realtor marketing

 

Digital marketing is making its way into many industries. As more and more of our lives become digital, so does the marketing around us. Furthermore, digital marketing has made its way to the real estate industry. How customers find and buy homes is moving to the online space, so top realtors are needing to adapt to keep up. As a result, realtors are expected to have a strong online presence. In this article, we will discuss how digital marketing will transform the real estate industry in 2019.

 

Email Newsletter


No matter what industry you are in, an email newsletter goes a long way. This newsletter, at least in the real estate industry, should contain updates and information that is valuable and relevant to your clients. The idea is to push the people who read the emails towards a specific action. Normally, that action is a click through. However, according to Smart Insights, the average open rate of emails for real estate businesses is around 27%, with a click-through rate (CTR) of 3%. The more relevant your email is, the more likely people will click through to your page, so think carefully about what you want to include in your newsletter. Make sure information and images are tailored to the audience you want to target. An email newsletter should also include links to your social media, like Instagram or Twitter, so you are easy to find across the internet.

 

User and Mobile Friendly Website


When potential customers or clients do click through to your website, make sure the website they land on is up to the task. Nothing will make a customer hit the back button faster than a poorly created website, especially on mobile. Take the time to ensure your website loads quickly and that the layout looks how you envisioned. There are plenty of website builders, such as Wix or SquareSpace, that you can use to improve your website.

 

An important factor when creating a website is to optimize it for mobile viewing. Almost half of all web browsing is done on mobile so it is crucial that your website performs correctly. Thankfully, the aforementioned website building services ensure your website is ready for mobile viewing.

 

Additionally, your website you should include the listings you currently have open for showings. You can also post content to walk customers through the buying process and answer any questions they might have.  It is a good idea to also include links to other services they might need. Someone who is shopping for a house might also needs movers, a home inspector, or a lawyer.

 

Pay Per Click Advertising


Pay Per Click advertising is a common marketing practice that could greatly benefit realtors looking for to create new leads. This is done by running ads across the internet that pay every time someone clicks on them. These types of ads are seen everywhere, from banner ads to pop ups. It is hard to go anywhere on the internet without seeing Pay Per Click ads. Not only does this method of advertising net you money, but it also directs potentially interested customers to your website.

 

Virtual Tours


Virtual tours can make a realtor’s job much easier and make the shopping experience easier for customers. Being able to get a sense of what a house is like before touring it in person can help customers eliminate houses. This saves both the realtor and customers time. These virtual tours do need to be of good quality to be effective. A good virtual tour will use real footage, not an artist’s rendering. However, before you post a tour, make sure to go through it yourself to ensure everything is working correctly and is easy to use. If you are going to go through the effort to record a virtual tour, make sure it can be viewed without complications.

 

Digital marketing practices are popping up in every industry and real estate is no exception. Realtors are sending out email newsletter to keep their customers engaged and informed. Custom websites from real estate agents showcase their listings while answering their customers questions. A website can even showcase virtual tours to make the buying process easier for buyers.

Google’s local 3 pack

Mobile search has drastically changed search engine results pages in recent years, with an increase in users looking for locally relevant information while on the move. Smartphones are able to deliver location information to search engines; ensuring users get location-specific results to their search. Queries like ‘nearest Italian restaurant’ and ‘pubs near me’ are some of the most popular searches carried out on Google, so it is no wonder there is a growing importance for local businesses to optimize their information accordingly.

 

With only three spaces available within the ‘local pack’ displayed at the top of a search results page, it has become even more important for businesses to invest time in optimizing for local SEO, such as by creating their ‘Google My Business’ listing, submitting their business to local directories or using local structured data markup in order to secure a top spot.

 

What is the local SEO 3 pack?


The ‘local SEO 3 pack’, or local pack, is the list of the top three organic results displayed in search results when there is a localized intent. The results are displayed in a large map with the top three business or venues marked with balloons, indicating their location. The results also display a snapshot of information for the company, including quick links to call them, access the website and get directions to the location.

 

Google 3 Pack

As well as contact information, Google has introduced reviews and photographs, giving users the opportunity to see star ratings and images next to your business name. Customers have autonomy to include their own images as well as add reviews to your business profile. These additions,  could make a real  difference to your business.  Whilst you may not have much control over what customers say in the reviews, it is highly recommended that you are seen to respond to them.

 

Why is it important to be included in the Local pack?


As well as greater exposure to a business, being featured in the top 3 for local search results is one of the best ways to increase local organic traffic to a website, as many studies have indicated the click through rate for the top businesses featured is considerably higher. There was initially more opportunity for businesses to benefit from local search results, as the pack was longer, with seven listings. However, when Google rolled out the Pigeon update, the results page appearance drastically changed, reducing the display to just three local listings. This is in part due to the fact that a list of 7 results didn’t display very well on mobile. Three looks much better.

 

Reducing the local pack has minimized the opportunity for local businesses to gain free exposure. If you run a local business or restaurant, being featured in the local pack is one the more important aspects of search engine optimization, as previously mentioned, most users click on the first results they find.

 

How to increase your opportunity in being featured


Listing your company on ‘Google my Business’ will ensure the most accurate information is displayed for your business. Having consistent details such as business or company name, address and phone number is really important, as Google will identify the consistency (or inconsistency) of information related to your business across your website and other places on the internet.

 

If Google can’t identify consistent information relating to a business, they will display the information they deem most relevant which could be inaccurate and detrimental to your business. Although there is no real certainty that a business will be listed in local search results, there are a couple of things Google have stated that can increase the opportunity of your business gaining the exposure it deserves:

 

  • Confirm the exact location with a Google My Business code, sent by post to your business address
  • Add photos of the business/venue
  • Encourage customers and/or visitors to write reviews on Google
  • Make sure all of business information such as opening hours and phone numbers is accurate

 

There are of course, lots of other SEO factors that will impact the success of your local SEO and levels of organic traffic, but ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and has relevant local links built will increase the opportunity of being displayed within this local pack. Industry expects have long speculated that Google will soon look to monetize on this organic listings space, and they have already started to introduce adverts among the organic listings.

 

For now, it is highly worth investing some time into ensuring you have optimized your website and business information if you want to stand the best chance of being featured within the local 3 pack for free.

Copyright: gilc / 123RF Stock Photo

hyperlocal seo

 

Now that you’ve mastered local SEO and it’s working well for you, it’s time to start thinking about the next step in maximizing your reach – hyperlocal SEO. Search engines – and especially Google – are always evolving in an effort to make search results more relevant to their users. That’s why optimizing even further can benefit you substantially.

 

Understanding Relevancy


Since Google got its start more than two decades ago, it’s had one primary goal – to deliver the most accurate search results possible to its users. Over the years, Google has adapted its algorithms in such a way that the definition of what is relevant (and what isn’t) continues to change. Gone are the days of simply inserting a few keywords to climb the ranks; these days, you need outstanding content, superb backlinks, and content that appeals to consumers at more than just the local level. These days, you need hyperlocal SEO to improve your rankings.

 

Local vs. Hyperlocal


If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, or if your business is service-based, then you’ll need to make sure that you’re appealing to people locally. Google is certainly getting smarter, and it knows that if a user types in “get a haircut”, that person isn’t going to fly across the country for a trim. Local SEO was once all you needed to bridge that gap. When the user would type “haircut in Boston”, Google could show that user a list of Boston-area barbers based on business location and SEO.

 

However, with Google’s push to offer even more relevant results, and with more people than ever using their mobile phones to search for products and services via Google, times are still changing. Now, not only does the search engine want to prevent someone from driving across the country for a trim, but it even wants to provide that user with a list of businesses in close proximity to his or her current location. This is even more relevant to the user. Think about it like this: is that user more likely to drive across town for a trim, or is he more likely to visit the closest barber shop with the best ratings? The latter makes more sense, and that’s why hyperlocal SEO is so valuable.

 

How to Get Started with Hyperlocal SEO


While it’s possible to go into a great deal of depth when it comes to hyperlocal SEO, there are three simple tips you can follow to get the ball rolling and start improving your rankings immediately.

 

  • Include hyperlocal keywords. Rather than keywords like “Boston haircut”, consider a smaller geographical area, such as a neighborhood. “Allston haircut” or “Brighton haircut” is far more relevant.
  • Insert your business address. Make sure your exact business address appears on your website several times. Google can find this information and use it to match searchers with your company.
  • Provide your name, address, and phone number in multiple directories. Good places to start include Google+, Yellowbook, Yelp, YP, TripAdvisor, and other similar directories. It may seem tedious and time consuming, but the more places you can verify your information, the better.

 

As Google continues its efforts to be the best search engine available around the world, you can expect further changes in the way it measures the relevancy of your website. Taking steps to incorporate hyperlocal SEO now can make a tremendous difference in your traffic, which will boost your income, as well.

International Localization

 

As a marketer you have a profound understanding of how the digital arena influences the way you establish and develop your domestic brand and marketing efforts.

 

But what if you’ve been operating in an English-centric digital bubble all these years? You may know your own domestic industry inside-out but when it comes to pitching your brand to foreign markets, you risk losing a lot in translation.

 

More business owners than ever are recognizing how important it is to localize their websites to foreign audiences. The truth is customers abroad are hungry for high-quality products and services that solve problems and make their life easier. Yet the provider of such services and products who are able to communicate to them in their own language is often missing from the picture. By taking advantage of this provision “gap,” your company is liable to score lots of new clients and reap major profits from interested foreign customers.

 

Still not sure whether you should go down the localization route? Here are five big reasons as to why you should embrace localized digital marketing:

 

1. You Connect to a Global Audience


Global Audience

 

According to a Sheffield Hallam University study, the vast majority of the world’s population, (75%) does not speak English. The other 25% may not speak the language very well or wouldn’t be able to understand sophisticated English marketing campaigns with all their cultural nuances and idioms. Only 6% of the global population speaks English fluently. Understanding these figures will help you understand the sheer value of what it would mean to present your brand in a target market’s local language.

 

2. You Expand Your Business


A recent survey conducted by the Common Sense Advisory found that 84% of foreign customers preferred buying products and services from online sites that are offered in their local language. The global market is worth billions, so when you localize and pitch your site in a local language, your can generate huge profits. When you go the extra mile and additionally localize your applications, software and other digital tools marketed by your site, you reach a wider audience for your services and products. The additional exposure, in turn, boosts demand and sales.

 

3. You Heighten Customer Satisfaction


When you localize your content, you are showing to the world that you value your customers.  By taking care to localize certain elements of your website, such as the color scheme, the website’s photos (that feature local people), content, currency values, and more, you are reassuring your customers that you understand their culture. Delivering a personalized experience to the target market in question facilitates increased engagement and a greater customer trust in your brand.

 

4. Provides Good Value


Localizing your digital presence may save you time and money in the long run. Localization costs are only a fraction of product or service development costs. In other words, if you’ve already invested thousands of dollars on creating an application from scratch, spending just a small amount of that on adapting the application or software to foreign markets — which potentially leads to significantly higher revenue – means its a good investment.

 

Costs of localizing also go down when you make it a part of the development process early on. Using localization tools such as style guides and translation memories as you develop your product or service saves money for you in the long run.

 

5. Competitive Advantage


Have your industry competitors localized their digital presence? If they have, then it’s time you caught up. But if they haven’t, then you’ll profit from the benefit of being among the first companies to engage with foreign prospects. According to a report released by California State University at Chico, 65% of multinational companies believe localization is vital for boosting revenue. In turn, an Appia study found that 86% of localized campaigns outperformed campaigns in English when it came to total click-throughs and conversions.

 

The Takeaway


Embracing localization is smart because you’d be speaking directly to multiple audiences around the world. You’d be fomenting connections not only with prospects and first-time customers, but building relationships with returning customers who are the bread and butter of your business.

 

If you are looking to offer an easy shopping experience that engages while empowering your customers to find out what they want, it’s been proven that taking a multichannel localization approach really works in bringing home the profits.

 

Bio:

Denise Recalde is a Senior Content Writer at Day Translations, a human translation services company. A seasoned writer and editor with eleven years of experience under her belt, she is a bonafide wordsmith who loves playing with the written word creatively and always takes care to lend a certain hue of snap and color to her drafts. Always one to rise up to challenges, she has traveled to 14 countries and has worked on a smorgasbord of writing projects that spanned several industries, from finance to health to beauty and fashion.

Local SEO

 

The rise of internet use all over the world means that businesses must have a digital presence for better marketing. Effective SEO use is one of the core elements of digital marketing. Therefore, you need to build a strong local presence by using the right SEO techniques. The following strategies will help you to improve your local marketing in 2016:

 

Enhance, improve, and optimize pages


To improve the effectiveness of your local SEO, you need to categorize your business. A search engine will allow you to put your company into several categories – this allows customers to find you easily. Categorizing local businesses will help search engines to identify what your business is about, allowing your site to appear in more relevant search results.

 

Local places pages


When it comes to using SEO as a marketing tool for your business, you must create a local business page. Moreover, you should have different listings for all the search engines: Bing, Yahoo, and Google. You should start by creating an account with your business information, including phone numbers, location, and email address. It is a good idea to utilize customer relationship management software in networking with your customers to improve your online presence.

 

Mobile optimization


Is your site mobile-friendly? Since your audience is no longer in the same place, you should cater to mobile users too. People use different types of devices, including phone watches, tablets, and Smartphones to browse the web. Many brands became mobile-friendly in 2015 and even more are taking up the trend in 2016. Mobile optimization is becoming the norm rather than the exception. Therefore, as a business owner, you need to change the way you create SEO strategies for mobile users.

 

As more people started using mobile devices to browse the web, Google opted to make it easier to find relevant and optimized pages. As a result, it now uses mobile-friendliness as a factor for ranking search results.

 

High quality photos


An easy and effective way of improving your local marketing strategy is by posting high quality pictures. When individuals look for local businesses online, they want to see high quality photographs. For this reason, you should upload good quality pictures of your business: the inside and outside of the building as well as the products that you sell. For example, if you sell cupcakes, you should post pictures of different types of cupcakes and their sizes. To add pictures, just visit local listings and click Add photos.

 

Reviews


The type of feedback that customers leave makes a huge difference. Most people trust the recommendations given by their family members and friends. Online reviews are another great source of brand information. Therefore, it is important that you tell your customers to write an online review for your products. Furthermore, most search engines take the number of reviews written into consideration when deciding your site’s ranking. The greater the number of reviews you have, the better your potential ranking in the search results. Getting more reviews is easy: you can either write them yourself – which is frowned upon – or make a big impression on your customers.
Author Bio:

” Martin Brown is the Marketing Executive of Top SEO Rankers based in New York. Top SEO Rankers evaluates and lists the top Digital Marketing firms and also gives SEO service providers a direct channel for prospective leads to find them. “

Nap & Local SEO

 

The success of any business website on the internet largely depends on the way it is ranked by search engines. You should therefore consider some factors in order to improve your site’s ranking. NAP is a perfect example.
 

What Is NAP


 

The word NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. It is very vital for any business that wishes to be ranked well in local search results. This is because most search engines like Google usually take NAP data into consideration when determining the companies to show for geo targeted searches.

 

When you constantly up date your NAP information and ensure that it is consistent in all other sites and platforms, its SEO power will be harnessed. This will make you appear trustworthy to Google. In this way, when somebody is performing a geo-targeted search, the search engine (Google) will use this information to produce results that are most relevant and localized.

 

For the best results, you need to place your NAP information in specific areas that will make it easy for search engines to read with much ease. You are recommended to place on your contact page. You may also decide to put it in your code especially if are a user of platforms like WordPress.

 

Building Trust with NAP


 

NAP information also enables you to build trust with search engines thereby boosting your local rankings. You can enhance this by providing this data in different sites such as online directories as well as local area sites. The secret here is that the more a site is respected, the more search engine optimization (SEO) points you will get with Google. Such sites include Yelp, Manta, Linkedln, Local Chamber Websites and many more.

 

It is important to ensure that your NAP information is accurate so that there is nothing to hinder your website from being ranked well. This is because search engines usually check and cross-reference name, address and phone number across different websites. This is its way of validating that indeed your business is legit.

 

You should also try as much as you can to build local citations together with NAP information that is consistent. This can be done by listing your business on any respected or reputable directory. You are advised to give special consideration to local directories.This will improve your ranking and make things much better for you. By so doing, the search engine will favor your site thus producing local results in top searches.

 

In conclusion, it is important that businesses embrace the use of NAP in order to improve their SEO ranking. This will positively contribute towards their success. Search engines like Google usually consider NAP information when returning the names of companies for geo targeted searches. By having well placed NAP information, local search ranking of your business will be boosted considerably.

Beacon Marketing Technology

 

Today’s economy is a competitive one, and retailers have a variety of campaign tricks up their sleeves to drive brand awareness and overall growth. Beacon technology is one of those, and Elle magazine is showing the world just how powerful it can be.

What is Beacon Technology?


 

Beacon technology utilizes push SMS technology and GPS location to “announce” when a potential customer is near a retail store. For instance, if you sign up for notifications from your favorite clothing store, and later, you travel within five miles of that store, you will receive an instant text message with a special promotion and the retail store’s exact location. It works surprisingly well, and more and more retailers continue to jump on board.

 

Elle’s “Shop Now”


 

A perfect example of how beacon technology is driving huge growth in retail stores is Elle’s “Shop Now” program. If you have ever read the magazine, then you know that they regularly review products and label them as “Editor’s Picks”, which is a testament to the value of the product. Recently, Elle began making those picks available to consumers via ShopAdvisor and RetailMeNot, two of the country’s largest shopping apps. There are 25 million app subscribers who will receive a notification if they are within a mile of several huge retailers that offer Elle’s Editor’s Picks items.

 

Elle’s “Shop Now”

Image Source: Elle Magazine

 

Fixing the Retail Store Slump


 

In recent years, as the internet makes products accessible from home, fewer and fewer people venture into retail stores to shop for the things they want or need. This takes away from sales in clothing and beauty product industries – as well as others – because the atmosphere in those retail locations is specifically designed to convert browsers to buyers. Kevin O’Malley, the Senior VP and publisher of Elle Magazine, says that the decline of in-store traffic is the number one complaint he receives from the companies the magazine advertises. Beacon technology may change all of that.

 

The Addition of Promotions


 

The CEO and founder of ShopAdvisor says that beacon technology works so well because of the way it is designed. People get alerts from one of their favorite magazines alerting them that a particular product is nearby, and that same alert provides an excellent promotion that further entices the recipient to stop and check it out. Then, once the individual is in the store, the odds of them purchasing things above and beyond the push SMS notification skyrockets.

 

Elle’s Shocking Results


 

Elle’s beacon technology is provided by Swirl, a company that specializes in sending push SMS notifications to individuals who opt-in. The VP of Marketing for Swirl, Rob Murphy, says he believes that Elle was the first-ever publisher to utilize beacon technology to drive sales. Unsurprisingly, it is working. Within the first few months of utilizing the technology, Elle drove half a million visits to retail stores.

 

If your retail location is experiencing a slump, consider utilizing beacon technology to help things pick up again. There are a number of companies out there to help you, and instead of an endorsement from Elle magazine, all you need is an opt-in page on your Facebook profile or website.

Local Search Tips

 

So you are planning to improve your local SEO, right?

 

Local SEO techniques are very important to drive more prospects through your entryways. By enhancing particular parts of your site, you build the chances of discovering you and your business in local search results.

 

3 Important items for Great Local Visibility


 

If you want to boost the result of your local SEO, you have to concentrate on three things: on page signals, profile pages as well as inbound links.

 

Number 1: Concentrate on On-Page Signals

 

  • Set up your name, phone number and address. It will help search engines and your target audience to find you and your business.
  • Create your local pages. Your location page should include unique store descriptions, transit information, testimonials, promotions and more.
  • Publish relevant content. Create a blog and promote local news and other educational content related to your industry.

 

Number 2: Create Profile Pages

 

  • Create Google+ local pages. Use Google map maker to remove duplicate listings.
  • Use review handout generator to get reviews from your customers about your product and services.
  • Do some SEO for your business categories. You can easily do it using Google+ local profiles. You can do some research to find out most effective business categories for your business.

 

Number 3: Generate Inbound Links, external links and citations

 

  • Inbound links, external links as well as citations, all are important to improve your local SEO. Hire an SEO Company to do the job for you.
  • Try to build directory citations for Yelp, Apple, Bing, Google+ and more. Make sure the citations are consistent and remove all duplicate links.
  • Start to earn local links. You can join local events or can create content worth linking.

 

More Tips to Improve Your Local SEO


 

Research your Keywords

 

The initial step is to locate the right keywords that your customers use to discover you. Depending on the amount of rivalry you have, it might be dubious to rank for your most essential expression or keywords. However, it’s easier to rank for specific terms, or even “long tail” keywords. Search your keywords with local modifiers. For example, if your business is related to digital marketing and your company is located in Orange County then search the traffic volume of keyword like “Digital Marketing Orange County”. Here “Orange County” is local modifier.

 

Use Social Media

 

Social signs are additionally essential for page positions. Each time somebody likes, comments, shares, or even follow a post, picture, or video, it sends a social sign to internet searchers, which will offer you some assistance with gaining validity on your website. Try to be active on as many social media platforms as possible and communicate with followers regularly.

 

Optimize Your Site

 

One of the most important things you can do for your business is to create high quality content. Nowadays content is very important for both visitors as well as search engines. You can upgrade your Meta description using your keywords. This is normally what Google will distribute on the web crawler results page, so make it welcoming and easy to understand. You can also modify your Meta title. Use local modifiers in your title, description and your landing pages content.

 

 Claim Business in Local Business Directories

 

A critical part of enhancing your local rankings includes your business profiles. You have to secure your Google My Business page, previously known as Google Places. Ensure the data is up to date and continually changes as your local business does.

 

Add your site to local business directories with correct and consistent (NAP) name, address and phone. This is most important to create a Google local listing. This listing will give your site ranking benefits in Google local search.

 

Be Consistent

 

Neither Bing nor Google like conflicting lists of your business on the web, and irregularity can have a negative impact on your business.

 

That is the reason you need to be reliable when you list your business details — like the precise wording of your business name, physical address, and your telephone number — across all your sites.

 

Local Outreach

 

One awesome approach to drive attention for your business is to get other individuals to discuss and link to you. What’s more, in the event that they haven’t done that yet, you can connect with them or figure out how to make them discuss you.

 

You can utilize Google Webmaster Tools or even Open Site Explorer to see who is connected to you now. This may give you some motivation to discover new places that can easily offer you exposure.

 

That’s it! Quality links, correctly used keywords and local pages can do a lot for you. Just try a couple of these local SEO tips. Your site will probably see an increment in local business soon.

 

About Navid Tayebi:

Navid Tayebi is the founder of CreativeOver.Com, a digital marketing firm located in Orange County, CA that primarily focuses on providing digital marketing solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses. His areas of expertise are refinement and development of marketing goals, promotional activities, pricing strategies and branding. You can find Navid on Twitter, Linkedin, Google + and Facebook.

Amazon Book Store

 

It might be unfair to say that Amazon killed independent bookstores, but they’d make a tempting suspect in a police lineup. With lower costs and wider selections, Amazon’s meteoric success has also meant the free fall crash of many small, local bookstores.

 

And that context makes the latest news all the more puzzling – because Amazon just opened a small, local bookstore.

 

Their flagship real-life bookstore, Amazon Books, opened for business in Seattle on November 2nd, 2015. And unlike their towering, sprawling warehouses, this store spans just 5,500 square feet, roughly a fifth of the size of your average Barnes & Noble.

 

As much as the news reads like a headline straight from The Onion, there’s aspects of this launch that makes a great deal of sense. After all, they’re using many of the same strategies in this launch that led the e-commerce giant to domination on the web. (But, you know, in real life this time.)

 

In this post, I’ll explain how Amazon is using the principles of digital marketing to launch their local bookstore. As crazy as it might seem for Amazon to take a swing at running a small bookstore, their approach illustrates how digital marketing principles can work both on and offline.

 

Get to know your audience


 

One of the essential advantages of online marketing platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads is marketers’ ability to deliver specific content to a specific audience. Importantly, these platforms allow advertisers to measure how their ads are performing, and continuously optimize them to improve conversions.

 

While Amazon Books might appear to be like any other small book retailer, how they’re targeting their audience gives them a distinct advantage.

 

Amazon Books chose the city of Seattle more than just because it rests near their corporate offices. While there are plenty of things that Seattle doesn’t have time for, reading isn’t one of them; Seattle happens to take the #1 spot for Amazon’s own list of ‘Most Well-Read Cities’. And their efforts to target readers doesn’t stop with just location.

 

In addition to prime book-selling real estate, the store also offers a supply of books tailored to local audience’s tastes. Along with national bestsellers, they’re also catering to Seattleites by using customer data, such as customer habits and shopping patterns, to stock books most likely to sell. Finally (but not surprisingly), Amazon Books is also offering Kindle devices at this location, a decision based on the growing demand for electronic readers.

 

Using the same customer research that enabled Amazon.com to become the world’s go-to online retailer for everything everywhere, Amazon Books has prepared itself for a local audience.

 

Use the principles of CRO


 

One of the greatest advantages of an online storefront is the ability to A/B test everything to perfectly design a shopping experience most likely to convert visitors into paying customers. This practice is called conversion rate optimization, or CRO for short.

 

Amazon Books illustrates that this practice doesn’t have to stay online by using what they’ve learned about customer behavior through their website, much like how grocery stores are designed to appeal to consumer psychology.

 

Instead of moving bulk product, Amazon Books is more interested in providing a limited stock of only 5,000 to 6,000 titles, presented in a way to sell more effectively. In addition to offering inventory targeted to their local audience, this bookstore includes some conversion-rate-boosting measures such as:

 

  • Improving shopper navigation: Instead of cramming books binding outwards to store a higher amount of inventory, each book is displayed cover outwards to attract shoppers. As with websites, easier navigation can help make a sale.
  • Offering proof of quality: Signage below each book includes things like bestseller status, averaged reviews rating on Amazon.com, and review snippets from real Amazon shoppers. Social proof is an essential part of persuading shoppers to convert.

When considering the ways that Amazon is creating an optimized shopping experience similar to shopping on their website, it’s much easier to imagine how Amazon believed that a small, local bookstore can be profitable in an age of e-commerce.

 

While independent book stores will continue to struggle against the competition of online retailers like Amazon, this new book store should offer proof that offline businesses can gain an advantage by implementing customer data too.

 

As the new vice president of Amazon Books Jennifer Cast said in The Seattle Times,

 

“We’re taking the data we have and we’re creating physical places with it.” “We hope this is not our only one. But we’ll see,” she continued.

 

If Amazon’s use of digital marketing strategies serves them as well in the real world as it does online, you might find a new Amazon Books locations opening soon near you.

Author Bio:

Tim Hand is a writer from Boise, ID who writes about small businesses, marketing, and web development. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in English at the University of South Carolina, Tim moved to the Treasure Valley to work with internet marketing firms as a content marketer and SEO. Connect with Tim on Twitter @TimWHand.

Christmas Marketing

 

The Christmas shopping season is just around the corner, which means that now is the time to ramp up your marketing efforts. Here are seven things any business owner can do prior to Thanksgiving to make Christmas season marketing a breeze.

 

 

#1. Build Excitement


 

The weeks leading up to the Christmas holiday is when you should begin building excitement for the upcoming shopping season. This means you should intensify all your marketing efforts, whether online, in print, or via television or radio ads. The more people hear the name of your business, the more excited they will be to shop your establishment. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to announce sales or just remind people that there are only x number of shopping days until Christmas either.

 

#2. Plan Early Promotions


 

To compete with big-box retailers for Black Friday sales, you’ll need to plan a promotional event for one or two weeks before then. Promise your customers price-matching guarantees on any merchandise they find on sale during Black Friday, and chances are they will visit your establishment first. You could also offer free or no-money-down layaways beginning as early as two weeks prior to Thanksgiving to encourage people who have a limited amount of cash to shop with you before going anywhere else.

 

#3. Host a Holiday Event


 

One of the best ways to attract people to your business is by hosting a special holiday event. Schedule a tree lighting ceremony complete with carolers, complimentary hot chocolate, and a visit from Santa Claus. Partner with local equestrians to offer sleigh rides, or talk with a church group near you about hosting a live nativity outside your building. You could also offer free or low-cost gift wrapping to customers who spend a certain amount of money. In doing these things, you’ll likely attract a good number of people who would not ordinarily have visited you.

 

#4. Offer Unique Merchandise


 

People are always looking for unique gifts, which is why you should make an extra effort to offer merchandise that is somewhat out of the ordinary. Be sure to let people know about this unique merchandise by mailing out sales flyers, announcing its arrival in email newsletters, and updating your blog with photographs. You should also make sure people know how this merchandise would be perfect for anyone on their list who is normally considered hard to buy for.

 

#5. Provide Loyalty Perks and Rebates


 

Loyalty perks in the way of rewards or special discounts for those who spend a certain amount of money is one way to encourage people to do all or most of their Christmas shopping at your store. You could offer loyalty perks only for a specified amount of time, or double the amount of points you award on certain days such as Small Business Saturday. Offering a rebate on certain merchandise is also a great way to ensure your customers buy particular items from you rather than your competition.

 

#6. Create a Holiday Atmosphere


 

People who are in the holiday spirit are more likely to pick up a few stocking stuffers for those on their gift-giving lists, and may even take time to do some more in-depth shopping. In addition to setting up displays of holiday merchandise, you should also add a few decorations in order to create the ideal atmosphere for Christmas shopping. Add a wreath on your door, lights on your storefront, and bright-colored poinsettias near your cash register. Play some seasonal music softly in the background to add even more ambiance and keep people feeling festive.

 

#7. Offer Extended Hours


 

People are busier than ever during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, which means they may want to shop at unusual hours. Make it easier for them to get to your store by offering extended hours during the months of November and December. You could stay open an hour or two later each evening, or plan to remain open continuously for 18 or even 24 hours. Advertise your extended hours via social media, in-store flyers, and on your website to make sure everyone is aware of them and can plan accordingly.

 

 

These seven things do not have to cost a great deal of money, yet can greatly impact your retail sales during the competitive Christmas shopping season. Make plans now to implement several of these ideas into your marketing strategy, and you will likely be surprised at how well they improve your bottom line.