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Marketing

Google - Local SEO

POS SOFTWARE

Whatever you think of Google, face it, most Australians today are using it.

Currently, in Australia, about 95% of all searches are done on Google. Where are you here?

According to google trends over the past five (5) years, the number of searches for "near me" has gone up from 2 to 76 an increase of 38 times.

Modern consumers are using google to find local businesses. Reaching this local audience is critical to any retailer today. This is now the dominant way consumers are finding you. This is a very large section of any new business you are going to get potentially.

As an SMB owner, you may feel that investing time into your Google search ranking is useless as it means competing with larger retailers, but this is not true for local searches. I am sure that when you examine 

Try this go to google.com.au

Put the business type you are eg barber, chemist, newsagent, etc and add the following words "near me" and see what comes up.

Are you happy with that result?

Check out who is on top, ask yourself why are they doing better than you?

I am sure you will find the ones on top are businesses somewhat comparable to your business; this is because Google recognises the benefits of local business as it knows that shoppers do. So they go to a lot of trouble to make sure that the local searches are as relevant to the local shopper as possible.

With that being said, there are critical elements to ranking well in local search.

 

Here is an idea to start you off which is FREE

Put a listing for yourself in your Google My Business listing: Google My Business is a free online listing service offered by Google. Add your details. 

Then get some good reviews by asking happy customers to write something.

At least now you exist in Google.

If you want something more we can help you with that too.

 

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Customer acquisition cost

POS SOFTWARE

The customer acquisition cost is defined as the total amount of money that you spent on your total marketing eg your advertising plus your promotions plus your event costs, product giveaways, extra salaries etc divided by the number of new customers that you got. 

This is one cost that every business needs to know. 

Let us say that I spent $200 to get a professionally designed advertisement and then $1,000 this month to display it in a newspaper. As a result, I got ten sales. My customer acquisition cost here is $1,200 / 10 sales = $120. 

Conversely, if I spent $200 on a Facebook advertisement and got one sale, then my customer acquisition cost here is $200 / 1 sales = $200. 

If I experimented with someone else and I spent $800, and I got five customers, well my customer acquisition cost here is $800 / 5 sales = $160

All things being equal, it would make more sense for me to advertise in the newspaper.

To get these figures is not hard. Your point of sale system can tell you what your new sales are. Looking at a similar time last year and comparing it to this year adjust with the trend and you can get a rough answer. For example, last year about now we did an average of 100 sales a day, this year we did 105 customers a day during the promotion, business is up 2% on last year so it is about three new sales. The cost to the company to the development was $300, so our customer acquisition cost here is $300 / 3 sales = $100

Professional marketers will often say things like the rent on the new shop is $200 a month more. How many new customers will you get? If you reply four new customers a month, well he would say customer acquisition cost is $50. How does that compare? In this case the extra rent is worth it.

This, of course, is only part of the story. A person that comes into a shop and buys giftware which has a high margin is a very different customer to the one that comes into the shop and buys dog food, an item with a meager margin, but this can be discussed in another post.

The other issue is that as you have already invested in acquiring them what you need to do is give them reasons to stay with you.

Have a shot, and give me some figures please.

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KPI boards

POS SOFTWARE

This is a tip. What I have noticed in many companies, that what you will see in the back is a KPI board. This is filled out regularly and shows relevant details for the people that work there that management is particularly interested in everyone following. In a factory, I saw a board listing is the number of accidents. In a collect house, I saw one listing the amount of money collected this month.

For people into it, you can buy KPI boards special for doing this.

I saw one in a retail shop that showed top-selling items, the top-selling department, queue sizes, and the growth of loyalty program sign-ups. What the owner did was every Tuesday afternoon update from the computer, the latest figures from last week. I thought it was a good idea to get everyone on the same wavelength.  He said it worked. 

I saw another one in use in a fast food place being used as a marketing tool. They have a special burger. They put a sign up as to how many they sold last month compared to the same month the previous year and the year to date figure compared to the year to date figure for the previous year. The number of burgers they sold was quite impressive. When I enquired about it, the girl serving said this is the burger we are famous for so I decided to buy one to test it out. 

Give it a a go and see how it goes for you.

 The information is there in the computer, and it is not doing much good there if its not being used.

 

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Black Friday You Can't Manage What You Don't Measure

POS SOFTWARE

 

 

We are now coming to the official start of the Christmas holiday period. I hope you are ready.

Among other things, you will need to measure your shop to see how it went for you.

Here are two KPIs that I recommend you use in your shop as an absolute minimum for shop management.

Foot traffic

If you are in a shopping centre, you may get this figure from the centre management, often in my experience, the accuracy of these figures are very dubious, some supply figures for parking spots taken up but these are better then nothing. If you have nothing like that, ask other retailers near you or look outside and see what they think.

If you want more personalised figures, I suggest a simple people counter that you can get from many electrical shops. Most of these require that you manually record the number for the people that entered your shop on that day. You can get dearer ones that automatically do this and some that talk to our point of sale software. What I have noticed is if you want something better then simple, the price and complexity go up dramatically. As such I would suggest going with a cheap one first and afterwards if you discover you need more, look for a better one at least you will, then know what you need.

What you need to use them is a base count of what count you and your staff do every day. This you will need to deduct from the recorded number.


Profit per day

There are two KPIs that I recommend that you use - Number of sales and the Profit. 

Now there are many profit reports in your POS system, check a few until you find one you like. I like the top sales report as it gives all the information, but you may prefer something else.
 

You now have four figures that I am sure will do fascinating reading.

Professional marketers commonly do this sort of analysis.

Foot traffic rate = Foot traffic / Centre traffic  (this one is often very rough and is considered  an interest measure)

Conversion rates = Number of sales/Foot traffic

Average transaction profit = Profit / Number of sales 

 

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Shopping season creep

POS SOFTWARE

Using shopping seasons is a very successful marketing method; for example, the bank Tyro referred me to a study of the Australian holiday Click Frenzy here. Even for a minor hioliday, it is impressive. 

The big one is, of course, Christmas. I have many clients that will do about 40% of their yearly trade in this shopping period. What many have noticed is that this year the Christmas shopping season is six days shorter than last year. As this shopping season is considered to start on Black Friday. This year this is 29/11/19, while last year it was on 23/11/18. That means retailers have lost six days of holiday trading. This will hurt. 

However, marketers are very astute so what they are doing is extending the holiday. The days are long gone when this season was a few days before Christmas.

Here are some exciting ideas for you to consider to extend the shopping seasons.

At the DFO shops, Black Friday sales are celebrated over three days. Maybe you should offer a similar deal.  

 

 

But why wait till Friday, take a look at Aldi, Black Friday sale starts on Wednesday. 

 

Woolworths is not waiting till Wednesday. They are into Black Friday deals now with a banner

 

If you look at the majors, many are acting similar, I have noticed that Amazon is already holding a Black Friday sales early deals as is eBay with its Black Friday deals too.

I hope this gives you food for thought. 

 

 

 

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Amazon hubs

POS SOFTWARE

 

A big challenge with online selling now is called the last mile problem.

It is easy to sell the product online, it can be delivered to an address at a cost, but is there a person at that address to accept it. This is needed as if I am sending a $500 item, I do not want to leave it on a door.

For this reason many deliveries, customer request to be sent to their work because there is no way to guarantee that someone will be at their home to accept it. Many people do not have this option, plus many people do not want people at work to know what they ordered, if its a present you often want to present it to them, not they pick it up and see what it is first and many workplaces will not do it. 

As such many large retailers have set themselves up with Click and Collect so their customers can pick it up.

 

This option is not available to large online retailers and many SMB businesses, so what they use hubs. Currently, these hubs do about 30% of all online deliveries. So these hubs do bring many people. It is a lot of traffic and now this extra traffic it is going to IGA supermarkets, Priceline pharmacies and some shopping centres. So I was pleased to hear that Amazon is extending its hubs to many of my clients.

Knowing Amazon, I am sure their payments are not going to be much for providing this service, but the real question is just how good will be this extra foot traffic be for the shops that offer these hubs.

 

 

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Product bundling

POS SOFTWARE

Product bundling is probably the most successful and common marketing tool in business today. Ours is one of the few retail packages that does it really well, I have noticed. So please follow the logic and the solution below.

You go to buy a TV cable plan. It will have a set of channels and access to some loyalty club all with one price. Another example would be if you go a restaurant and get a special price if you buy a full meal. In both cases, if you add the items up and you will find it cheaper to take the bundle.

From the business point of view, the fact is that you were unlikely to pay for six (6) news channels. Once they sell you on one, the rest is a bonus. Few would buy a full meal at a restaurant, so they package a few of the high margin items selling at a low price and give you a bit of a discount, so you buy more. Both are classic examples of product bundling.

Where it often works well in retail, is to take an item that is a hot seller, add an item that is not selling well, so you intend to discount it to get rid of it,  then put the two items together and make a bundle at a special price. What you often find is that you can sell more as a result of the hot sellers and get a better price for the lousy seller together then you could obtain individually.  

Try it out. I think you will find its a lot better an idea then discounting.

You will find it one of the most effective ways to generate traffic in your shop and generate sales.

Here is where you do it. In this example, one ordinary father's Day card was used to sell four good sellers in one bundle.

If it works, try experimenting with different combinations. 

PS Try and link the bundles to seasonal holidays and charities, once you get going you will find your imagination only limits you.

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Making a Black Friday sale

POS SOFTWARE

We are entering now the holiday season, the next major one in the rank is on the 29 November, Black Friday which as you can see from google trends now has overtaken in interest in Australia Fathers day. It is a shopping holiday,

 

As you can see from the graph, Black Friday in blue has overtaken in Australia interest Fathers Day.

 

While the sales aren't quite so big in Australia as in the USA where it is the biggest shopping day of the year, it is a big shopping day whose sales are growing every year here. Last year on Black Friday, Australian shoppers spent about $320 million. I bet its more this year as interest in it this year appears to be extraordinarily high

I noticed that most of the larger retailers, eg Woolworths, IKEA  and Priceline are all doing something. Why not you?  

Easy to set up in our system a special!

Pick a few products and advertise it as a Black Friday special with an offer like  

* XXX dollars off - What people like on Black Friday are expensive items on discount

* BOGO - Buy <some quantity> and get one free. This has proven to be a very successful method of selling 

* Double points - Can often work

Give it a whirl and see how you go.

 

Update: In a South Australian, retailers across the Adelaide CBD and suburbs will be given the opportunity to trade until midnight on that Friday, as a result of strong demand from consumers.


 

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Social Media Is Important For Your Small Business

POS SOFTWARE

I was listening to a video newsletter. In this video what the presenter did was did an interview with a small business owner who owns and runs a successful lotto agency in Dandenong. 

She is clearly an experienced business owner, running a business not too dissimilar to many of my clients. Now, what when asked did she think was so important to her business success. Her response was social media in particular Facebook and Instagram and being involved in the local community. When I looked up her business Facebook account, I could see that yes she was regularly posting information relevant to her customers on the latest in lotto and her community. Clearly based on her interview here, it is working for her business. 

Too many people today have not caught on that the traditional methods of marketing advertising or direct mail are less effective. Today much of the world largely connects, as she states through the social media community.

PS: What is weird about social media and shows how different it is, is although I do not know her or her business, through social media, I can see that she is a friend of a very close friend of mine. It is a small world.

What is amazing with such powerful tools like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc which are free to business what amazes me, is too many business people do not use it. Yet the reality is that these have fundamentally changed the way we are now connecting, communicating and collaborating.

If you have one of our websites, it is easy to automatically connect these social media to your site.

Here are some benefits of doing social media:

Customers: 

It can bring more customers to your shop. Most people are looking regularly at their social media accounts if you are there, it brings your shop to their attention.

Create more Sales:

Have something to sell them, why not offer them something. New products are coming in all the time. It does not have to be earth-shaking, a new shipment of pet food, a new range of cards, some cooking pots that are now on sale, some new magazine, etc 

Cost: You cannot beat FREE. 

Builds Relationships with your Customers: People on social media are communicating. You can answer questions, give advice on a product and talk to potential customers quickly and efficiently. 

Still unsure

The first point is to look at facebook to see what similar business to yours are doing. Then if you like what you see and want something similar and need help and are a supported user of ours, we do offer a free setup of a facebook account for your business.

 

 

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Customer displays

POS SOFTWARE

Today, a customer display is something that anyone with a Point-of-Sale should consider. 

Here are some advantages and some points to consider if you are thinking of getting one.

The advantages are:

- That your customers like to see what you are charging them and appreciate you being transparent as they can see that they are being charged fairly as they can see what is happening now. This inspires confidence among your customer and in practice, can boost customer loyalty. 

- It also gives them something to do, so making them feel less than they are waiting. Instead, your customer feeling like a spectator, they think they are a participant.  

- It reduces the problems of queries after the transaction is done. Time is saved as most queries can be done when they happen. 

- Finally, a customer display in our system can be used to convey important messages to customers to consider as they are waiting their turn, like here. If you are interested in *Discount Vouchers*, this is a better way to go then receipts which very few customers get in real-time in modern retail.

 

 

If you are looking at such a unit!

Here are some points to consider.

-Workout what the screen size should be for you, maybe look at a few that other shops have before deciding. The screen size, once selected, can not be changed. As a general rule, a bit bigger is better.

-You need something hardy. Retail is a harsh environment for computer equipment. It will be knocked, if it is flimsy, it will smash. It will be in the open, so it gets dirty, and dust will get into it. Make sure it can handle this.

-Over the lifetime of this screen, it will be moved and adjusted, so make sure that the screen can be lifted up and down, and the angle of the screen can be changed. Ideally, you should be able to change it from vertical to horizontal and anywhere angle in between.

 

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