Converting online traffic in to footfall is no easy task for retailers, especially as social media often appears to work in strange and mysterious way. You will be happy to know there are things you can do on the shop floor to be more welcoming to your social customers.
Encourage user generated content.
I despair when I see shops or changing rooms that have a ‘no photography’ sign. To a certain extent, I understand that retailers want to protect their designs from cheap copycats but this is certainly not the way to do it. Shoppers take pictures of products to get a friend’s opinions or positive feedback from their online community. That one image could be seen by thousands of people in the local area will almost always result in one person asking ‘OMG, where can I get this?!’ Next thing you know, you have a flurry of new visitors in store seeking that online, must-have item. Often you need to loosen the reins of your products and give people space to enjoy them
Create spaces for your customers to have shared experiences.
If you are worried about intellectual property, why not create a dedicated space for customers to get creative with social media? Topshop have experimented by add a virtual changing room to their store layout to create photo opportunities for their Instagram loving customer base. These shared social experiences have a good degree of virality about them, giving customers an excuse to visit the store just to see what the fuss is all about. Reserve some space in your store for social media related events or displays to create a constant buzz around the store.
Arm your staff with knowledge and technology.
For large chain retailers, it makes sense to have a social media accounts for individual stores, it’s a great way to let customers know what offers and events are going on in their local store while giving the staff autonomy. Problems arise when communicating how each store should manage their social media online and in store. All too often I find Twitter accounts being managed by a young part time sales assistant who lacks training, tools and time to really connect with shoppers. I recommend dividing the role up between a few members of the team, laying down some ground rules and allowing a minimum of 30 minutes to schedule in event posts every week. If you are unable to spare the staff, look at how you can integrate mobile technology into your POS. Staff can help customers on the shop floor, take pictures of new stock, post online and then use the same device as till to process an order.
If you have plans to make your store format social media friendly, get in touch with our team to see if we can help you complete it in a timely, cost effective way.
Image from freedigitalphotos.net Hyena Reality