by Joshua Hobson
Many online retailers embrace digital marketing and whilst it makes sense to reach your customers online if that’s where your store is, many underestimate the power of marketing to your audiences offline too.
But how can you do that in a way that won’t confuse audiences and in a way that will still give you a return on investment?
One thing that eCommerce retailers and online stores can’t emulate very well is the experience of going in-store, talking to human beings and making that physical transaction.
Whilst you may not want to venture into launching a high street store, especially if you’re unsure of what the return might not be for you, a pop-up store might be a more cost-effective, temporary alternative.
It’s great for meeting with customers face-to-face who may be out shopping (and in a shopping mood) and telling them all about your product. If you can sell the product at your pop-up shop, it’s also a place for them to see it and interact with it in a way that’s not possible when they’re browsing your online store.
If they like it, they can then buy from you then and there - thus increasing your sales as well as brand awareness!
Demonstrations / Trade Shows
Demonstrations at trade shows or industry events can also be a good way of reaching communities similar to your target audiences.
For instance, if you’re a retailer of home accessories or furniture, having a presence at trade shows such as Home & Gift Fair Harrogate, Spring Fair or MAISON&OBJET can give you the opportunity to meet potential customers, suppliers and similar brands and spread the reach of your products.
These trade shows, full of people who are all interested in the industry you’re selling in, can be an effective way of targeting your marketing to a specific group.
If you’re ever launching a new product or starting a new venture, then launch events can be a fun and cost-effective way of celebrating this amongst supporters, brand advocates, suppliers and, potentially, new customers.
Launch events tend to work well because of their casual and fun nature. Whilst customers know that it’s being run by a brand and its purpose is to promote a product, they usually don’t mind (and their relaxed mood can often mean they’re more willing to purchase your products).
Print & PR
Print and PR is becoming less popular amongst digital-first brands but there’s still a place for traditional marketing such as flyers, billboards and local press.
Flyers can work well for making people aware of promotions and offers but tend to do better when they’re used in a creative and different way. Plus, giving customers something physical to take away and hold can have a lasting impression compared to a short-lived tweet or an email newsletter they may immediately archive.
We only recommend print materials to clients when used in conjunction with events or when they’re done in a way that hasn’t been seen before. Consumers are becoming tired of ‘junk mail’ but if you can make them stop, think or even surprise them, it can be very powerful.
If you don’t want to invest too much in pop-up shops or print, then an effective way of reaching potential customers offline is to partner with other, similar brands who only have an offline presence. In return, you could promote their products on your store or within your marketing.
For example, if you are a retailer of pet toys, then partnering with a local pet shop brand (where it’s unlikely they’ll sell their pets online) can be a good way of reaching a relevant audience in the offline space. You can do this by having flyers at the till, a selection products in their stores or even by running a social media competition with them.
Brand partnerships is an interesting marketing strategy that has worked well for many brands, so if you want to read more about brand partnerships for eCommerce, you can do so here.
Just because you sell online, it doesn’t mean that you can’t market your products offline too. If you’re interested in developing a marketing strategy that includes offline elements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.