Take Your Brick-and-Mortar Small Business Into the Digital World

brick-and-mortar going digital

It’s no secret that brick-and-mortar stores play by a different set of rules than online small businesses. They market in different ways and to different audiences — an online store can cast a much wider net than a brick-and-mortar shop, which relies primarily on local traffic.

There’s one thing that remains the same, however: Brick-and-mortar stores need just as much of a digital presence as their online counterparts. Just because you have a physical welcome sign and a tiny bell that jingles when someone walks through your physical door doesn’t mean you can get away with ignoring the world wide web.

If you’re struggling to go digital, here’s what you need to do.

Create an Online Presence

In 2019, this should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway: You need a website. For the vast majority of customers, your website will be the first point of contact, and if they can’t Google you, you may as well not exist.

However, just having a website isn’t enough. It needs to be optimized for mobile, easy to navigate and give people a reason to get off their couch and into your store. Your website should tell your brand’s story through rich content such as blog posts, how-to videos and photos.

Social media is another must-have. You don’t necessarily need to jump right into paid advertising (although it is a good idea), but you do need to regularly engage with your followers and grow your audience.

Experiment With New Technology

These days, it seems like everyone is permanently tethered to their smartphones — so we may as well use that to our advantage! Technology like near-field communication (NFC) and iBeacons have changed the way brick-and-mortar shops can interact with their customers.

Imagine a shopper simply waving their mobile device and having all the information they need at their fingertips. With near-field communication, that’s a reality.

Imagine sending a shopper a coupon for the item they’re standing right in front of. iBeacons can make it happen.

Even just offering free Wi-Fi in your store can help you engage with your customers and collect valuable data about who they are and what they want, enabling you to provide everyone who walks through your doors with a personalized shopping experience.

Let Your Customers Do Your Marketing

Marketing is tough on a good day, but there’s no reason for you to shoulder all the burden. By taking your brick-and-mortar store into the digital world, you’re effectively turning your customers into mobile marketing machines.

Encourage your audience to advocate for your brand. Offer a discount when they post a picture of your product to Instagram. Reward your top Facebook followers with company swag. Create a referral program that incentivizes people to recommend you to their online connections. By giving your customers the opportunity to spread the word digitally, you can reach a huge audience by doing very little work on your own!

The line between online businesses and brick-and-mortar shops is getting incredibly blurry. Physical stores sell products online; traditional online retailers are opening up physical stores. By adopting a digital marketing strategy for your brick-and-mortar business, you’re getting the best of both worlds!

Whether your aisles are real or virtual, Mischa Communications has the tools to help you fill them with shoppers! Contact us today and let us show you why we’re the best bet for your small business.