In today’s digital world, your online presence is important, but it doesn’t need to be used solely to drive online sales. In fact, it can be a great tool for driving in-store sales this holiday season.

An online presence that is authentic, optimized and accessible has the potential to turn followers, website browsers, and blog readers into in-store consumers. If you can get it right, you’ll be able to attract omni-channel shoppers, those who engage in both digital and brick-and-mortar markets. These particular customers have a 30 percent higher lifetime customer value than buyers who favor just one channel, based on insights published by Google—so you don’t want to miss them.

Now’s the time to start using your online presence to drive your Know, Like, and Trust factor, so when it comes time to shop, they end up in your store. Use these methods to target shoppers, drive trust and likeability, and maximize your stream of revenue this holiday season.

Give Your Visitors an Incentive (And Track Success)

The conversion rate of a website measures how successfully it turns traffic into sales. The key for you is to focus on ways to get users to convert from your website to your store—most importantly, you need to find a way track those conversions so you can tell what’s working and what’s not.

One easy way to do that, while also encouraging customers to purchase from you, is to offer an in-store discount for online users. The process is simple:

  • Step 1: Log into your point of sale (POS) and set up a discount code.
  • Step 2: Promote that discount code on your website, preferably with a banner ad and popup, so you ensure users see it.
  • Step 3: Look at your POS analytics to see how many people you checked out with that discount code. When the holidays come, you’ll know which discounts are most effective.

To make these offerings more successful, use a little psychology: put a time limit on them. Kinsta explains:

“The longer people take to think about making a decision, the greater the chances are of them changing their mind or becoming distracted by other offers to purchase elsewhere. Your goal for improving conversion rates is to limit the time it takes an individual to make the decision to partake in your CTA. This creates a sense of urgency.”

For example, you may have a header banner that says, “Get 75% Off All In-Store Purchases in the Next 48 Hours Only!” This gives them a reason to act while boosting your “Like” factor with this show of good will.

Focus on Local SEO
When consumers are ready to make a purchase, they head online. In fact, 27 percent of consumers who are ready to make a purchase visit company websites and 24 percent search online. To convert the traffic that goes right to your website, get your discount ready, loaded in as an on-page popup or fly-out.

If they don’t go straight to your website, however, you have to catch them in search, which means your local SEO needs to be up-to-date. Luckily, you can update your SEO without the help of a professional. All you need is to do is follow these 2018 recommendations from Hubspot:

  • Improve your internal linking structure. The goal is to make it logical. If you link to a landing page with the anchor text, “orange sunglasses,” that landing page better have orange sunglasses on it. If Google’s confused, your ranking will suffer.
  • Optimize your title tags, headers, meta description and content for geographic searches. If you use a supported CMS like WordPress for your site, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin, which is extremely helpful for people who are new to SEO.
  • Create location pages if you have multiple locations. Include testimonials, and your NAP (name, address and phone) on each one—avoid any duplicate content. Make each page unique. Don’t forget to make sure your NAP matches every listing you have (Yelp, Google My Business, etc.) or you could be penalized with lower rankings.
  • Create local content. If you’re a high-end jewelry store in Portland, Oregon, you may want to do a piece of content like, “Best Places to Propose in Portland, OR” – something that’s local but related to your business.
  • Optimize for mobile. Most WordPress themes are already optimized for mobile and most website builders, like Wix, are as well. Check your mobile friendliness with the Google Mobile-Friendly tool before making any changes—you may not need to.


Tell Your Story

To get customers to know you—the “Know” factor—you have to tell them about yourself. That emotional connection is why consumers stay loyal to one brand versus another. This is especially true in retail, according to a 2017 survey, where 53 percent of respondents said loyalty is the reason they continually shop with the same brands and retailers.

Not to mention, the same survey found that 70 percent of consumers with “high emotional engagement” spend up to two times more on brands they’re loyal to.

To drive that loyalty, you have to let potential customers know who are you. While social media is a great place to do this, your website is just as important. To drive that connection, add an “About Us” page where you tell your story. Check out a few great “about us” pages below:

If you already have an About Us page, give it a thorough audit, comparing with the examples above. Remember that the key is to be relatable, honest and authentic. Show your true colors and tell your story with heart—that will attract customers who believe in the same things, have had a similar experience, or feel that emotional connection with you.

Post Reviews from Customers

Word-of-mouth referrals and testimonials from customers still remain some of the most effective ways to attract new customers. In fact, 85 percent of consumers trust online reviews just as much as they trust a personal recommendation, according to a 2017 survey from BrightLocal.

These testimonials work to boost your trust factor, so use them in text, video or image format on every page of your site, as long as it feels natural. You never know where visitors will land, and you want to make sure they see this social proof.

If you’re using a WordPress template, the theme may come with built-in testimonial features. Use these to make the process of updating your site easier and faster.

Drive In-Store Sales From Your Website

As the holiday season approaches, remember that in-store traffic and website traction are intertwined with another. Use your website as another tool to promote your brand, develop emotional connections, and get in front of people who are searching for you. Start making the necessary changes now so you’re ready to earn your piece of the pie when the big shopping season is in full swing.

Jessica Thiefels ShopKeep Contributing Writer

Jessica Thiefels

Author Jessica Thiefels has been writing for more than 10 years and is currently a full-time writer, content marketing consultant, and business owner. She’s been featured in Forbes and Business Insider and has written for Manta, Virgin, Constant Contact, and more. Follower her on Twitter @Jlsander07 and connect with her on LinkedIn.