Online marketing has dominated the business world for the last twenty years at least. If you were a start-up you were likely to be an online enterprise and the high street seemed to have entered a period of terminal decline. Now there are signs that things are about to change! The high street and online marketing may be about to call a truce.
The business world is embracing sales events and the high street may be making a comeback. Person to person sales are making a return to the marketing scene.
The key to making this evolving situation a success for your business is learning how to combine an on-line enterprise with a bricks and mortar store. You ignore your local market at your peril. You are missing an opportunity to showcase your business and are missing out on sales to a potentially engaged and loyal customer base.
Combine online with bricks and mortar
When you open up a local store, you do not ignore your online presence. Instead, you use the two to complement each other.
Take advantage of local SEO packages which are the most effective way to market your local business online. You will be promoting your company to local customers. When they search for the product or service that you are offering using a search engine, your website is more likely to appear to them. This gives you the edge over your competitors.
Now you need to stand out from the crowd. You have a huge advantage over larger businesses because you can identify emerging trends and act quickly with your SEO strategy. Take advantage of this and keep an eye open for what is going on.
What about your physical store?
The concept of combining a predominantly online business with a bricks and mortar store has been trail blazed by the likes of Amazon with their flagship store at Seattle’s University Village. The two elements of your enterprise are not in competition. The aim is for your store to drive customers to your on-line business. If you are clever, it could work the other way around as well.
There is more in this for you than making money. You will find that you will get a lot of personal satisfaction from establishing a bricks and mortar store. It is something that you can actually touch and see. It will give you a sense of achievement.
It is also a location where you can make a physical statement about your brand. You can polish your commitment to customer care. You control the sound, the odor and visual impact of your business. The personality of your brand should shine through.
You can use your existing stock to get it up and running. It would be useful for you to investigate the Bonobos model of marketing where they use a physical store as a ‘sample’ shop. Your clients could call in and try out products. If they like them, they could order them online for delivery to their home address. You get the best of both worlds and so do they!