How to thrive as a bricks and mortar store – Part 4

In the final instalment of this series we look at how a business owner can assess whether their efforts and money should be targeted at their online or bricks and mortar offering.

One key success factor is to calculate the formulae of how much to spend on each advertising avenue both on and offline. Understanding what it costs to service an online customer versus an in-store shopper is vital. Once you know that, calculate how much of that profit margin you can afford to spend on marketing to those customers – and stick to it! Online advertising spend is too easy to blow, a click of a button will boost a post or increase your daily spend. Paying to rank at #1 on Google may not be necessary. Giving away product to local fetes and good causes may not be cost effective – test and measure and know your margins.

Elisa Dorro from Goldfish Toy Store in Berry NSW, shares her insights into how she makes her toy store stand out and compete with the enormous competition of the likes of Target, Big W and of course the plethora of online options, despite being located in a small, rural tourist town.

“I positioned myself in a side street, knowing that I needed to get talked about and become a destination, as passing trade was not going to be enough. But I ensured that I got to know my customer well, really well, and ensured that my strategy of building a wow factor both on and offline would result in word-of-mouth which to date, is my most profitable strategy. But I work at it. I work to ensure that my online store is as full to the brim as if you walked into my shop,” said Elisa.

“My window displays are very eye-catching and always refreshed and my customer service is a priority with both on and offline. Despite having tried flyers and advertising in magazines, none of them have worked for me. Simply having what my customer wants every time, is key for me. They want something different, something unique, something that you can’t pick up in Target, so I stock lines that provide just that. I make the store the sort of place that compels you to walk in and nosey around! I make it welcoming to both the shopper and any little helper that may be with them,” explained Elisa.

And so there you have it. Knowing your customer, knowing your numbers and becoming known for something, can go a long way in ensuring the success of a bricks and mortar store and when integrated with a carefully managed online strategy, commercial premises should be profitable, not empty.

Susie Campbell, Founder, Little Black Book Marketing

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