With more and more people shopping online, shops have seen a decrease in retail store sales. If you did not believe this is happening, then even Mary Portas has been challenged by the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister to review the future of the High Street and attempt to bring back interest into brick and mortar stores. This should be evidence enough that your marketplace is changing, and you need to be pragmatic in your approach to marketing and sales.
Over the years online retail has become more and more popular, and the majority of businesses will have a website online, or at least be looking to launch their online presence. Harnessing this sales tool is vital for businesses in the 21st century, and we are going to give you some tips on how to help your website reach its full potential - getting sales!
Social MediaSocial Media sites are normally large community based sites which are used for submitting and ranking different stories, products, pictures or articles. These are a great way to attract relevant traffic, but you have to get a little bit clever -
1. Digg - Digg is a popular social media much like Reddit, which bases its content on a system of user reviews, if your submission is liked then it will be published on the front page and will attract lots of traffic. Always start by submitting something useful to a specific category, and see where it takes you. I would not advise submitting your website home page, as this just seems like self-promotion. You want to post something that will contribute to the community and be informative or useful.
2. Del.icio.us - This is a simple platform where you can share your favourite content, and have it reviewed by other users of the site. Visitors can submit URLs and browse through articles and relevant information in all sorts of categories.
3. StumbleUpon - A very active platform that allows users to access useful, interesting and informative content that they would never normally see. Submit yours to a relevant category and as users come across it they can vote and promote your website for you!
4. Squidoo - More of a micro-blogging platform than a submit and see website, Squidoo allows you to create your own information based website which is then distributed around their network. This is an ideal way to share the secrets of your trade and let out some insider knowledge. A good example is the UK Shopping lens which is both informative and insightful.
Networking can be a great way to meet similar communities of people and get involved with upcoming events, recruitment, promotions and much more.
1. LinkedIn - This is the one website synonymous with professional networking on the web. Sign up and get your business listed along with your market, employees and relevant profiles. This will then allow other businesses to contact you in regards to reciprocal agreements or even business opportunities. You will also find LinkedIn is a great way to find qualified recruits for any job openings you may have.
2. Facebook - Yeah this might seem like a weird one for a lot of you, but Facebook is no longer just for kids. Many businesses are using this platform as a tool for advertising and marketing their products or services, and they are reporting great results. Because Facebook advertising is still fairly new, prices are still quite low so there is no reason why you should not test it out.
This should be enough to get you started at least. Remember try not to use these sites for shameless self-promotion, but try and contribute something useful to the community and you will get a lot more response and interest. The most common route taken to solve this is to write an in-depth article about your business or your market, and use that to submit. For example you may own a local clothing store, so you could write about changing fashion trends, new designer labels etc. This can then be tied in to your website and readers will gain interest and hopefully browse your site as a potential customer.