In today's fast-paced digital landscape, independent retailers like you are faced with the challenge of effectively promoting your store, while also handling the myriad of daily tasks it takes to actually keep the store open. Fortunately, there's an array of powerful and user-friendly online tools that can help streamline these tasks. From social media management to customer engagement, this article presents you with game-changing online tools that will empower you to efficiently and effectively market your store.
Social Media Scheduling Platforms
If you aren't using social media scheduling tools, now is the time to start! Rather than logging into each platform individually, utilization of a central scheduling and inbox response tool that includes all your relevant platforms can save valuable time and ensure all inquiries are handled in a timely manner.
For social media post inspiration geared to retailers like you, check out these 20+ ideas:
Content Ideation and Creation
Everyone has heard the buzz about "AI" - aka Artificial Intelligence. It can seem daunting and otherworldly - but a simple way to incorporate it into your business is to just ask it to help you! Once you create a free account, start asking it questions in a conversational manner. Tell it about your store, what tone of voice you typically use in your social media (are you serious, punny, or just plain silly?), and then ask it to write you 10 social media posts. It won't take long, and you'll be asking AI for ideas on all sorts of things - promotional ideas, email content suggestions for your subscribers, and social media content are just the beginning.
Graphic Design Made Easy
What will you design today? If you aren't a classically trained graphic designer experienced in Adobe Photoshop, don't worry - these online tools make photo editing, creating visually appealing social media posts, and even producing flyers and posters for use in-store, as easy as can be.
Video content is king. Obviously you want to be posting your videos on social media - but what if you want to save them for longer term use than the 15 minutes of fame they'll get on social? And how do you edit them in the first place? Aside from asking a teen who works for you, these tools provide a variety of hosting and editing options to fit any level of experience and needs.
Some may say email is dead, but the truth is, email is one platform you can truly own. Your address list, your content, in your brand look - all sent when you want, to who you want. These tools offer easy-to-use technology that makes reaching your customers a breeze. Pair it with some AI suggestions on your content calendar, and away you go. Just don't forget to be collecting email addresses at every opportunity in your store!
Have you ever had a customer reach out to you, but by the time you have an answer for them, you can't remember which method they reached out to you by? Was it in Facebook Messenger, or via email, or was it a phone message? Try one of these tools to have all your avenues of contact coming into one central spot, and easily keep track of what is taken care of and who still needs assistance. You can even try putting their live chat widgets on your website, and using built-in AI tools to answer common questions!
Hiring Freelance Work
Want a new website designed and coded, an event poster designed, or voice-over recorded for a commercial for your store? How about video editing, a new logo or a jingle for your store, or even a virtual assistant? These freelance service marketplaces make finding the perfect person to do that job you just don't know how to tackle on your own - or don't have time for - a breeze. And often for far less money than you would expect.
Other Helpful Tools
These tools may not fit the categories above, but they can still be very important for your business.
Check out these popular options:
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If you haven't claimed your Google Business Profile yet, we highly recommend it move to the top of your to-do list. Anyone who searches your store or finds you on Google Maps will see this first. It's easy, and free. Learn More
Avoid a run-in with the grammar police online by using Grammarly. It will automatically give you spelling and grammar suggestions everywhere you type.
You'll probably use your own in-store photos for most of your content, but on the occasion that you need something specific, check out the free stock photo library.
The digital world has revolutionized the way independent retailers approach store promotion. By embracing a suite of effective and budget-friendly online tools, you can maximize your marketing efforts and focus on growing your business. By integrating even just one or two of these tools into your daily routine, you'll discover how easy and effective you can be in boosting your store's online presence.