Independent boutiques are coming back in force to prove big brands wrong. You can go far even if you’re not a chain. The Bishop district in Dallas, Texas, is renowned for being the home of over 60 independent boutiques, from restaurants to fashion shops. If there’s one thing the area demonstrates with success is that you don’t need to be big to get noticed.
However, it doesn’t mean that your independent and unique shop will become a success overnight. Where big brands can rely on their established reputation to push new products and services, small entrepreneurs need to be creative to attract the attention of their audience group. Being visible and accessible to all is not just a strategic goal; it’s the very foundation of your growth. Of course, you might be able to rely on a target PR event such as a contest or sponsoring activities to get your brand name out. But ultimately nothing beats the ease and comfort of web access to appeal to your customers and spread the word about your offers.
Nobody pays cash anymore
The main difficulty that shoppers face when they visit an independent boutique is at the till. Nowadays, at an age where most people pay either with a plastic card or by using an app of their smartphones, the idea of having to pay cash can seem preposterous. However, too many small shops fail to meet the requirements of secured card and smartphone payment transactions – and have to turn away countless customers every day as a result. While it might be too expensive to set up a dedicated payment station that does all the digital extravaganza you can expect from big brands, you should consider choosing a mobile POS system which offers a cost-effective solution to the card payment dilemma. Additionally, it’s also a great add-on if you deliver services or products directly to your customers’ addresses. You can take payments on the go and access all data through your web-based software.
Your blog is your shop diary
Everyone has a blog. Why do you need one? Precisely because everyone else has one. As an independent shop owner, you can utilize your blog presence as an online journal to introduce your boutique news, offers, and ambitions. Additionally, your blog also serves as a platform to introduce your vision and personality to your community, making it easier for your audience to notice your brand. But with a million different ways of creating a blog, it can be tricky to figure out what you need. As a rule of the thumb, you want to display accessibility and professionalism at the same time. Your choice in layout, imagery and page design will affect your boutique reputation as much as your choice of words.
Start sharing your cool products online
Can you go big without a social media presence?
It’s a silly question in 2019. But, as you asked, the answer is NO. You need to develop your social media presence to reach out to your audience and showcase your best products. Fashion, restaurants and homeware shops share their worlds on platforms such as Instagram. You can also use Pinterest boards to create a mood around the launch of new items, for instance. Finally, combining different platforms helps you to connect with your customers, wherever and whoever they are. After all, social media versatility encourages customer acquisition.
Shine for your community
Do you have a special skill that is related to your independent boutique? Let’s say that you’ve got your hairdressing salon. Why not help customers to style their hair with a few Youtube tutorials? If you own a fashion boutique, you could help your customers to find the best wardrobe capsule for their lifestyle. Independent restaurant owners can give a handful of easy recipes or even show how the menu favorites are prepared in the kitchen. You’d be surprised to know that most independent brands tend to get discovered as the result of an online video.
Encourage your customers to share the experience
Last, but not least, once you’ve developed your online presence } and especially your social media platforms – you can leave it to your customers to shout out about the brand on your behalf. How so? By giving them something to talk about. Fashion boutiques, for instance, can create a cozy dressing room atmosphere in which customers can relax and share their selfies. Do you run an independent coffee shop? Why not use themed toppings, such as a Hello Kitty cocoa shape on cappuccino drinks or Disney characters on hot chocolates? One rule to remember: Let your customers know about your #hashtag for their selfies.
Visibility is crucial for independent boutiques. Aside from selecting the best location and decor for your business, you also need to make the most of the web facilities. From web-based payment solutions to creative selfie strategies, online access lets small brands reach out to new and existing customers.