There is no denying that it has been a tough stretch for smaller retailers. Many were impacted directly by consumers turning to national brands during the height of the global pandemic. Now, there is evidence that SMB retailers are disproportionately affected by delays and shortages due to the much-publicized supply chain issues. Supply chain challenges are expected to linger until at least 2023, affecting retail success.
However, SMBs can’t afford to wait around. Now is the time for smaller retailers to successfully navigate this new normal. While some issues may be out of their control or simply impossible to resolve, small businesses can use technology to help improve their customer experience and thrive in this ever-changing world.
How SMB Can Boost Retail Success
Here are three ways SMBs can maximize retail success, even in the face of supply chain issues:
1- Ensure Business Listings are Updated and Accurate
Consumers are using search to discover new retailers, and accurate information gets you to the top of search results. Keep information such as location details, store hours, delivery options, and current COVID safety protocols to give customers a full picture of what to expect when they do business with you.
The more information you include in your listing, the higher your business is likely to rank in search results. Potential customers appreciate useful information such as whether you have private parking or easily accessible restrooms -including this type of information will improve your rank.
2- Boost the Frequency and Recency of Your Reviews
Don’t be afraid to ask your most loyal customers to add a review to your Google page. A large number of recent reviews will entice new consumers to choose your business for their purchase. Think about the last time you went online to research a purchase. You’re much more likely to trust a review that was recent, such as in the past week or month than one from three or four years ago.
To generate new, high-quality reviews on Google, many businesses take the first step of asking customers to rate their experience. If that initial question leads to a strong response — a 5 out of 5 or 10 out of 10 — the business can then encourage the customer to also submit a review on Google with a fair amount of confidence that the review will be positive. This tactic helps keep new reviews coming in and gives businesses the best chance of making sure those reviews reflect the business well.
3- Create an Active and Engaging Social Media Presence
Whether you have one location or multiple, be sure to build out your social media presence and engage with your followers. Take the time to read and analyze the comments you get from customers. You should give a look at both positive and constructive feedback. This can lead to improvements that build customer loyalty to bring in more future revenue.
It’s important to remember, however, that everybody can see what people post about your business on social media, including existing and potential customers, as well as competitors. That’s why it’s paramount to respond to as many social media interactions as possible, positive or negative.
Every customer post about your business is an opportunity for you to gain insight. It creates direct engagement with you and your customers. Also, it lets them know you care about their experience. In the end, these two-way conversations are a relatively easy way to give your businesses some personality while also monitoring general customer sentiment.
Business owners know very well that not everything is in their control. The current supply chain situation fits this bill. The key to winning in this environment is maximizing the opportunities you can control. SMBs should keep updated and accurate business listings, optimize the quality and quantity of their Google reviews, and use their social media platforms to their advantage. Those that do this give themselves the best chance to survive during challenging times and thrive when conditions eventually improve.
Jason Grier leads Reputation’s customer loyalty and growth initiatives as executive vice president and chief customer officer. He is a former senior vice president of Global Support Operations. He is also the chief customer officer at McAfee, where he spent more than 10 years.
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Source: Smart Hustle