The COVID-19 global pandemic heavily affected local industries. This encouraged movements in support of local businesses to be launched.
However, it is difficult to compete with the influence of bigger chains and international brands to the consumers.
Therefore, the challenge faced by retailers and restaurateurs is to motivate consumers to shop and support their businesses instead of choosing their bigger competitors.
Understanding the reason behind the ‘support local’ campaign is easy. However, enticing shoppers to actually follow it is an entirely different story.
Business owners must make consumers realize the benefits of shopping within their communities through creative ways and strategies.
One good example is a personalized handwritten letter explaining how impactful their purchase is for your business.
You can also use social media to help them visualize their contribution in strengthening the local economy.
The fact that they are actually causing significant change with every simple transactions is a powerful approach to persuade them to choose small business over large chains.
Track Your Social Media Followers
By increasing your online presence through sharing of local events and recommending other businesses, you are creating clamor in support not only of your businesses but also of others,
The influence of social media cannot be set aside, because it is where consumers look for gift inspirations for the holiday season.
It is important to know that the hashtag #shoplocal has been used million times on Instagram. This clearly shows consumers’ excitement and support for independent owners.
It shouldn’t stop to that, this opportunity must be seized. Knowing other top-performing hashtags can help you reach more audience and increase the chance of converting them into customers.
Selling on Facebook and Instagram will be your best social media strategy. Since these two are the top-used platforms, it would be easier for shoppers to reach you and transact with you. Thus, boosting your sales.
Offer Flexible and Favorable Deals
Since there is an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, customers would still be hesitant to visit your store.
But this shouldn’t stop you from selling. You can still utilize your by serving through curbside pickup and takeout.
It is vital to keep the process convenient and quick to entice customers to come back and recommend your store to their friends.
Favorable deals such as special promos and discounts is an effective way to encourage consumers to patronize your business rather than choosing a big box competitor.
Free shipping and delivery is just one example of how you can attract many consumers and compete with bigger brands. You can implement a minimum purchase requirement to increase the average order value and keep your profit margins without losing revenue.
Establish a Loyalty Program
Almost 80% of US companies that offer loyalty programs generate a positive return on investment. Meanwhile, almost 70% of customers say that their decide based where to buy based on who offer the most favorable customer loyalty program rewards.
Loyalty programs offer exclusive value to customers, which they cannot find anywhere else. Therefore, what drives them to come back is the reward that they will get for buying.