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Monday, Jan. 12, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Make 31% More Internet-Driven Sales At Your Retail Location

By Melissa Burdon
January 12th, 2009

It surprises the vast majority of business owners, but you don’t need to actually sell anything online in order to make money using your web site.

Whether you have a physical retail store location, a service business that depends on leads or even if you organize live seminars and classes, you can and should be using your online presence as one of your strongest lead generators.

Here are a few simple things you can do to generate more leads using your web site:

1.    Offer a clearly labeled text link at the top of all your main landing pages that tells the visitor to click for a map and directions to your location.

2.    If you have an impressive showroom that will help the visitor gain confidence in the professional standing of your company, offer a “tour our showroom” call to action where you feature professional images or a video.

3.    Your landing pages all need to state your unique value, and need to persuade the visitor to take the action you want them to take. If you’re asking the visitor to fill out a form to become a lead, then they need to be persuaded to take this action. The visitor will need to clearly see the benefit of filling out the form. If the action you want them to take, is to come visit your retail location, don’t only persuade them that you have the best or unique products/services, but also give them a reason why they should come in person and shouldn’t just buy something online.

4.    Collect visitors’ email addresses and phone numbers by giving them something valuable in return. For instance, tell them to sign up for a special offer or a coupon that they can use in your location.

5.    Make your contact information clear on all product/service pages and all landing pages. Provide your phone number, hours of operation at the top right corner of every page. Give the visitor different options of getting in contact with you on all the main landing pages and product/service pages. For instance, you may want to have a call to action that lets visitors choose a time for you to call them. You could also provide a contact form directly on the site so that they can fill it out and you can respond by email. Or, you could provide a live chat service, where people can ask questions directly on line to a live person at your store.

These aren’t theoretical suggestions. By implementing some of these simple things on one of our client’s sites, we were able to help them increase their Internet referred sales to their retail store by 31%. 31% isn’t bad especially when their internet traffic was down 10% and their overall sales (driven by all sources) was down 10%.

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Comments (16)

  1. Another way to drive retail branch sales is to integrate all your direct response advertising to encourage cross-channel shopping. Using targeted online or email campaigns which drive consumers to a specialized landing page which offers an in-store promotion, done well, encourages engagement and store traffic. Consider using some of your budget to test a CPA (Cost-Per-Action) online or email campaign. Since you pay only for the customers who actually purchase your product, its an excellent (risk free) way to test drive an integrated direct response strategy!

  2. I have to agree that even though you don’t sell anything on a website, you can still use it to generate leads, inform, support, etc. One thing I would make sure to collect is their zip or postal code. Having geographic data can later help with segmentation.

  3. [...] here’s an article that should prove a useful sales tool you can hand out to your customers: Make 31% More Internet-Driven Sales At Your Retail Location And for everyone doing business on the internet, you might find this video very helpful at [...]

  4. [...] clipped from [...]

  5. You may also want to consider using some of your budget to test. Since you pay only for the customers who actually purchase your product.

  6. [...] Melissa Burdon, “Make 31% More Internet-Driven Sales At Your Retail Location,” FutureNow… Share and [...]

  7. Yup, I have a couple local friends that have showrooms but don’t display them on their website. I agree with your comments here and will forward them your article.

  8. I agree.

  9. I agree with another idea.

  10. It’s really.

    I just face about it.

  11. [...] are plenty of other articles online where you can learn how to make little changes that produce big results (ps. those last three are my [...]

  12. XN thank you for your sharing.

  13. I think Internet-Driven Sales is the trend of our life. Thanks for sharing this post.

  14. I have to agree that even though you don’t sell anything on a website.

  15. Your website is not just an online business card. It must have purpose. Get leads, encourage contact, visitors etc.

  16. I am a co-owner of an online business who just opened a brick and mortar store. Even though you wrote this article over two years ago, the information is still pertinent today. It will definitely help us as we try to grow our store as well as we did our online business.

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Melissa is a Senior Persuasion Analyst at FutureNow.

More articles from Melissa Burdon

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