Go shopping and improve your blog. Go shopping? What kind of advice is that? Oh, ye of little faith!
A long, long time ago, back when the dinosaurs walked the Earth… OK. So maybe it wasn’t THAT long ago, but as recently as 10 years ago most people still did all of their shopping at local malls and grocery stores. Nobody shopped on line because nobody really trusted it yet.
Today, even with all the online shopping that’s available, people still choose to hop in the car, drive a few miles, circle the parking lot for hours on end, and shop in a brick-and-mortar retail establishment. Why? What’s the attraction? There must be something there because it’s just too easy to do all your shopping online these days. Why are brick-and-mortar marketplaces still generating sales and what techniques can you take away and apply to your blog?
That’s what you need to find out. Go visit your local shopping mall or Big Box store and just look around for a while. Look at the people, look at the store displays, look at the promotional materials you see everywhere.
Knowing what you know about Internet Marketing, ask yourself the following question:
What makes someone get in a car, drive here, fight for a parking place, and walk for hours on end, carrying heavy shopping bags and hauling fussy kids, when they could be shopping in the comfort of their own home?
The community: People often shop together, in groups. It may be a family or a group of friends, but people like sharing the shopping experience with other people.
The product selection: Every store you see carries multiple versions of the same items. Different brands, colors, sizes, etc.
Brand Recognition: Even if you don’t go into the Crate and Barrel store you know what they sell.
The Prices: Every store carries multiple items in multiple price ranges, and all stores run sales and promotions to bring customers into the store. Most stores even use Loss-Leaders, items they’re actually selling at little or no profit just to bring more customers into the store.
Interaction with real sales people: While most stores are cutting back and some have a really bad reputation, overall you can generally find a real human being to immediately answer your buying questions.
Perceived quality: The appearance of the store lends perceived value to the products. You’ll see the many of the same product in a dollar store that you’ll see in a major department store, but the department store can get a higher price because it’s a classier looking joint.
The excitement: Especially on the weekends you’ll see people handing out product samples, giving balloons and candy to the kids, bands playing in the middle of the mall, and little community events like craft shows and garden shows. There’s always something exciting going on at the mall.
How many of these brick-and-mortar attractions could you use on your own blog? Go shopping today and tell us what you see.