage three fourths of consumers to enter the store or refer its services to a friend. Two thirds of consumers will be influenced to make a purchase at stores that feature appealing signage. Illuminating a storefront’s main sign at night – even when the business is closed – can further encourage consumer engagement. Late night drivers or passerby are more likely to notice and remember your business when its signage is prominent.
Introduce some green to your storefront. Consumers in small cities are 9% more willing to purchase services or products in business districts with trees. When consumers are shopping in an area with trees, their duration of stay and their frequency of visits increases. If your location does not have trees, place some potted plants or a potted tree outside of your storefront. If you cannot routinely care for larger plants, consider featuring some succulents or cactuses; which are smaller and more manageable. Ultimately, what matters is that you introduce some verdant plant life to your storefront. A clean and welcoming store front will further encourage consumers to enter your location.
Your off-main street location is not a determination of your success. The best office spaces are those that are not only physically present, but digitally present as well. So long as you invest in coupons and sales, maintain your online presence, engage with your local community, and spruce up your storefront, your business will see increased consumer engagement. These six strategies are only the beginning of your business’ renaissance.