In an increasingly difficult financial climate, developing and implementing a solid customer growth strategy has never been more important. As consumers grapple with the rising cost of living, attracting new customers and retaining existing ones is key for a business to thrive, particularly those that are small to medium-sized.
To help small to medium businesses attract and retain customers, here are 5 tips that business owners can implement into their strategies today:
1. Optimise your SEO
Billions of people use the internet every day, making it a powerful platform to reach new customers and grow your business. To put things in perspective, last Afterpay Day, more than 450,000 consumers were searching for the event on Google, so it’s important that your SEO is set up for optimum success. Google My Business is Google’s online business listing service and ensures that when people type your business name into search engines, your business, its website, phone number and address appear in the search results.
If you’re a bricks-and-mortar business, doing SEO research via Google My Business should be your first stop as a quick and easy way to increase your visibility. If you have a bricks-and-mortar store as well as an eCommerce business, you can do the same but will also have an additional opportunity to capture a local SEO market through simple ranking and keyword strategies. For effectiveness, make sure you complete each and every field and include keywords.
2. Set-up Instagram shopping
By now, most small business owners understand the immense power of Instagram when it comes to attracting new clients and customers, building a brand, and selling products. If you’re a product-based business, Instagram Shopping is a suite of features you need to know about. You can tag products in posts that send followers to your Instagram shop, have a full collection on your shop, tag items in Stories and lots more. In fact, any surface of the platform is ripe for selling your product with Shopping.
3. Send relevant and engaging emails to your customers
Email marketing should be a core component of any customer retention strategy because of the cost-effective outreach it enables, the personalisation options it provides, and the high engagement and open rates associated with product or service recommendations in the email. Sending a thank you email after a customer’s first purchase or a discount code for their next purchase helps customers feel good about their decision to buy from you, and makes your brand more approachable.
4. Participate in shopping events such as the quarterly Afterpay Support Small weekend
It’s been a challenging few years for business owners, but Afterpay has helped small businesses weather the storm and boost Aussie small businesses. Afterpay Support Small Weekend has become an effective way to drive awareness – and sales – for SMBs. These weekends are amplified by paid media, with October’s Support Small weekend, for example, reaching more than 3M Australians. These weekends drive real sales; in February 2021, Support Small weekend drove total transactions up by seven per cent, with top-performing merchants experiencing a 30 percent sales surge. Outside of these weekends, Afterpay has not only created a dedicated Support Small category on the Shop Directory, so consumers can shop small businesses, but SMBs are regularly promoted organically through Afterpay’s social channels and emails. In September 2021, Support Small marketing drove 7,635 referrals to SMBs.
5. Listen to customer feedback
It’s important to pay attention to customer feedback and reviews even if it seems insignificant. Particularly for every piece of negative feedback, there may be many customers who agree and turn to competitors who deliver on the aspect of your business they’re not satisfied with. Spend the time to listen to your customers, acknowledge you’ve heard them and are working to find a solution – and do try to find a solution!
It has never been a better time to be in business for SMBs. With growing support to shop local across the country, there are plenty of opportunities for business owners to leverage this trend and take the necessary steps to achieve optimal success.