Remember walking around the mall just to see what was there? Checking out window after window in the shop fronts or strolling your “Main Street” and checking out what was in the shop windows? If you’ve been in business long enough you probably remember a time when customers or potential customers did just that and then wandered on in. What’s changed? Where did some of those folks go? There are a few theories floating around like they’re all shopping online or brick and mortar retail is dead.
Both of those are myths.
By most estimates, 90% of shopping is still done in a brick and mortar location (Dennis, S. 2018, March. Physical Retail Isn’t Dead. Boring Retail Is. Forbes Magazine. Retrieved from www.forbes.com). Amazon is the most notable proof, having opened several physical locations with plans to open even more. Other companies are following suit and going from a solely online presence to opening physical locations. This trend is not such a big surprise to me because the touch-and-feel part of shopping can’t be replicated online. Humans are social animals and want social interaction and to touch, feel, and test before they buy.
What has changed is how consumers search for services, products, and the shops to buy them in. Instead of walking by shop windows or strolling Main Streets, they’re scrolling through Facebook and Instagram for inspiration. Your posts are the virtual windows to your store. And the best part is that it’s way easier to create new posts daily than to switch out your window daily!
Knowing that customers and potential customers are scrolling through your business Facebook and Instagram accounts, ask yourself: will your posts inspire them to follow, like, sign up for your email list, come in, or buy your products? How do these new “windows” reflect your shop and the experience of being in your shop? Are they accurate?
Do a self-audit of your account feeds as if you’re a potential customer. Here are five questions to ask yourself:
- Is it obvious what you sell and who you serve?
- Are the photos or videos well lit, clear, and easy to see?
- Are the subject of the photos or videos inspiring or attention-grabbing?
- Is there a consistent stream of new content posted that customers can look forward to?
- Are there clear calls to action so the interested person knows what to do next?
If you answered yes to these questions you’re doing great! If you answered no to any of them, try to be more active in and strategic about those areas. . Keep your audience excited and informed consistently. You never know when someone is going to pop in, “window shop” and decide to come in for that cute outfit or product.