3 Proven Strategies to Boost Conversions and Achieve Retail Excellence
Retailers have had a few significant challenges to overcome this year, not the least of which is trying to turn prospects into customers. Consumers are using a variety of channels, making it even harder to meet them when their intent is highest. And when brands and potential buyers finally connect, buyers expect the experience to feel intuitive and streamlined. If the experience is less than perfect, consumers are happy to withhold their loyalty and spend their money elsewhere.
These aren’t new problems, to be sure. Retailers always want to increase conversions. However, the concerns mentioned earlier have amplified amid today’s crowded retail space and lingering economic instability. What’s the answer? Many retailers apply a fresh mix of proven and innovative marketing approaches to their outreach efforts. And if you’re in the retail space, you may want to try some of them, too.
1. Learn to use your data as effectively as you can.
While most retail marketers probably collect customer and sales-related data, they’re not always making the most of it. A Gartner study showed that just a little over half of all marketing decisions are data-driven. This means that of your two biggest competitors, one is probably acting on gut instincts and “what’s been done before” rather than what the data is saying.
This is good news for you, especially if you want to dive deeper into your data. A few ways to up your data game include:
- Identify key metrics and key performance indicators, then track them diligently to spot anomalies, trends and opportunities.
- Review your CRM and other technological tools. Are you using them to their fullest capabilities from a data perspective? If not, you’re missing out.
- Train your team to go to the data first. Some of your colleagues may not be well-versed in how to use data appropriately. The more they understand the relevance of data, the higher the likelihood they’ll start using it to inform their next moves.
2. Personalize every touchpoint.
About three-quarters of consumers want personalization from their favorite brands, according to McKinsey & Company. And automated software makes it less arduous to personalize all consumer and customer touchpoints at scale. Consequently, try to automate as much as possible to tailor people's interactions with your company online, offline or in both spaces.
It’s worth mentioning that a big part of personalization is knowing the triggers that will motivate buyers. Be sure to test different call-to-action (CTA) messaging and related content. That way, you can see what prompts your prospects to a purchase. While you don’t need to hand out individualized crystal trophies to make customers feel valued (although that would make a huge splash), you should strive for high levels of customization whenever possible. An example might be sending time-sensitive discount promo codes to your customers based on their average spend or last purchase.
3. Improve your brand’s social proof.
Getting positive traction on social media for your brand can help raise waning sales numbers, particularly when 72 percent of people are active on at least one social site. Yet it can be tricky to get social buzz. To enhance your company’s reputation online and obtain some social proof, try a three-pronged approach starting with publishing content regularly. The more content appears on your social pages, the more chances you’ll have to connect with followers.
Next, ask for reviews and testimonials from people engaging with your brand on social media. Be sure to ask your customers to use branded hashtags so you can find your mentions quickly. Finally, in addition to paid social ads, partner with at least one influencer whose followers match your target audience. Having a third party talking about the benefits of your products or services on social media channels gives your company a credibility bump — and a better chance of increasing its conversion rates.
Retail is a busy, noisy sector where consumers are constantly pulled in many directions. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to jump-start your sales, however. Making a few changes to your marketing strategies can help you achieve your desired financial success.
Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products, branded merchandise, and athletic awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO's ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.