- By Nick Frost
As we continue to rifle through our stocking full of holiday campaign advice (thus far, pulling out some inspiring trinkets, some early-bird specials and some useful insights), our next goody comes in the form of ways to drive festive online feet back to your offline stores.
Though it may seem like the proliferation of online shopping means that people prefer clicks and convenience, it turns out that around 85% of consumers would still rather be able to sample, touch and try on items at brick-and-mortar locations. If nothing else, most people view online and offline as a singular experience, not one versus the other.
However, it’s never safe to assume that, just because stats show an overwhelming majority of people still prefer actually going into stores, people will automatically want to go into yours. Before you get into the thick of the all-important holiday period, here are a few tips and tricks to ensure you can coax customers out from behind their screens.
Tip #1: It all starts with local data.
Before your holiday campaign has any kind of influence to bring consumers offline, ensure you’re working with the right local data to properly target them. In other words, determine the right directories for you, get listed on them and keep your info as clean as possible at all times.
Having precise provides you the best opportunity to understand as many things about your customer base as possible: who’s shopping , when they’re shopping, why they’re shopping with you over a competitor, etc. These insights allow you to carefully craft different messages tailored to different customers, rather than simply putting out one singular campaign and hoping for the best.
Tip #2: Promote in-store events — and make them shareable.
The holiday season is all about celebrating big events and bringing people together. It only make sense, then, that your customers (both potential and existing) should be doing both of those things in your stores.
Create a solid one-two punch by holding exclusive events and promoting them in advance on social media. Everyone loves a party, but it doesn’t just have to be that — depending on what products you offer, you could set up classes on weekends, how-to demonstrations or anything else that would attract a group.
The key, though, is to tie it back to social media by making it shareable. Some little extra touches can turn your event into the kind that others will see on their social channels and associate positively with your brand. Attach a hashtag that people can follow, set up a backdrop in front of which patrons can take photos to share, add a Snapchat geofilter to your shop, bring in a DJ for a few hours and go full-on block party, bring in local celebrities — get creative!
Tip #3: Create incentive to visit with in-store promos.
One of the simplest ways to get online shoppers into your physical locations is to offer them something appealing, andmake it offline-only.
There are many ways you can accomplish this: offer your online followers coupons that can only be used in-store, make certain items exclusive to your offline locations, have special deals on items that you’re promoting as part of an in-store event, etc.
Make sure, however, to not go overboard with the amount of offerings you make available in-store only. The goal, after all, is to entice those who are shopping online with special deals, not drive them away because half of your items aren’t available online.
Tip #4: Ride the click-and-collect wave.
In a similar vein, also consider the possibility of offering click-and-collect service during the holidays, which would allow people to make their purchases online and still give them a legitimate reason — in this case, picking up their items — to visit your store.
Click-and-collect isn’t just a rising trend among grocery stores, although the statistics out of the grocery world prove it’s poised to become a key element in brick-and-mortar based industries: according to a recent research report, 71% of businesses are in the process of developing a click-and-collect program for omnichannel growth.
Aside from giving your customers a practical reason to visit your store and making their holiday shopping that much easier, this can also act as a great incentive for you to significantly up the quality of in-store experience. Add in a specific incentive to come pick up in store (say, 10% off all stocking stuffer accessories) — and you’re adding value to the customer’s decision.
Tip #5: Set up Snapchat geofilters to target specific customers.
When consumers are near your stores and, in essence, right where you want them to be, reaching them using Snapchat’s geofencing capabilities is an excellent way to catch them in a micro-moment during the holiday season.
Adding creative geofilters as part of your campaign allows you to define the exact area you want to target, establish specific dates and time that you want to strike and measure how much success your campaign is having as it happens.