While it might initially feel like a disadvantage to operate a business without a store front, the benefits are many. Lowered costs and reduced risk pair with increased flexibility and freedom, giving business owners without retail shops numerous advantages.
Making the most of these opportunities sometimes requires a little creative thinking. But once you’ve got the ball rolling, the possibilities are endless! Consider some of the following options.
Use a Location-Based Platform
Sites like JiWire (with their Compass service) take advantage of the lack of a central brick-and-mortar location to advertise across the broadest range possible. If your products are available in numerous locations, you can easily convey information about their location and stock to users on-the-go.
This Must Be the Place
There are many ways to define location; creating a page for your brand and using a service like Foursquare to promote it allows your business to appear in relevant searches. Your ‘location’ can be as broad as your entire service area; effectively offering more exposure than if you were to advertise a street address.
Guilty By Association
Align yourself with relevant locations or events to create a virtual network of places that make you visible to users. Offer giveaways or promotions for check-ins at these locations/events to give your potential customers incentive. Partnering with these venues can help piggyback on an already existing customer base, and give your campaign a ‘viral’ feel that makes people want to spread the news.
Strategically placed Quick Response (QR) codes can put you where your customers are—instead of depending on their coming to you. Offering downloads or marketing through these codes (at a bar, bus stop, restaurant, shopping centers) can help target the perfect demographic. Think of a QR code as a tiny billboard that takes advertising one step further—it puts you in direct contact with the people interested in your services, at the very moment that their interest is sparked.
As more businesses become virtual, more tools and strategies to serve them will become available. Keep up with marketing news, or seek the advice of an online marketing agency to help take advantage of the latest and greatest developments in the field.