If you think your business doesn’t need a website, then you’re wrong. One reason why large companies and chains steal customers away from local businesses is simply because they’ve built a brand too big to fail.
Clients accept the frustrations that come with trusting large, impersonal chains because it seems accessible, reliable, and legitimate. No matter the business, if it’s a national chain, it has a website.
That website does a lot of the company’s heavy lifting in terms of branding. By uniting every franchise or location under one landing page, the engineers behind that website have automatically established one unified brand across the board. It barely matters who works at each location or what the service feels like.
Each time a customer goes online, sees the website, and searches for their nearest location — the company wins a little extra business. Multiply that by hundreds of thousands of customers each day, and suddenly you’re looking at huge results.
It’s What Customers Expect
At this point, no matter how big your business is, customers expect to be able to find you online. Not only does a website add a layer of legitimacy to your shop, but it also flows into the day-to-day routine of your customers.
When they’re hungry, they search online for the nearest restaurants, check whether they’re open, and then peruse the menu. When they need to find a dry cleaner, they’re going to search online, scan your hours, and try to examine your rates.
Once you create an online profile, you could be winning business by proximity alone. Moreover, even if another dry cleaner is a mile or two closer to a customer, if they don’t have a website, the customer won’t be able to get a sense of pricing and may opt for an option that is farther away but clearly laid out online.
Besides embedding basic information, you can also optimize your website to provide a better customer experience. By syncing apps and adding special features, you can collect your customers’ information through a quick, clean form and then send them status updates when their materials are ready.
In professional encounters, most people prefer to receive a masked notification. This means it is sent through an app or third-party messaging system so that even if it’s coming from your personal email or phone number, it will show up under your business name or a 5 digit phone number. This lends an extra layer of legitimacy to your interaction and is more convenient for consumers.
This is also a great medium for alerting customers of flash sales. Around the holidays or when business is a bit slower, you may consider running a promotion to get customers back in the door. Maybe you want to run a half-price winter-coat cleaning in the middle of summer for returning customers. Once you set up your notification system, you can write your message and send it out with one click to your entire customer base.
Customers will be more likely to redeem the offer if it seems exclusive. For example, if you include phrasing like “As a returning customer, you are eligible for this 72-hour flash sale!” End your message with, “Just show this message to redeem this promotion,” and customers will view the opportunity as a rare deal they have to cash in on.
Again, with big brands and chains sending out messages like this all the time, your alert will blend right in and lure your customers back in the door.
Tools for Building Notifications into Your Website
Notifications can also help onboard new customers, show them how to access or move around your website, or quickly relay any holiday closures or changes to your daily hours. In this way, they’re a business owner’s dream and an imperative part of any local business’s website.
There are many tools you can use. Each will vary in accessibility, customization preferences, and the feedback it offers. This means you can choose whether the notifications appear on a desktop or smartphone, what they look like when they do, and whether you want to know how many customers interacted with your notifications.
Swrve is an awesome tool because it has templates for email, web, or text message notifications and offers some of the best user data feedback. It’s a marketing engagement platform that can tell you how many impressions your notification got and who interacted with it. This can help you design targeted ads and find new ways to reach different populations.
Quickblox is a super easy tool for sending out tailored messages across any platform. You can set up news updates (like when you’re running a promotion) or instant messaging and push notifications to maneuver daily customer interactions.
Pushbots is one of the most intuitive alert systems. It allows users to send web or mobile messages straight from their dashboard. From there, you can also schedule push notifications to be sent out to a certain group of customers or your whole address book.
How to Find New Customers
Of course, these tactics will only work once you’ve collected information from current customers. To find new customers, you’ll have to think about your community and find a way to employ hyper-local targeting. The easiest option is grocery store advertising since grocery stores often pull their customers in from a three-mile radius of the store.
About 20,000 customers visit every grocery store each week. With the right supermarket advertisement, you could be reaching every single one of them and making huge moves for your business.
Design a coupon for new customers, write your website’s URL on the ad, and then use Grocery Store Receipt Advertising with IndoorMedia. This program allows local businesses to print their ads on the backs of grocery store receipts, which means those supermarket advertisements can go home in the pocket of every single shopper.
With grocery stores guaranteed to stay open through any stage of the pandemic, grocery store advertising is a great way to increase outreach no matter what’s happening.