There’s no denying that the Internet is your greatest competitor when it comes to attracting customers. Persuading shoppers to buy from you can be difficult when the Internet offers an endless variety of products, cheap prices, and for shoppers who desire a little anonymity, the ability to stay low in the privacy of their own home.
So the question is: How does a brick & mortar business “link up” with local customers, or even better, how do you make YOUR smoke shop the go-to destination in your city? Here are two ways to make it happen:
Do an About Face
To paraphrase the Ghostbusters, “Who you gonna trust?” Internet retailers live in a digital world of anonymity, but as local business you have the opportunity to build rapport and confidence with potential customers.
People have an easier time trusting a business when they know who’s behind the curtain. The more they trust you, the more likely they’ll be to buy (and keep buying). There was a time when smoke shops had to stay under the radar, but those days are history — so, make sure to get out in the community, introduce yourself, interact with others and let people know you’re proud to be part of the neighborhood.
If you want customers, you’re going to have to let people know that you exist. Sure, you have a website, Facebook page and Snapchat account, but despite the spotlight of modern technology, some people still take very little notice of things that aren’t right in front of them.
Old school paper flyers are still one of the most effective ways to engage with your local customers. A recent study found that recalling ad information was 70% higher among those who received a physical ad over a digital one. Having something “real” allows people to hang the flyer on their fridge, carry it to a local shop (that’s why you put a coupon on it), or share it with a friend. When you hand the flyer to customers directly, it creates a personal connection that online retailers can’t possibly achieve.