Having an online store doesn’t mean you should limit yourself to online interactions and promotions. If you want your e-commerce business to be successful you need to be everywhere.
Even though people spend much of their time behind laptops or mobile device screens, there’s nothing quite like human-to-human interaction. By promoting your e-commerce business offline, you’ll be able to meet and connect with your target audience face-to-face.
Plus, the more places you’re promoting your online business, the more sales you can make. Here’s how to promote your e-commerce business offline.
Get some business cards
Business cards might seem old-fashioned and unnecessary in e-commerce, but this simple piece of paper is still an effective tool to promote your e-commerce business offline. When you’re out and about, you’re constantly running into potential future customers. Say you’re at a restaurant and the server compliments your scarf. You let them know that you sell that exact scarf on your website, and then instead of telling them your website address and hoping they remember it, you can hand them a business card.
Of course, you’ll want to make sure your website address is front and center on the business card. After all, you often won’t need a physical address or even a phone number, so make sure your website stands out. Plus, with free online design tools, you can design a gorgeous business card for free.
Attend events in your community
Don’t sit behind your computer all day, get out there and meet people in the community. Attending events in-person is a great way to get the word out about your business and hand out a bunch of those stunning business cards you made.
There are a ton of different events you could attend in your community and nearby cities. First, look into joining your local Chamber of Commerce or any other local groups that allow business owners to connect and network with each other. You should also look into conferences and trade shows related to your specific industry. Attending these types of events allows you to form meaningful industry relationships, learn new tips for running a successful e-commerce business and promote your online store to potential customers.
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Set up a pop-up shop
Pop-up shops have been growing in popularity over the past few years, and they’re a great way to build awareness for your online store. A pop-up shop is basically a short-term, temporary retail space. It “pops up” and then is gone quickly. It’s the perfect opportunity for e-commerce businesses to introduce their brand to customers in-person. Plus, it gives customers the ability to see your products up close.
Of course, to be able to set up a pop-up shop, you’ll need to have your own inventory; a pop-up shop won’t work for an affiliate e-commerce store. Although this strategy is more expensive than the others, if you’ve got the budget to make it work, it’s worth it. But if you don’t want to rent a temporary space, you could check out local art festivals or markets and just rent a booth.
Offer free branded swag
Another way to promote your e-commerce business offline is to offer free branded swag. People love getting free stuff. Not only does free branded swag make your customers and potential customers jump for joy, but it promotes your business too.
Consider getting swag such as t-shirts, pens, stationary or mugs printed with your logo and website address. You can hand out free swag at events in your community to spread the word about your online store. When you give a memorable or useful branded gift, your website will stay at the top of people’s minds.
Get in touch with local media
Clearly, digital marketing is important for e-commerce websites but don’t forget about traditional media too. If you want to promote your online store to the people in your area, get in touch with local media. You could get your business featured in the local paper, land a feature in a local magazine or give an interview on a local radio station.
Even if you haven’t launched your website yet, you should still reach out to local media. Local news sources may be willing to announce the upcoming launch of your online store, which will create interest in it. Just make sure you have a Coming Soon page on your website to capture leads and create a buzz before your launch day.
Put your online business out in the real world
Just because you have an online store, doesn’t mean your customers are only online – they’re everywhere – so you need to be everywhere too. Using these tips for promoting your e-commerce business offline will help you spread the word about your online store to potential customers.