McVan Blog

How to Attract Local Customers to Your Religious Retail Store

Posted by Maureen Pinney on October 15, 2015 at 10:15 AM

attract-local-customers

Every religious retail store pins its hopes on building a loyal customer base, with a corresponding increase in sales. But the first step is to attract local customers to your shop -- and to get that kind of attention, you may have to enhance your normal marketing routine. Let's look at four creative strategies to draw more buyers through the doors of your religious retail business.

1. Networking

Good old-fashioned face-to-face contact may not sound all that original, but there's room for a lot of creativity in the strategies you employ to make it work for your business. Start by preparing yourself (or your sales rep) for these events by crafting a short "elevator pitch" that describes your products and your ideal customers in one fell swoop. Then go online and look for local meetings likely to attract those individuals, such as a young Catholic professionals group.

If you really want to get the most of your networking efforts, however, you'll want to find one permanent group to focus on. These "hard contact" networking groups sometimes cost money to join, but the members meet regularly enough that they can form genuine long-term referral relationships. You try to find business for them, and they try to find business for you. It's like gaining an instant sales team!

2. Digital Word of Mouth

Networking is great for getting word out in person, but you can also get people talking about you via the Web. One of the easiest ways to do this is by asking for reviews and testimonials on popular social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Yelp. Glowing descriptions of your products from actual customers are powerful inducements to visit your shop, or at least your website. 


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Testimonials on social media can help drive customers to your door.

 

Speaking of your website, get permission to quote some of your favorite customer testimonials on the site pages. This ensures that visitors coming to your site from other directions will also discover just how fantastic their peers think you are.

3. Blogging

Maintaining a regular blog is a great way to put creativity to work for your marketing efforts. When people are looking for ideas or trying to solve a challenge regarding a religious gift purchase, they might make a beeline for your store (if they know it's there), but they're more likely to search for inspiration on the Internet. If their query connects them with a brilliant blog post providing the answer to their problem or question, they'll want to learn more about your various solutions -- culminating in a trip to your shop, and hopefully a purchase.

"What am I supposed to I blog about?" is usually the most intimidating question for retailers establishing a blog. As a seller of religious products, think about the reasons your customers visit you -- especially the specific holidays and ceremonies that demand the perfect gift. You can then:

  • Spotlight individual products seasonally;
  • Talk about the holidays themselves;
  • Suggest evergreen purchase ideas for birthdays, personal religious ceremonies, and other special events;
  • Share a recent "success story" in which you came to the rescue for a particular customer.


how-to-attract-customers-to-store-imagination

Capture your customer's imaginations with relevant blog articles!

 

4. Optimizing for Local Searches

You may do most or all of your business through a brick-and-mortar location, but that's no reason to neglect your website optimization. Your website can play a crucial role in directing more incoming traffic to that location, as a matter of fact -- but only if you optimize it to show up on local searches. For starters, figure out which keywords your target audience is using for searches ("Confirmation gifts in North Everytown," et cetera), and then fashion creative website content that contains those keywords.

While you're making your website more effective as to attract local customers, don't forget to make it mobile device compatible. As more and more shoppers use their smartphones to find local goodies, retailers need to retool their old fixed-width websites to make them responsive (so that they re-scale to fit smaller screens). A beautiful, functional, optimized responsive website will help you get more foot traffic from all those consumers who are pounding the pavement, iPhone in hand.

These ideas are just the beginning. You'll find that the more you think about creative solutions for attracting crowds to your religious retail store, the more ideas present themselves. Offering a wide range of gorgeous products will only add to your success -- so feel free to view our collection!

 

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Topics: Retailer Knowledge Sharing Series

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