Sunday, 27 January 2013

Retailers: keep current - watch those barcode Shopping Apps!

Have you seen today's Sunday Times The Apps List where they list 250 of the world's greatest apps? The apps are put into categories and of course the one I went straight to was SHOPPING APPS.

So the two that caught my attention for local retailers are the apps that let you scan barcodes. The first one RedLaser will identify places that sell the scanned product and list prices for immediate comparison, both in local outlets and online.

The second shopping app, ShopSavvy also scans barcodes but this one will find identical matches or cheap equivalents in your local area plus online of course!

So do you see a common thread with both of these apps? If you are selling an item that has a barcode, keep you eyes peeled for the app savvy shoppers who are scanning away in your shop. I have tried RedLaser and it makes a loud beep noise so that may be your give away ;-)

What should you do? Well instead of eyeing up these scanning mad shoppers with frustration and just waiting for them to leave your premises, I would recommend you go on the charm offensive and have a chat with the shopper (who will potentially be a bit embarrassed about having been spotted using your premises to do his/her research).

Approach the 'scanner' (the person scanning YOUR products) with the aim of converting them into becoming a SHOPPER in YOUR store.

How To Convert a Scanner into becoming a Shopper?

Greet the scanner with a smile and say something along the lines of "Hey that's a great new app isn't it? It's amazing the amount of technology that's being developed these days! What did the scan tell you?"
Note: All open ended questions and not confrontational  - you are just being curious as well as demonstrating that you are app savvy .....and you know their game!!!!

Next step:
If the 'scanner' person told you that the scanned product came out cheaper online, you can tell them  (in a calm and pleasant manner) that by supporting your local independent retailer they are keeping the money within the community*, and the other point is that by buying from their local store, if they have any problems with the product they can come straight back to you to get a refund or exchange as opposed to having to pack up the item, wait in the queue in the post office, wait for the refund bla, bla, bla.

In addition, in your shop, you can tell them you offer a free gift wrap service (could be a nice idea if you don't already do so - many online stores do) and you can personally advise them about the product's features and benefits as opposed to them having to read a screen.

By developing more of a rapport with your customer, finding out their needs and actually hearing how your prices do compare, you are establishing your shop as a friendly place to go with helpful staff who care and that one off customer will hopefully turn into a returning customer time and time again, and will spread the word about you products and services to their friends and family.

*Here is some background information for you to know:
The CLES (Centre for Local Economic Strategies) did some research for FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) about the value of a £1 spent locally – the results were compelling, sufficient to convince most people that when they shop locally they are genuinely having a positive impact on their community! They discovered that for every £1 spent locally around 50p70p of that money recirculates back into the local economy. For the same £1 spent out of town or online only 5p trickles back to the local community. When people appreciate the impact that their choice of where to spend can have we believe that more people will make more effort to spend more with local independent businesses.

What do you think? Do you scan before you shop?

We are here to help, contact Promote Your Shop if you'd like assistance with your shop's marketing.

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Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Do Independent Retailers have a marketing plan?

Check out our initial findings from our Independent Retailers  survey here, then have YOUR say and let us know if you have a retail marketing plan, do social media and use customer marketing techniques and if you’d like help and support in these areas.

We will publish the full results of the survey at the end of January.

Amanda Ruiz of PromoteYourShop

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Friday, 18 January 2013

Is footfall your biggest worry? Fill out our Independent retailer survey to tell us more

We have put together a short survey for independent retailers so that we can better understand what retailers are looking for and to also identify some possible gaps in their marketing mix.

Please go straight to this link to take part in the survey and you may be in with the chance to win a gorgeous alpaca jumper from

Questions range from:

What keeps you awake at night about your business?

  • Footfall
  • Rates
  • Car parking fees
  • Staff
  • Council not helping us
  • Competition with the multiples

Do you do social media for your shop/restaurant? If so which platforms do you use:

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedI
  • Twitter
  • No, I don't do social media

Would you like to improve your knowledge on how to leverage social media in order to drive more footfall, customer loyalty and sales?

Do you use customer marketing techniques? If yes, please select from those below:

  • Loyalty scheme
  • QR (quick response) codes
  • Customer surveys
  • Offers and promotions
  • Email contact
  • Direct mail
  • We don't do customer marketing

Please advise if you'd like to learn about the latest trends eg Mobile App Loyalty cards, Instore tablets for customer engagement/retention, discount vouchers/codes

Do you do PR for your shop (ie do you contact the local or national press for free editorial mentions)?
Would you like to improve your knowledge on how to create a press release and distribute it to the press in order to get free editorial?

Do you think that by improving your visual merchandising you would attract more passing traffic?

How do you get most of your custom: Word of Mouth / Print ads / Radio ads / Passing traffic / PR / Google

Do you run promotions or events with your neighbouring businesses?

Survey link here

Monday, 14 January 2013

Example of GOOD customer follow up...

This company must have read my last post relating to poor customer follow up leading to loosing out on sales. Look at this letter that we received this morning: 

  • not only do they thank us for our custom
  • they are providing us with names of staff who can help out on any future enquiries
  • they tell us they will also follow up with a call to check we are happy
  • and lastly and very importantly for THEIR records and customer gallery (for their marketing) The Tile Stone Gallery ask us to send in any pictures of the completed work.
Score: 10/10 for customer follow up

Additional tip:
If they really wanted to push the boat out if we were super happy customers, when we get the follow up call, the Branch Manager could ask if we'd mind being filmed on a mobile phone or digital camera giving a 30 second testimonial in situ of me being raving fan about the service and the quality of the tiles. After all 2013 is set to be the year of the video! And think of the benefits to potential shoppers to see a genuine customer giving a positive testimonial not forgetting the essential SEO help they will get from the Google Spiders trawling about for potential searches for 'good quality tiles Colchester'. Win:win!!! 

We're here to help.

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Friday, 11 January 2013

The power of the follow up for retailers

Retailers - do you follow up when customers make enquiries? Seems obvious but not always done and valuable work is lost...

For example, having moved house recently, we approached an independent retailer for a quote on curtains, they emailed through the quote (it was exorbitant) and they didn't call to check the quote had arrived so we didn't get back to them but HAD they followed up the written quote with a phone call we could have looked at further options and by offering a flexible customer service they could have got the job....

We're here to help.

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