Hi guys, it’s Greg here from Rain Retail and in this video we’re going to show you how to increase retail sales and win in an online world. With thousands of store closings around the country retailers are feeling a bit of panic. Worrying that they may soon join the ranks of those going out of business. But worry not my young Jedi Knights uncle Greg Skywalker has got your back. So without further ado, let’s count down the four ways that you can thrive in an online world. Number Four: Take advantage of online reviews and local profiles. Today’s consumer relies heavily upon reviews. A survey performed by Bright Local found that “84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.” In fact Moz.com state’s: “Online reviews have been shown to impact 67.7 percent of purchasing decisions.” The domination of reviews is one of the reasons Amazon is such a giant that drives retailers nuts. But instead of stressing about Amazon’s reviews, you should let reviews contribute to your success. Take the time to set up online profiles and simply ask customers to give you an honest review on places like Google and Facebook. Then monitor these reviews so you can be sure to respond to any concerns or negative feedback. If possible you should respond to negative feedback publicly. Doing this shows that your business puts customers first resolving any problems and concerns they may have. Even if they don’t know what the hell they’re talking about. Number Three: Don’t think that followers are more important than email subscribers. While social media opens up many doors to retailers and provides you with many opportunities to connect with consumers, don’t forget that at the end of the day you don’t own those social platforms. If they close up shop or change their rules tomorrow you’re likely to lose your connections with all of the followers or fans you have. Furthermore, you don’t control how much your social media followers see. Marie Smith, Facebook’s designated small business and Facebook marketing expert, said this: “Organic reach on Facebook is so 2012. This is unfortunate, but true. Facebook has long been a pay-to-play platform for those businesses serious about optimizing all that the platform offers.” Bottom line don’t put all your eggs in one social media basket. Email subscribers on the other hand have given you their email and said “Hey I want you to contact me and tell me about your great products, sales classes, etc.” They are asking you to sell them. As Hans Smellincks would say “If you are not seeing the email channel as a money-making machine you have the wrong strategy.” And Hans is right. According to Campaign Monitor “Email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing tactic with $44 for every dollar spent.” So if you aren’t already get on the email marketing wagon. And if you have a large following on social media then find a way to get those fans to give you their email address. Then you’ll have a surefire way to keep them updated on the great things your business has to offer. Number Two: Get an updated, mobile-friendly, website. If you want to stay relevant in today’s world you need a website. But not just any website that your cousin set up for free. Your website needs to make an impact on customers so it will drive them to purchase from you on or offline. Espresso Digital found “91% of customers have visited a store because of an online experience.” From this statistic you might think that this would mean that most store owners have an awesome website that drives lots of sales. But actually “97% of all small business websites are ineffective.” Don’t be one of those people. Be awesome. Make an awesome website. For your website to be awesome it needs to have a modern look, it should load quickly, and have high-quality images and videos. Online visitors should immediately be able to tell what you have to offer. They should also see a clear call-to-action like a shop now button, a newsletter sign up, or a play button on a video that shows off your great products. It is also vital that your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. According to information found on entrepreneur “More than 50% of all consumers will be using mobile devices first for anything they do online in 2018.” So make sure your website is mobile friendly and be sure to update your website often. Add new products, photos, and content regularly to keep it fresh. This will improve your status in search results and will tell customers you keep things up to date. Number One: Provide customers a seamless experience by keeping website inventory up to date. Today’s customer uses many channels for shopping including your website, your brick-and-mortar store, and your social media profiles. To meet your customers needs you’ll want to make sure that you’re providing an excellent experience in each of these places. A key part of this experience is the information you provide especially product information. According to Google “76% of people who do a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours. 28% of those searches result in a purchase.” Alternatively “80 percent of online shoppers say they’re less likely to go into a store if they’re unable to view available inventory levels online in advance.” So you’ll want to make sure all of your products are available for purchase online and that the stock levels are accurate. The easiest way to do this is to have a cloud-based POS that keeps all of your product information in one place. This way your inventory will automatically update online and in store in real time. With accurate inventory you will avoid the loss of sales and frustration caused by inaccurate product information or no information at all. Because of the way today’s consumer shops, you’ll find that all of these online efforts will increase your foot traffic and contribute not only to online sales, but also to sales in your physical store. Which will help you not only compete but win in an Amazon world. And may the force be with you. Guys thanks for watching this video. To see more tips and strategies aimed at helping you succeed in retail just click the link below. And if you found this video helpful then please give us a big thumbs up and be sure to hit that subscribe button. I’ll see you next time.