By Dan CavallariYep, we're all here to sell stuff. We've got to make a living, after all, so if there's a way to increase sales, why not try it? Well, here's something to remember when you're thinking about merchandising, revamping your website, or even talking to a customer on the phone: selling stuff isn't always about selling stuff! Building a rapport with your client is far more important, and it's vital that you understand what motivates your customers to come into your shop day after day. A customer is good; a customer who comes back is better, so when you're thinking about ways to boost your sales, try thinking about ways to build relationships.
The easiest way to do that is to think about what gets your customers stoked. Hint: it's probably the same things that get you stoked! New, shiny bikes, inside info on new tech, riding videos, even big, bold photos of people on bikes gets your customers' pulse to quicken, so when you envision your shop and your website, it stands to reason that they should both be chock full of the visuals and stories that get your customers excited to ride bikes. On your website, be sure to share the content that inspires you, because chances are your customers will be inspired too. Did you see a cool riding video recently? Share it in a blog post. Know about a super-cool new bit of tech your customers can get excited for? Include it in your next newsletter.
And don't forget about the cruiser contingent, or the weekend riders who roll the bike path on comfort bikes. They may make up a significant portion of your business, so think like them: what would get them excited to get out and ride? Whatever it is, give it to them! Got a new basket in stock that's perfect for books or a small dog? Showcase it on your site. How about a new kid's trailer that mom and dad can haul groceries in, too? Get some nice photos on your site ASAP!
Most importantly, your customers LOVE new stuff: the hottest tech, the coolest videos, the awesome images from the cycling world. Be sure to update your site frequently to ensure you're providing those things and more to your customers. The advantages to such updates include:
1) Increased search engine traffic. Your site gets noticed by search engines more if you update frequently.
2) The likelihood that your existing customers will return to your site frequently. This means they will be more exposed to your brand and be more likely to make a purchase on your site or in your store.
3) Brand development. Your customers will begin to think of your site as a resource, giving you the opportunity to establish your shop as the place to go for all their cycling needs.
4) Attractiveness to new customers. People who have never visited your site before are likely to be impressed by your site and will be more likely to come back. More repeat trips to your site is likely to equate with more sales.
5) MOST IMPORTANTLY: You get to be more interested and engaged with your own website. Think about it: you get to present the coolest stuff out there to your clients, which means you get to see it too!