We often channelize our efforts towards selling to more customers but neglect selling more to existing customers. Sometimes, small tweaks to your existing campaign can help you boost sales by significant amounts.
Every single day, top brands come up with new and incredible ways to encourage customers to visit their stores, use their products, and keep buying more and more.
I have here three methods that ecommerce businesses as well as brick-and-mortar retail stores can use to drive conversions across channels. And these ideas are the ideal mix of using an existing resource in a new way (point of sale), milking the proverbial cash cow (email marketing), and getting leverage from a new phenomenon (Pokémon Go, yes).
This is a guest post by Lori Wagoner.
POS (and Planograms)
Imagine this scenario. You run a small local shop. You customer walks into your store intending to buy razors. However, you’ve done your homework on planograms—and have strategically placed items in all aisles to subtly encourage your customers to buy more stuff.
As a result, she adds a number of other things and dashes towards the checkout, where she realizes she is short of credit on her card. So she whips out her iPhone, but you don’t accept Apple Pay! A modern-day catastrophe.
A good POS system ensures your customers don’t walk out without making a purchase! No matter where you are selling from or how your customer decides to pay (cash, points or mobile wallet), you don’t have to turn them down.
But that’s the obvious benefit.
Apart from ease of payment, POS systems help you make lifetime customers by enrolling them in membership clubs. A lot of POS systems come with a built-in loyalty reward program which lets you save customers’ details in seconds—with the help of customer-facing displays, as they’re making the purchase—or offer them incentives to sign up after they leave the store, and then keep them coming back by rewarding repeat purchases.
What’s more, your POS can help you go “truly mobile” and take your store everywhere with you, like Christina Ruiz does. Christina is the beauty and the brains behind TopShelf Style, San Francisco’s very first mobile boutique.
Here’s a video of how she uses the Vend POS (which also boasts those customer-facing display we talked about earlier) to sell apparel online, from a physical store, and even from a truck:
Modern POS systems allow you to sell in the sneakiest ways ever! Armed with data from in-store beacons or even your app, a shop floor sales representative can walk up to customers in midst of their decision-making process, and sway them with personalized, on-the-spot deals.
With omni or multi-channel sales becoming a staple in retail, the pressure on entrepreneurs to sell on multiple outlets has increased more than ever.
Plus, the day that queues altogether vanish from checkouts across stores isn’t far either, with the prevalence of scanning apps like Scandit. If you are not using a full-featured mobile POS system, you are missing out on an opportunity to sell more to your existing customers.
According to data from Listrak, about 64 percent of shoppers consider transactional confirmation emails to be the most valuable messages in their inboxes; however, the average retailer’s email list consists only of 15 percent repeat customers.
This and other compelling statistics should force you to re-examine your email marketing strategy. Email marketing was and remains one of the best methods to ensure repeat purchases. That’s why it’s essential that you find a way to get more than 15 percent customers to sign up for your emails.
While it’s relatively easy to nudge online customers to sign up during registration, you can’t do much when your customer is buying from a physical store. (You could try and procure email addresses at the checkout by offering to send digital receipts. Many customers might prefer these to cash register receipts that fade away easily or can never be found when you need to tally them with your credit card bills.)
Once you have your customers’ emails, there are a thousand and one ways you can encourage more conversions. You could send passive customers an email on pre-defined occasions, reminding them of what they’re missing by not shopping with you (and throw in a personalized coupon for added measure, as shown in the example below:
If you sell items that need to be replenished on a monthly basis, or provide a subscription service, reminder emails work wonderfully well to persuade customers to buy from you again:
These are just a couple of the numerous ways you can persuade customers to keep buying from you through emails. If you don’t have an email marketing strategy, don’t waste a minute more! Here’s an in-depth guide on how to make email marketing work for ecommerce.
Yes, you read it right.
Pokémon Go can help you sell more!
Ned Senft, the co-owner of Comix Connection, saw a 5-10 percent jump in sales during the weekend at the Mechanicsburg location due to gamers flocking the area. Philip Given of York City Pretzel Co. too reported an increase of 10 percent in sales. (York Daily Record)
These are just the two of the many retailers who are benefitting from the meteoric popularity of Pokémon Go. All you have to do is purchase “lure modules” and become a PokéStop; these will attract Pokémon players to your shop and keep them around for at least 30 minutes.
Tempting them with discounts on your products while they are hunting monsters in-store is a tactic that has the potential to send your sales soaring! You could also try some gamification by offering special discounts to customers based on Pokémon Gym scores or how evolved their Pokémons are: say, Squirtle, Clyster, and Charizards might get a greater percentage of discount.
If all this sounds Greek to you, spend some time reading this awesome guide on selling with the help of Pokemon that Lina Vashurina at Ecwid has put together.
The Last Word
With rising competition in ecommerce and brilliant startups coming up, you need to think out of the box and find better, unique and interesting ways to attract customers, both new and existing. Point of sale systems, emails and Pokémon Go, are all mediums that facilitate practical but creative ideas to enhance sales, no matter what and where you are selling.
If you’re a retail marketer, please let me know in the comments if you’ve had any success in customer retention by trying these out!
About the Author:
Lori Wagoner is a marketing researcher, content creator and strategist who works with small businesses and organizations to help them gain online visibility. Feel free to strike up a conversation on Twitter @loridwagoner.