Combating the online giants.

We’ve all heard it before. The internet and online sales are killing my business. The online sales giants are taking away my customers. These are common phrases being uttered from just about every bike shop in the country. But what if it didn’t have to be? What if you were able to do a couple of things to gain that advantage.

Well, you can, and I’m here to help. Entrepreneur online recently published and article on 4 Ways Brick and Mortar Stores Can Outsell Online Retailers, and there are some excellent suggestions. I’m here to put a specific powersports approach to their ideas.

  • Suggestion #1. Use localized search engine optimization to drive online visitors to your physical store. This seems like a no-brainer. Make sure your advertising efforts are reaching the right “local” customers. No reason to advertise to someone in California if your store is in Florida, right? Using advertising on Facebook, you can get even more local and deliver your target to a specific zip code or mile radius.
  • Suggestion #2. Build stronger customer relationships by beefing up social media marketing. I’ve said it before “social” is the most important part of social media marketing. Are you replying to your comments and building a genuine dialog. The online conversation is no less important than a face-to-face one. Make your posts ones that provoke thought, not selling.
  •  Suggestion #3. Get more competitive with a robust marketing mix. What does this mean? It means starting to look into your sales funnel and looking at using your mailing list more effectively. It means giving some thought to a monthly newsletter that provides value to the readers. Again, not selling.
  • Suggestion #4. Leverage reviews and testimonials to show customers how awesome you are. Are you asking for reviews and testimonials? Why not? Truthful, genuine testimonials are one of your greatest assets. Just ask for them. Begin with your regular customers until you get comfortable asking everyone. But start asking now.

So there are a couple of ways to combat the online stores and grow your “local” business.