When you're a small business owner in Helena, it's critical to look at how you're going to encourage people to shop local. You don't want them going online to order what you have in your shop. You also don't want them driving to one of the big box stores. Instead, you want to establish customer loyalty.
The best way to do this is by creating customer convenience. Customers want to interact with you in the most convenient way possible. We live in a world where there is instant gratification. Companies such as Amazon, Uber, and GrubHub are changing the way that consumers interact and how they get what they want.
This means that you have to evolve your way of thinking to ensure that the customer's needs are met.
Let Customers Interact with Your Website
When you look at your web design, it needs to be created in such a way that you allow customers to interact with your site. It's not enough to simply offer a homepage with an explanation of services. You have to make it easy for people to interact with you. This includes such things as:
- Online ordering
- Appointment making
- Live chat
You want to make it simple for a potential customer to go to your site and make an appointment or reservation or even buy what they need right there. People don't want to spend a lot of time getting anything. They remember and are loyal to the companies that make it easier for them.
Update Your Operations
Your operations might be running the same way they were 10 years ago. This means it's time to update things and look at how easy it is for people to "get in and get out." You might want to make it possible for people to order online and then be able to pick it up in the store.
You might also want to consider creating an app where people can check out your products or services and make appointments through the app.
Depending on your business, have a counter dedicated for people who are picking up orders.
If it's possible to offer a delivery service or a mobile version of your service, consider it. For example, food trucks have been popular additions for restaurants. Dog groomers have gone mobile to take their services to the customer instead of the other way around.
In the end, you want to make sure you're being flexible for your customers. They demand convenience and therefore it has to be something you incorporate into your marketing strategy. On your site and throughout social media, show people how you're making it easier than ever for them. It's what will ultimately allow you to achieve more customers and a higher level of loyalty from them.