First things first: consumers nowadays use their smartphone to lookup stores they are in. Be sure to have a Google Business account. This allows you to upload photos, edit your opening hours and contact details. This information will be shown in the search results of Google and in Google Maps. If they are not sure if you’re open, what’s the reason visiting you? To check if your door is closed?
Once they are in you see customers doing online price comparisons: this is pretty easy with smartphones and that won’t change – even if you complain about it. Keep in mind that customers who are doing a price comparison are nearly at the end of the purchase journey: they already picked the product they like, do they like the specs of it and are just wondering how much it would cost online. In other words: they are ready to spend the money! How often do you ask customers what they are doing on their phone? Reach out and interact. A lot of webshops have hidden costs, like shipping, charges for credit card payments, costs for returns, etc. which most people don’t realise. Make them aware of this and focus on the benefits you’re offering: a local business which is easy to contact if there are any issues, they can take the product with them and start enjoying it straight away and you can make a personal relation during the conversation. Sales is a lot about granting!
Another reason for customers to grab to their smartphone is to lookup product reviews. Surveys showed that consumers less and less trust marketing – and right they are! Also, the opinion of your sales staff is valued but nothing is better than reviews of people who already bought the product. Looking up reviews helps customers to make a purchase decision, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you can facilitate this to add reviews to your own webshop and add QR codes to comparable products. Most product reviews happen to be positive as consumers tend to talk a bit better about products they spend their money on. A negative reviews means they wasted their money: most people return such products and if they don’t they are not especially proud of it.
The last thing we have is in-store communication via smartphones. Wouldn’t it be nice to welcome your customers entering your garden centre with a special daily offer? Or maybe you can send a second coffee free voucher to every customer who is longer than 30 minutes in your garden centre? This isn’t rocket science anymore and proven to be very effective!
The smartphone of your customer is their most personal (and perhaps valuable) device so having access to the smartphone should be one of your key objectives. Of course, people will read your newsletters on their smartphone and are following you on Facebook, but there are more reasons to love the smartphone – rather than complaining about it. So reach out and make it your best friend!
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