Retail is not what it used to be. In a rapidly changing market place if you don’t stay on your toes you could easily find yourself struggling. No longer is it about purely opening the doors or launching an e-commerce site. It’s way more complicated and complex than that, every shop is a brand, a publishing site, a mini magazine, a social network… it needs it’s own little microcosm! I have one tip and that this create a digital culture. Now I hear you – Abigail what does that even mean? Well simply put it’s the online buzz around your brand.
Rewind a few years ago and brands especially luxury ones used to be super snobby about digital seeing it as a mass-market tool that dilutes prestigious brands. How wrong they were. Christopher Bailey of Burberry cites digital as central to the brand’s increased success. They say their customers now have a way to access the brand like never before – treating customers the same way no matter whether they or in store, online or on mobile.
Now you’ll find all big brands sharing product launches, behind the scenes content, announcements, store openings, news. It’s an integral part of business today and the sooner you jump on board the sooner you will reap the awards. Here’s how to go about it:
Create complex social strategies
You now have to be a lot smarter at retail than ever before. Getting sales now is all about pairing engaging content and campaigns with product. Why do people love your products? What’s the story? Which pieces go with which? Is there a holiday or event you can connect it to? Whether it’s showcasing your hand-drawn corgi pet portraits on the Queen’s birthday or teaming up with a neighbourhood brand to do an instagram takeover, you want to make customers connect to your story more.
Engage and communicate with your customers through Instagram, Pinterest and other social channels. Remember that all of these are two-way! So it’s not just you putting your tweets or posts out there… create a two-way conversation. I love seeing what people are doing with the #abigailaherncolour tag on instagram for example. Basically it’s not just about shoving products up there and waiting for sales to come in, if there’s no engagement inevitably people will stop coming back.
Retain customers by interacting
I try as much as I can to answer personally every single comment across blogs and social (not always possible on crazy busy deadline times, but I do try!). And even if I can’t get round to replying to everything I absolutely read every single one. I know this sounds crazy for someone in my position but if people have taken the time to write in and ask or comment about something that I have posted, I think I should take the time to respond to them. I need people to know that that everything gets read and appreciated! With every conversation the web gets cast a little wider, so it’s absolutely worth taking the time to do.
Find the right tone
We pay attention to our demographic and post accordingly– so work out whom you think your target audience is and talk to them specifically. I’ve based my whole business around me being my target customer. I have everything in this house that I’ve bought and designed so I am obsessed by it. I’m also into healthy eating, organics, books, gardens and so much more so we weave that into our content and my like-minded community engage and respond. I learn cool stuff from them and them from me – it’s a two way process and I love it.
As a brand if you want people coming back you have to provide your audience with fresh exciting ideas. We test products out on our audience, ask opinions about what new lines to introduce and constantly try to move on.