These days it is quite easy to launch an online store: you need a hosting, domain and a store itself. Of course, it takes time to configure everything correctly, design an appealing shop and use top-notch marketing techniques. Moreover, an online store lets you have flexible working hours and different shipping options.That’s all sounds great but let’s face the truth: many people still prefer to buy things in offline shops as there they can touch, examine goods that are real things and not just photos on the screen. Having that in mind, many merchants have an offline store along with an online one.
Unfortunately, it can be quite expensive to have your own offline store as you’ll need to pay rent, additional taxes, etc. This affects initial expenses and makes you raise the prices not to lose the profit. However, there is a good solution: you can partner with local shops and sell your goods in their stores. It will help you to cut your own expenses and have more representatives.
No matter which way you choose for offline sells, you will still need to popularize your offline store(s) to squeeze more from it (or them).
1. Add your business to local directories
Sites like Yelp are very popular and can attract customers to your store. There is an extensive list of local directories where you can add your address and get reviewed by real customers.
2. Add your business to Google Maps
Google Maps is also a kind of a directory but it stands apart as it is one of the most important places where your business must be listed. You can add several addresses here which is quite convenient if you have more than one offline stores. You can also upload photos of the stores and collect customers’ reviews.
The most interesting and appealing thing about Google Maps is that people who look for you are given your address(es) right on the search results page which makes it easier to find you.
3. Add Google Maps to your site
You can show your customers where your store or stores are located. You will need to add Google maps to your online store to make that. If you have several stores, consider adding an option where your customer can filter out the addresses to find the nearest one. The easier it is to find you store, the more potential customer you will have.
The days where people just go to Yelow Pages to find local businesses, are disappearing. Today we all have mobile phones and Internet access, so we tend to find all the needed info online. Adding your offline business to an online local directory is a good opportunity to be found by potential customers. But if you choose only one or two directories, you’ll miss many chances to be noticed. Each directory inclusion means more opportunities and more visibility.