The small business world can be a crowded and competitive space, and it’s often hard to drive new customers through the door. Couple that with keeping your current customer base happy and things can be a bit overwhelming.
There is a wide range of customer acquisition tools and tactics that you can leverage to drive new customers into your store, and some are more expensive and complicated than others. To keep things simple & stress-free, below is a list of how to get new customers this month that you can begin implementing at your business today!
Your “regulars” keep business steady and constant and are likely your best customers. Leverage the relationship and reputation you have built with those customers and incentivize them to share their experience with their friends. Track the number of new customers coming in by deploying a zero point reward on the Belly iPad like, “Bring In A Friend & Get 15% Off Your Order”. Every time that reward is redeemed, that counts as a new customer that was brought in by one of your regulars.
Buddy Up & Cross Promote
Leverage relationships with fellow business owners in the area to drive new customers to each other’s stores. Now that's how to get new customers! Focus on businesses and services that align with your core customer to ensure the offer is relevant and enticing. For instance, if your target customer is a 25-year-old male, it’s unlikely he’ll be interested in receiving offers from a local beauty salon. But if for example your target customer is a 25-year-old female, and you’re a hair salon, that customer might be interested in receiving a discount at the nail salon down the street.
It’s no secret that people love free things. And contrary to belief, giving away things for free is not always a bad thing for your bottom line. When people come in for their “Free Item” it’s likely they may also make a purchase to complement that item. For instance, if you give away a cup of coffee, people may buy a donut or pastry with it. According to an article from USA Today, Slurpee sales at 7-Eleven shot up 38% on Free Slurpee Day even though the chain gave away 4.5 million free drinks.
Belly Bites, our customer acquisition tool, enables you to target free samples to customers in your neighborhood who’ve never visited your business. The beauty of Belly Bites (in addition to the new customers) is that you can not only easily track who’s coming in but who’s coming back as a repeat customer.
Get Out In Your Community
Keep an eye on local publications and websites that regularly communicate upcoming events in your community and get involved! Share with your community what your business is all about at local street festivals or events. If there’s a particular local charity group you support, use your Belly loyalty program to get the word out. Create a low point reward that when redeemed equates to a monetary donation to the charity of your choice.
Don’t Be Afraid of Technology
Social Media, Search Engine Marketing and the internet in general can be a scary and daunting. Where do you even begin when you don’t know what the heck these things are? Well, we’ll tell you where to start:
Manage Your Yelp Reviews – we all know that Yelp can be extremely beneficial to building the reputation of your business, but it only takes a few upset customers to deem all those good reviews irrelevant. Make sure you are constantly monitoring your Yelp page, and addressing any negative reviews you may receive. Reaching out to an upset customer to try and improve their next visit goes a long way, and shows potential new customers that you care. You can also turn on Belly’s Reputation Management tool to ensure you are obtaining reviews from your most loyal customers. Talk to your MSM to activate this feature.
Social Media – all the crazy kids these days have a Twitter account, Facebook Page and Instagram account, but you know what, so do reputable businesses. Social media pages are a great way to engage potential customers and showcase your brand’s personality via various posts. Erik Qualman points out in #Socialnomics that “93% of shoppers’ buying decisions are influenced by social media, because 90% trust peer recommendations.” You don’t have to have an account on every single social media outlet, but instead focus on a social media portal that you are comfortable posting to regularly with engaging content like a daily or weekly special, pictures of a local event and any awards you’ve won, “Best Sandwich In Town”. Have fun with social media and let your personality shine through.
Give Your Website A Facelift – often times when a potential customer is researching a new business to try out, their first stop is the business’ website. Your website is someone’s first impression of your business so ensure it’s a good one. Make sure all your product offerings are up to date, along with store hours and contact information. Stick with a simple color palette & font and ensure your logo and all photos are hi-res. You don’t want to overwhelm someone’s senses with bold color choices and out of focus images, but instead showcase what you’re good at and highlight why someone should try your business.
There are a ton of options and tactics that you can test to get new customers to your store. In addition to exploring some of the suggestions above, branch out and explore alternative avenues for customer acquisition that fit the needs of your business. You can also access additional articles about customer acquisition in Belly’s Resource Hub.
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