Introducing our new expert Anna Hare from Your Retail Coach. Her first article in the series takes us through how you can reach your ideal customer with a multi-channel marketing campaign.
Multi-channel marketing put simply means every way in which your customer can become aware of your business. It could be from something as obvious as your shop window, or more complex marketing pillars like a re-targeting campaign.
When you’re thinking about ways in which to market your business, think about the places that your perfect customer will be, where they will be most likely to see what you want them to see and how to draw them in.
Some of the key multi-channel marketing pillars for a bridal store would be:
• Website & Re-targeting
• Social Media
• Store front/window
• In-store feel/experience
When thinking about the above, it is vital that you view it from your customers eyes, think about your ‘customer journey’ throughout and every single touch point that they may have with you. Below are some thoughts on how this can work for each element.
It has never been more important to have a fully functioning and effective website, almost 100% of your customers will visit your website before they actually walk through your doors and so it is essential that it is doing the hard work for you. You have approximately seven seconds to grab a bride’s attention before she thinks about moving on.
Your homepage needs to do this before she has to scroll and it must get across these 4 key points; who you are, what you do, why she should choose you and what she should do next.
When writing your content, focus on the customer and not on you. Avoid using ‘we will’ too often and instead say ‘you will’. This language will engage with your bride and she will begin to believe that you care about her and her plans.
Does your website allow brides to sign up to your newsletter? Or, is there a means to capture their data so that you can then effectively re-market to them in the form of email or text? This can work really well if you are giving your bride something in exchange for her details, top wedding planning tips for example. She will then be on your list and so you can keep in touch with her about any events happening in store, any exciting news you may wish to share or just to say hello and ask how her plans are going.
Ever felt like your phone is listening to you? You visit a website to look at a toaster, and then when you next Google something the toaster you looked at before pops up alongside your search, or in your Facebook feed? It’s not witchcraft, it’s re-targeting, and it’s pretty straightforward. If you’re not able to do this yourself then ask your web designer to help you add your Google and Facebook pixels to your website header. Then when bride leaves your website your paid ads will start to ‘follow’ her. I have personally found this to be one of the most effective and financially efficient ways to spend my marketing budget.
Whether you choose to email weekly, fortnightly or sporadically, all your emails should have a consistency them. Use consistent language, your logo and brand colours, create a template to make it easier for you and make it instantly recognisable to your bride. Don’t overload their inbox but do make them feel valued and nurture them. They may join your list 2 or 3 years before their wedding, so the earlier you connect the more likely you will be front of mind when they begin the search for their gown.
It feels a little like a swear word right now doesn’t it? It swallows your time and your energy, it can be exhausting and at times it feels impossible to come up with new and interesting content. But right now, it is one of the most fundamentally important ways to market to your brides. Almost all our brides will be on Instagram, many more on Facebook and many of those will have Pinterest pages, and so for the time being it really is worth all the effort.
There are a couple of things you can do to make it easier on yourself… if you don’t have a business account, switch to one, then you can see your data which is helpful to work out when best to post and what kind of things your brides engage with. Secondly, use a scheduling tool like Planoly. This way you can sit down for a couple of hours once a week and set up all your posts for the rest of the week… it’s a game changer!
This is literally the window into your world. Does it feel inviting? Is it drawing your customers attention for all the right reasons? For example, it needs to be clean, and well presented, your windows should be cleaned outside at least every fortnight and monthly inside. Your exterior paintwork should be neat and tidy. This is all subliminal to the bride, she doesn’t realise she’s noticing the cobweb or the grimy window, but she is, and it is forming her opinion of your business. It will affect her decision about whether or not to visit you, or even walk through your door. It’s that age old expression, ‘first impressions count’!
This is vital but remember your bride won’t get this far if the other pillars are not doing their job properly. Again, follow your customer journey once they arrive at your store, from the moment they walk in. How does it really feel to be a bride walking into your shop? Never has the way the store looks and feels been so important to our customers, they are all about the Insta moment, they are used to a filtered world and your store needs to give them lots of opportunities to share this.
Have you created a brand image, a signature theme that runs throughout all your marketing, starting in the store itself? Your brand image should tell one cohesive story and help your customers quickly identify you in your marketing elsewhere and they should be able to relate to it. When they walk in, they should recognise areas of the store that they have seen on your social media platforms and website, it should be believable.
Multi-channel marketing is a huge topic and one that takes a considerable amount of work to get right. There are no magic wands to wave and no quick fixes, but once you get them right, you will begin to see a steady increase the number of brides booking appointments. It is worth tackling it one step at a time and if you would like assistance in this please contact me Anna - firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Hare’s background is in retail and the customer journey. In 2004 she launched her bridal boutique Pure and with the help of her team it has now become one of the best bridal retail businesses in the country. Having first-hand experience managing cash flow, finding the perfect team and an understanding of how it feels to run a bridal business she now also works as a business coach. To find out more about Anna’s skills in retail and marketing click here.