Oh, I see that look on your face…
Not intuitive, but I know what you are searching for.
Do you own a retail business and are looking to optimize it?
Well, worry no more because you have come to the right place.
Now, close your eyes for a minute and imagine yourself standing in your brick-and-mortar store. But, wait, what is that?
Brick-and-mortar means any street-side business offering products to walk-in customers. Their office or shop is usually a rented-out area.
So, where were you?
Oh yes, eyes closed and in the middle of your store. It is crowded with people rummaging through one product or the other. You hear the ‘tring!’ of a cashier’s machine as they ring up purchases—the smell of cash wafts throughout the store.
But, now, let’s enter the 21st century. There are people in your shop but not as many.
Why do you think that is? In this day and age, everyone is searching for a shopping experience that does not require them to leave their homes’ sanctity, especially when a deadly virus has plagued the world. That is where e-commerce comes in!
Thus, it is prime time for you to set-up your brick-and-mortar store online. But, do not worry, it will not take away the essence of live shopping. All digital branding will do is help you expand and reach new horizons.
The limitation of brick-and-mortars is that they find it hard to compete with other online-based businesses. That is why it’s ideal you digitalize to cover these shortcomings and make sure you enjoy and capture every opportunity coming your way.
Now, here are a handful of reasons for you to set up a virtual version of your brick-and-mortar store.
While walk-in customers are very much desirable, the pandemic has caused friction in this. However, these times have caused the world to shift even more towards online- from education to shopping.
As your traffic and target audience is moving towards online buying, why let this chance wash away? Being available online helps you reach a much larger audience from your locality and even nearby areas.
Being available on digital platforms enables your business to interact with your existing and potential customers in a much more effective way.
You learn more about your buyers, their requirements, their changing preferences. Plus, you even get inspiration from what your competitors are doing that you lack. This way, you make pointers on what strategies to apply to attract more leads.
Even as the working hours end and you head home, the perks of your virtualized business ensure you’re still out there, attracting customers each second. Digital marketing makes miracles happen.
A user-friendly website and some online marketing are precisely what you need to ensure you are available 24/7, where people can place their orders regardless of what time it may be.
Being virtual helps strengthen your personalized communication with your customers. Live chats with efficient customer representatives help you get back to your online traffic right away.
You can answer their queries, help with their orders, and persuade them to check out after finishing their orders.
Answering your customers individually means you answer them according to what they specifically require and not just give out standardized and plain answers.
Live chats are, hence, how you match your buyers’ emotions and offer them the most effective solutions, all so you can leave lasting impressions and urge them to become your loyal customers.
Digital marketing saves you a lot of costs- no, seriously! You need to have one website on which you can post blogs, updates about your business and deals of the week, and all the information your customers would want to know.
Plus, you can create pages and accounts on social media sites to further interact with your target audience. Everyone knows just how cost-effective these tricks are. Also, newsflash, they work charms for smaller businesses especially.
There’s one word that explains the most significant advantage of virtualizing your brick-and-mortar, and that’s branding.
Branding is that goal you must accomplish to make the best out of your small e-commerce store and reach the maximum target audience. Everything comes down to branding.
So, how does branding do such wonders, you might wonder?
Well, to name a few, creating a brand identity helps your customers have more trust in your operations- thus, more chances of retaining them. Moreover, branding helps attract new leads as well, word of mouth, recommendations, and suggestions, in addition to your online presence, help widen your market share.
While you might be familiar with the benefits of branding, let’s jump a step ahead to discuss the ways you can create a brand image for your brick-and-mortar to enjoy the benefits mentioned above. Below are all you need to know pointers when it comes to branding.
The first and the most crucial step is to deliver a unique selling point. One way to accomplish this is by giving identity to your brick-and-mortar.
Getting a logo will help set you apart from your competitors. Let’s not have your audience confused between you and another firm and God forbid- buy from them, eh?
Coming towards logo development-selecting the perfect logo for your business isn’t an easy thing. Regardless of if you are a small or a larger firm, your logo designing needs to be perfect, done by skilled professions who know what they are doing.
This means that the ready-made logos you can get from various websites and apps for free- won’t work when it comes to developing a brand identity for your brick-and-mortar.
To give a gist of it all, custom logos help offer that personal touch to your logo, help you outshine others, and build trust with your audience.
Your logo plays a huge part in attracting your target audience. Creating an impressive first impression of your virtualized brick-and-mortar depends on how personalized your logo feels.
Below are some essentials to keep in mind as you create a striking logo for your business include.
It’s best if you first study the designs and techniques ‘hot’ in the logo market. Imagine developing an outdated logo style that does nothing to attract people- a nightmare, right?
Just a heads up to get started, sophisticated and bold black and white is your safe place. Such logos are classic.
But, while timeless is nice, why not add your distinct charms into your logo and experiment a bit?
Study the ongoing design trends and incorporate them to create a logo that oozes your tastes.
Some color gradients, elegant symmetry, geometry, and motion- try out these trends, and you would be quite surprised at the outcomes.
Never ignore what’s happening around you. While being creative is vital, when it comes to logo designing, checking out and getting inspiration from your competitors isn’t a bad thing either.
Visit their social media accounts and evaluate the way they have developed their logos. This can even help you understand what to avoid and what to adopt.
Ask yourself questions, is the logo of business A better or did B win the race? Is your logo more attention-grabbing? What alterations would you prefer in this logo, if any?
See, such thinking helps broaden your thinking and get your creative juices to flow, and this is precisely what you need to come up with a killer logo for your retail business.
Logo designing is all about letting loose your innovative streak and coming up with something uniquely you. However, make sure that it doesn’t result in an over-complex logo.
You want your logo to be simplistically innovative, which people can identify and understand better. It’s the art of knowing what’s too little and how much is too much. You stay under the too much level, and you are good to go.
Your logo must be something that can be easily retained in the minds of your customers- one glance at it, and they straight up know it’s you.
This also means that your logo shouldn’t have any significant similarity with any other business either- competitor or no competitor. Also, make sure your logo emphasizes what your business stands for.
For instance, if you are an eatery, your logo should preferably include catchy food puns, phrases, or images and not anything beauty or cosmetic related or just anything that doesn’t signal what your business is about. Remember- no confusion!
By now, you must have surely grasped the fact that logo designing needs particular concentration. So now, avail the maximum benefits, ensuring you’re following the must-dos of logo development, it’s suggested that you get some hired help. Yes, even if you are a small brick-and-mortar.
Having a team of experienced logo designers might cost some of your money, but it’s an investment that pays for a long time. Professionals can offer you better recommendations and are updated with everything that is trending in the logo market. They can even provide you a third-part viewpoint on if your desired logo will work for you or not.
You should also read: 9 Reasons why I think your start-up will fail without a professional logo?
After you have successfully designed a logo for your brand, next comes creating a website. It cannot be stressed enough just how crucial a website is, even more for the businesses taking a step into the virtual world. Having a website helps in uncountable ways; some of them are as follows:
Having a website helps in raising the credibility of your commodities. You can include reviews, ratings, and product descriptions to offer information and uses of your products and services on this platform.
This way, your traffic can get sufficient information about your business and convert it into leads. Websites develop brand recognition and offer integrity assurance to your target audience.
Websites represent your brick-and-mortar in a sophisticated and professional manner. Also, no matter what the time or where your traffic resides, people have access to your website, helping promote your products effectively.
Today’s globalized village is all about remote business. Living in such times and not being available online is one of the biggest blunders any business can make. Today, being accessible online is just as needed as having a psychical presence. A website is one of the most cost-efficient and optimal uses of technological changes to boost your brick-and-mortar and reach out to a broader audience base.
– Checklist for your website creation and maintenance:
The goal of websites is to be within reach of your customers and make your audience stay. No one wants cart abandonment issues. Therefore, your website must be gadget and user-friendly that opens and works fine on mobiles, tablets, laptops, etc.
Attractive websites help bring customers to your store. Therefore, the layout and design of your website should be appealing and eye-grabbing. From the font size to the color scheme used, overall, your website must also be easy to understand and navigate.
While you are at it, make sure to focus on your content creation as well. What you display contributes to the way your traffic perceives you. Publishing quality content also helps your audience search for and read about the product or service they are searching for.
Your traffic should, hence, never face any trouble with going to their desired window. A well-ordered website helps your audience in finishing placing your orders in the quickest way possible.
As you design your website, make sure to offer plenty of Click-to-Actions (CTAs). They can be in the form of catchy phrases or informative one-liners. To boost the efficiency of CTAs, do make sure to optimize your response time. As soon as you receive any query or order, get back to them right away.
You can send an automated email response or have customer representatives reply by their earliest. That helps make your audience feel appreciated as if they matter.
After this, don’t forget to get a follow-up; if you see the customers have not completed finishing their order, to contact you back. Showing concern on whether their issues got clarified or not sure how considerate you are of your audience. That thus helps in an increase in your conversions and a boost in your reputation.
An important read for you: Merchandise Branding: Why Is It So Important For Your Brand?
With this guide in the bank, you are now well-aware of the reasons to have a digital presence and how you can be successful. If you follow through on these, you might just be able to save yourself from the retail apocalypse that is slowly, but surely, taking on the world.
Close your eyes once again and imagine yourself being at the World Retail Awards! You walk on the red carpet, and cameras flash all over the place. They all want to know how you managed to snag the prize for an exemplary digital presence.
What are you waiting for?
Prepare your speech but before that, make sure to take your reach online!
Waqas D. is the co-founder of the branding and website agency, FullStop™. He supercharges brands by crafting memorable logos, brand identities and engaging websites. Besides thousands of startups and medium-size businesses, FullStop has worked with likes of Microsoft & L’Oréal. View our portfolio or get in touch.
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