Chances are if your retail business was established before the arrival of the modern technology boom, you are still in operation for a reason. You probably provide a unique product or service that has yet to be beat by the competition, or you offer exemplary customer service that keeps people coming back.
Whatever the reason for your prolonged success, it isn’t wise to assume that things will always be that way. One thing that well-established companies should do, to stay on top of their game, is keep up with the latest business-related technologies; this includes shopping tools and features.
There are three modern shopping conveniences that all customers expect today. Some people won’t even consider doing business somewhere if these features aren’t provided.
A Business Website
Having a website for your business is one of the most important things you can do to increase profit and customer loyalty. An online presence doesn’t necessarily always mean online shopping. Unless it would be profitable to sell and ship your products online, don’t feel pressured to set up a virtual shop. However, you do need to have a website that explains your business, provides contact and location information and includes customer recommendations and company news. There are other website tools that you can use to enhance the customer’s experience. For example, if you operate a restaurant, set up an online pickup order and/or reservation system.
A Google Maps Presence
Nearly every smartphone today utilizes Google Maps for GPS and direction/location purposes. People expect a business to be found on Google Maps, and if you aren’t there, they may question your reputability. They may also have trouble locating you, since the majority of the population now relies on smartphone GPS software to navigate roads (both in town and out of town). In addition to Google Maps, consider placing your business’ location on Bing Maps and MapQuest.
A Reward Program
Whether you are a large retailer or a small mom and pop shop, shoppers are interested in being rewarded for being your customer. Many stores now have software systems that keep up with customer purchases and accrue points for shoppers to use toward a discount or a free sample item. Examples include the Sephora Beauty Insider club, the Kroger Plus Card and the Best Buy Reward Zone Card.
Look for ways to incorporate these things into your business operations to improve the shopping experience for your customers. You will be surprised how profitable these modern features will be once implemented.