Following on from our previous blog about getting retail shops online, we thought we’d take this a step further. So in this post we’ll explain some things you can do as retailers to promote your business, get it found online and start selling more products.

Your first step should be to get your business onto Google My Business, carefully filling in all the checklists. It’s astonishing how much local traffic you can drive both to your online shop, and to your bricks-and-mortar store, by doing this.

Google My Business

Your next step is to identify the best keywords for your site. This is known as SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Your prospective customer will be typing in words to find your type of shop, products or services. Get your keywords right and you’ll help Google to recognise the value of your site, putting it right in front of people when they use those search terms.

Google Logo Promote Business

Paid adverts on Google, known as Google Ads, also work much better when your site is fully optimised for keywords. They’ll be significantly cheaper too. So when someone types in the exact type of product that you stock, your advert will appear at the very top of the search results. That means you top the list right at the moment where your potential customer has money in their pocket that they’re ready to spend.

Google Adwords Guide - 5 Traps To Avoid

Social media is another incredibly effective marketing tool. It depends what you’re selling as to which platform you should concentrate on. But Facebook and Instagram are the two that that consistently return the best results for most retailers. With both of these platforms you can post pictures of your products and services, updating your news feed on a regular basis. But you can also run paid advertising campaigns as well. And one of the best things about paying for advertising through Facebook and Instagram is that it can be very specifically targeted to the type of customer who would buy your product.

social media icons

Let’s suppose you sell trainers. Social media lets you be extremely selective about who you target, so you can aim your ads at people trying to get fit, athletes and people with an interest in playing sports. It means you’re not wasting any of your advertising spend on anyone else.

There’s also something called Pixel Retargeting. This allows you to place certain adverts in front of a ‘warm audience’. This means people who have already been to your website, and they’re classed as ‘warm’ because they’re already aware of you. They know what you do and what you sell. Engage them with the right kind of advert and you can convert them into a customer quite easily.

Pixel Retargeting can actually take this to a whole new level. If you place your pixel correctly you can work out which pages and products your site visitors are looking at. Then you can show them images and information about products relating to the pages they’ve already viewed.

So if somebody was on your sports website looking at kit bags, then that’s the kind of targeted advert you could be sending to them. Someone else who was viewing jogging bottoms would see adverts for those, whilst someone who’d viewed trainers would see those types of products. And it’s amazing the amount of sales that you can generate in this way.

Woman Shopping On Her Phone

What you have to remember is that online customers tend to go from shop to shop, rather than buying from the first place they visit. So if your shop happens to be the first one they visit, it won’t matter that you have the best products at the very best prices. By the time they’ve visited three or four more online stores and had a bit of a browse, they’ve probably forgotten all about you. And that’s where the power of these targeted ads really comes in.

Another powerful aspect of social media is that it lets you generate a community. Every online sports store can sell a pair of red Nike trainers, so it’s difficult to compete. You could try to beat everyone else on price, but that tends to be race to the bottom and people go out of business adopting that approach.

But through social media you can create communities of people that you can engage with. You can provide them with valuable information and give them somewhere to chat amongst themselves. And once you’ve built that community up it turns into a very powerful means of promoting your products. Suddenly those customers don’t care whether your pair of trainers is £5 more expensive than someone else’s – they recognise you, they like you and they want to give you their business. The value of this is even greater when you run a local business. When you create an online community you’re creating business for both your retail store and your online one.

How to improve your online shop

If you’d like to find out more about getting your retail store online, then please get in touch with us at Brookstone, and we’ll give you some helpful guidance to get you started.

Want to read Part 1? Click here!