Canadian Retailer - Spring 2014 - 29
VIP CUSTOMER SERVICE
One Canadian store has built its business on webrooming. Canadianicons.ca is a Quebec-based store
that sells Canada Goose jackets. This fact is not surprising- everybody sells Canada Goose jackets. What
makes Canadian Icons successful is how they leverage
the reach of the online store. One of their selling features
is hand-delivery. Customers who shop on their store will
have their jacket hand-delivered the same day if they live
within 90km of Parliament Hill. This VIP service is made
possible because of the website, and customers love it.
Tip: Practice content marketing
In the novel Shoeless Joe, a farmer receives
a message from the other side. If he builds it-a
baseball diamond-they will come. He does
build the diamond and they come.
For retailers who set up shop in a high-end
mall or in a hot location, retailing can be that
easy-open the store in the right place and the
customers will come.
With omnichannel retailing (particularly
online venues), the logic isn't so easy. Just because a retailer builds an e-commerce channel
doesn't mean customers will shop.
In fact, the online space is so immense that
it's almost as if it's empty. A retailer will have
zero foot traffic unless they actively send traffic to the online store.
Finkelstein says retailers need to become
thought leaders in their space. "Don't try to sell
the product but get people in and interested
in what you're doing. Once you have them on
your site, it's a much easier transition to turn
these browsers into shoppers," he says.
So how do retailers get customers on to the
website? With content marketing.
* Blog. Blogging is one of the easiest ways to
talk to customers about the products they care
about. Retailers can show their expertise, develop a profile, cultivate their niche, attract
new customers and educate consumers about
new products with a blog. Generally, it's a good
idea to remain vendor-neutral on the blog. The
retailer will want to portray their independence and expertise. Nobody wants to shop at
a store that shills for their favourite vendors.
* Reach out to bloggers who have influence.
Retailers should survey the independent bloggers who are established in their niche and
romance these writers. Send new products,
invite them to store events and speak to them
about what's new. Become one of their go-to
sources for scoops, ideas and opinion. If they
like you, they'll talk about your store.
* Speak on-message on social media. Facebook, Twitter and other leading social media
sites have value because they give access to
Levelling the playing field online.
customers. Retailers who use social media
marketing well tend to be retailers who 1) have
something new to say about the products they
sell, and 2) speak in detail about specific products and not generally about the product selection or the store (as a rule, specific is better
* Develop a pointed Web advertising strategy. Start with small experiments (a hundred
dollars, let's say) on Google Adwords that target specific promotions and discounts in your
online store. Couple these advertising buys
with regular promotion of the discount on Facebook and Twitter.
* Shoot gorgeous photos. Online channels are
visual channels. A prerequisite is a good camera and knowledge of various image filters
that can turn a good photo into a great photo.
Flash burned smiles, red-eye and poorly composed shots work against a retailer's attempt
to market their content.
www.retailcouncil.org/cdnretailer | spring 2014 | canadian retailer |