When you’re a small fish in a big market place, you need to do everything that you can to stand out in your industry.
With commerce moving at hyper speeds and you (& your competitor’s) information available at the click of a button, the need to set yourself apart from others in your industry has never been more prevalent than it is now.
Here are some of our favorite tips that you can use to give your small business a competitive edge both online & off:
Make Your Storefront a Home Away from Home:
Take the extra step to make your customers feel welcomed by your business. Whether it’s complimentary coffee or a shaded patio area on warm days, you want your clients to know that when they visit your business they can expect a little extra TLC.
It doesn’t matter if you see your clients once a week or barely once a year, you want them to feel comfortable every time they step through your door. A fun way to do this is to offer a warm welcome with a lively window display. Change your display every now and then to match design trends or to compliment the seasons.
Once you’ve got a good basis for your design style, you can then take the extra measure to incorporate similar design elements into your online store front by choosing a template or style that fits with your look and feel.
Here are a few steps that you can take to put the “home” back in your homepage:
- Ensure that the most pertinent information about your business like your address & operating hours can be easily found. Incorporate tools like maps to help people find your physical locator or consider a visual tour to make navigating parking a breeze!
- Give site visitors the ultimate online welcome by greeting them with a coupon to your physical store. Try the Appforma Coupons from the Wix App Market – this amazing app comes with the added benefit of posting a link to your customer’s Facebook page every time they redeem your coupon, driving additional traffic back to your site.
- Try giving your clients an idea of how long your service will take so that they can schedule their day accordingly. Have clients with little ones? Offer sometime a little more than waiting room magazines by adding a section to your page to recommend nearby attractions or interesting places in the neighborhood.
Create a Memorable Experience
Smart business owners know that how you treat your customers can be just as important as what you provide for them. When you make the extra mile for clients, not only can you be sure that they’ll remember you for next time, but they’ll retell their great experiences to their friends.
Here’s a great example:
A member from Wix team once relayed a story about how when she was out buying a baby stroller, she couldn’t decide between two models because she wasn’t sure which one would fit into your apartment’s tiny elevator. Rather than trying to convince her to take one model over the other, the salesperson drove both strollers to her home and made sure that the model that she wanted was the right fit for her (and her tiny elevator). Needless to say she bought the stroller on the spot and almost two years later still promotes the store to all of her friends.
Word of mouth is priceless, but here’s how you can utilize your great customer service online:
- Do you often get great feedback about your customer service? Don’t be modest, take your reviews online! Ask loyal customers to write a testimonial on your site and on popular review sites like Yelp. You can also integrate the Yelp add to your site for double exposure.
- Let your clients know that you understand their needs by offering answers to likely questions by way of an FAQ page.
- Show your clients that you’re thinking of their needs first by briefly explaining your product or service with a friendly introductory video. Get some outstanding inspiration in the post here.
Take Part in the Community
When community members see your business’s name around town, they’re likely to create a positive association between your shop and their hometown pride. Try sponsoring a local sport’s team or booth at local fair. Not only will you be right at the heart of your community, but your name will resonate positively with your client base.
You can create synergy between your community and store by hanging team logos in your store front.
Join the Greater Online Community:
- Have a good database of client email or physical addresses from your billing records? Why not send them a coupon or gift card on their birthday?
- Integrate event calendars on your Wix site to show off some great community events that you’ll be present at around town.