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Retailers, both online and brick and mortar, have a difficult business model to follow. After all, consumer spending varies widely and may be influenced by a range of factors, including price, competition, and general economic sentiment. Moreover, the retail calendar is very uneven with most retailers making 30% of their annual sales during the holidays. What can retailers do to boost sales in the face of such a difficult business model?

A custom website development company can not only implement your ideas but may also have some ideas of their own. Here are five online marketing ideas for retail businesses:

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates are particularly beneficial thanks to their marketing ability. This is because they’re easily accessible to a variety of people, especially when families are struggling to purchase a multitude of gifts around the holidays. And when customers use these gift certificates, they might choose to make other purchases too.

Best of all? The redemption rate of gift certificates is less than 100%. The difference between the number of gift certificates you sell compared to the amount of gift certificates that are actually redeemed is called the breakage rate. The value of those gift certificates that are never redeemed is money in the bank.

When you use a custom website development company to redeem gift certificates electronically, you have no overhead associated with gift certificates. Thus, customized websites for retailers that sell electronic gift certificates can become major profit centers for that retailer.

Subscriptions

Subscriptions can provide a steady source of revenue, whether your business sells goods or services. For example, a day spa can sell a subscription for a certain number of massages per month and offer deals on other services. Similarly, a coffee shop can sell a subscription for a bag of coffee beans or a certain number of lattes per week. In either of these examples, a custom website development company can configure an e-commerce module to allow online sales of subscriptions, automatic recurring billing of the subscription fee, and automatic notification for the fulfillment of the subscription.

Customer Loyalty Programs

Like electronic gift certificates and subscriptions, a custom website development company can create a module for your website in order to implement an online customer loyalty program. What many retailers do not realize is that these modules can be used in-store by a retail associate or online by the customer. By providing benefits for both in-store and online purchase, you ensure the customer seeks out your website whenever they need your goods or services.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (or SEO) has value to all businesses, from mom-and-pop shops to huge corporations. In fact, SEO has been used by nearly 14 million small businesses in the U.S. who recognize its value. According to market studies, over 80% of smartphone users research products online before purchasing them in a brick and mortar store.

With heavy competition for retail customers, every advantage can help your business thrive. An SEO web design service can customize content for your website to capture more searches. And capturing more searches means capturing more purchases.

Localization

In combination with SEO, localization has become key to both brick and mortar stores and online shops. SEO web design services can create content to localize your website so that it shows up on searches within your local area. Whenever someone searches with “near me” in the phrase, Google will be more likely to showcase your store among the other options in your city.

Just as importantly, optimizing a website for local searches entails tailoring a website for mobile devices. In fact, the majority of local searches are conducted on a mobile device and 80% of those searches convert to a retail sale in a brick and mortar establishment.

These are just some of the ways that an online marketing plan can help your small business. When you want to learn more about marketing with a retail business in mind, rely on Studio98 as your custom website development company.

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