Essential Marketing Technology for Today’s Retail Businesses
In today’s fast-paced world, retail businesses have a lot to contend with in order to both serve customers and let the world know about their offerings. It is nice to know that there are some tools out there that can greatly aid you in your efforts to reach your market.
Here are some of the latest, useful pieces of technology for your retail business:
PayPal Pay in Store:
While more of a pay solution that brings you in front of a larger market, it still is worth looking into as more and more of your customers want to pay with their smartphones and not their wallets.
When you sign up with PayPal, it allows customers to check in with your store and order and pay for products that you advertise online before they even reach your store, making it as easy as them showing up to pick up their order in some cases.
If you want to build a guest list or a customer list, this is definitely the service for you. It integrates into your website and allows you to ask or require customers to sign up to be on your mailing list.
If your products are unique, MailChimp is surprisingly effective at building a list of core customers that you can manage and contact with promotions and newsletters in the future. The nice thing about MailChimp is that it allows you to get started without paying so that you can find out how well it works for your retail store.
For a free piece of software, WordPress is one of the most evolved marketing tools ever developed. Many large newspapers trust their operations to run on it and several very large corporations use it for marketing communications as well. As a tool, it provides a website framework in the form of a blog or communications site that is easily customized.
One of the real powers of WordPress, however, is the large number of free plugins available to extend and bridge your website data so that you can use it in different programs. A good example of this is the social media plugins that allow you to post your blog simultaneously to Facebook and other social media sites.
Social Media Aggregation:
Several new businesses have sprung up that concierge your social media presence so that you do not have to spend hours updating each social media site that your retail establishment is on. For those who would like to keep their presence consistent without paying for one of those services, there are a variety of startups that broadcast your updates to several different social media sites at the same time.
A nice concept:
One post, many receivers, not that much time spent on updates. Although Hootsuite is an early leader in this field, you should also check out Buffer if you want precise schedules for your updates and SocialOomph if you want to manage subsequent individual communications with the audience that you have gathered.
Online Ad Software:
At a certain point, your retail store will probably want to at least test the waters beyond just gathering a core group of customers with your own site. One way to do this is to use social media or search engine advertising to target your audience and make them aware of your products by placing an advertisement.
On the social media front, Facebook advertising is hard to beat due to the level of granularity that they offer advertisers when it comes to targeting their market. For search engines, Google and Bing also provide both detailed targeting and statistics so that each campaign that you run will offer no surprises.
Overall, the cost of starting marketing efforts for your retail business is very reasonable. As your efforts prove themselves in the marketplace, each type of tool listed offers options that ease your transition into full-fledged pay schemes that will reap additional benefits for your firm.