- Get listed on local search directories such as Local.com and Google+ Local. Your business is probably already listed; you just need to “claim” your listing (it’s free) and make sure you provide as much information as you can.
- Get listed on ratings and review sites such as Yelp!. While you may think of Yelp! as for restaurants, it’s also frequently used by customers patronizing retailers, so make sure you have a presence there and that you monitor your reviews so you can address any problems.
- Get active and engaged on social media. Don’t just promote your retail store—it’s even more important to engage with your customers on social media. Ask them questions, and respond to their posts and comments.
- Give rewards to your loyal customers. There are many online apps you can use to set up loyalty programs for regular customers—Perka and Belly are just a few. These solutions not only help you reward customers but also gather information about their buying habits so you can market to them more effectively.
- Get more email signups for your newsletter. You do have an email newsletter, don’t you? Always be asking for sign-ups, whether in your marketing messages or on your website. Make it easy for customers to sign up by just asking for their email address—not even for their names.
- Advertise online. Test online advertising such as pay-per-click ads or ads on social media (depending on where most of your customers come from). Online advertising offers the ability to target customers very narrowly, see whether you get results almost instantly and pay only when customers click on your ads—all big benefits for small budgets.
- Create an online content presence. Draw more shoppers to your store by getting active online. You may not have time to start your own blog, but you can contribute guest blog posts to local blogs that are influential in your community, or even just comment on their blog posts while mentioning your store.
- Start selling your products online. An ecommerce website is a great complement to your brick-and-mortar store. You don’t have to sell your full line of products—tempt customers with a small selection, then tell them there’s more in-store. Or, start small at first, then grow your ecommerce website until you’ve got an even bigger selection online.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at email@example.com, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.