During COVID-19 closures and beyond.
Store owners and boutique managers, today is your last $0 day! This is a challenging time for retailers with the stay at home orders and required quarantine. What is a retailer, whose main source of income is walk-in store traffic supposed to do to generate sales when they cannot be open for shoppers?Keep reading for some simple solutions you can activate today to get your store sales back on track.Before we dive into the best way to generate in-store sales for your boutique, please begin by following the below four tips:
- If you are not already on the social media platform Instagram, stop reading this post and create your own account. Link this account to your Facebook business page too.
- Make sure your Instagram account is set up as a “business account” not a personal account. This is important because when you have a business account you are able to include your retail store’s address in the bio and it gives views the option to either call or email you directly from your account page. The second reason you want a business account is it allows you to track your analytics and get a better understanding of your audience. These three things are very valuable for a small business!
Use your logo as the profile photo. Don’t use a random picture of products as your profile picture.
- Don't forget about your branding! Make sure the images and fonts you use on your Instagram account fit within your brand aesthetic. Great examples of this are @clarev, @sidmashburn, @alchemyworks, @nanushka.
Now that your Instagram Business account is ready to go, its time to utilize the amazing sales power of instagram to generate in-store sales for your while while your business is closed.Please note that there are many ways to sell on Instagram, however we will only be discussing one method in this post and this is the method we believe to be the most effective and valuable for boutique owners and speciality retailers who do not have a large social media following or spend time marketing their store. Instagram is a social media platform that has over one billion monthly users, so it’s a valuable asset to any business owner who has their account set up properly (as mentioned above) and utilizes hashtags and location tagging in every post.
Think of Instagram videos as the way to gain back your walk in foot traffic while your store is closed or only “open” for curb-side pick up.
Instagram has two ways you can post videos, one via “Stories”, which are videos that last for 24 hours, and the second way is to post directly to your account’s “Feed.” Videos posted to the “Feed” do not go away after 24 hours and these videos automatically save to create you very own Instagram TV “IGTV” channel. We love Instagram videos because:
- They offer viewers the chance to see your store & products in detail
- They bring back the personal and human element of retail
- Instagram is free to use
We’ve seen wonderful success for our clients when the videos posted to Instagram’s “Stories” are short, less than 20 seconds (remember these expire in 24 hours) so think of the “Stories” videos as the teaser, letting viewers know a new video will be coming soon. The longer video, 2-4 minutes is posted to the “Feed”
- We like having the 2-4 minute video on the Instagram “Feed” because it gives customers the chance to view the video for longer periods of time (until you delete it)
- Posting to the “Feed” allows viewers to get a feel for the look and style of your shop even after the video is months old
- Videos are a great way to add an authentic and personal touch to the digital version of your store
- Your customers LOVE them!
- Remember to let your customers know how to purchase the items in the video, the simplest way is to tell them to call you!
Real retailers results: Just this week, one of our clients sold $9,000 from two, 4 minute Instagram videos, another sold out of the items featured in the video (she had 6 units) and a third client sold $1,000 from their very first Instagram video!
These three client examples took place while their stores were closed, with no editing, just from filming a short video (under 4 minutes) with their iPhones showcasing some of the products available in store.
I hear your mind saying, well those stores are big and fancy with a large following and I am not like that. If you think that, well, think again, because these brick and mortar retailers mentioned above do not have a robust online store and their followers were less than 1,000. Meaning, yes, you too can make videos and you can sell products from Instagram Videos today!
We are encouraging all of our clients who cannot open for walk in traffic to make a focused effort to post:
- videos of products in store
- videos of tutorials on how to use the products
- videos talking about the brands they love in the store and the curation (while featuring products of course)
Instagram videos are visual reminder of what’s available and what makes your store special while our stores are physically closed to the public.
The retailers mentioned above are now hooked on how fun and easy it is to create and post a video and they have told us they are now focusing on Instagram as a very important sales channel during this time of Stay at Home orders and Social Distancing, and they will continue to film and post Instagram videos even when we are through this pandemic.
Are you ready to start selling? We hope so!
We challenge you to give Instagram and Instagram videos a try today! If you need help, feel free to reach out to us! We are here for your success! Have fun filming! :)