#NewYearSeries: ​Maximizing Profit with Online and Offline Sales

By Hauwa Abubakar

Everyone wants to sell their products and services efficiently and remain in business. It’s no  news that you can optimize both traditional and online channels to make sales. However, selling online can be tricky. It is not enough to have a shiny website that provides every payment avenue for customers. Just as you have to reach out to customers regularly to make purchases in the traditional business setting, it also applies to online customers.  You also have online competitors as you do offline, and you have to be tactical in getting the attention of your customers. Based on this understanding, a salient question to ask is, how do I maximize profit by using both methods to sell?

Word-of-Mouth Advertising

One of the major elements that influence word-of-mouth advertising is the satisfaction derived from a product or service. To a very large extent, how a customer feels about your service or product can make or break your business. If your customer is satisfied, chances are that you get good reviews and comments, with recommendations and the opposite is the case if they are not satisfied.

How do you encourage word-of-mouth advertising both online and offline?

Online: Give customers a chance to review your product or service. This may be tough at first because you can never tell what they will say. But you have no idea what they will say about your business to their friends and family anyway. However, an online feedback channel gives you the opportunity to hear what they think and know how they feel and this allows you to make adjustments accordingly.

Offline: What your customers say to others about your business will influence the buying decision of prospective customers. You can make this work in your favour by providing uttermost satisfaction when they purchase your goods or service. Regular interaction with customers when they visit your business outlet can make a huge difference in sales.

Use traditional and online media to communicate to customers

In order to reach a wider audience, you need different mediums of communication. Utilize both traditional and online media to advertise your business. Have a plan to measure the impact of each marketing channel. For instance, you can do online marketing and promotions in February, and use television and radio advertising in March. Meanwhile, you must do research to understand the demographics of your target audience. Are they more active on social media? If yes, then you might want to use more online sales strategies than offline.

Give the extra nudge

With a traditional business, you get to see customers and relate with them one on one. This gives you the opportunity to give them that extra push to either make a purchase or make an additional purchase. You can make offers to them and they bargain. This also works online and can help boost sales. For example, your customers can bargain or get discounts when they buy a certain number of products online.

Most importantly, listen to your customers. Hear their complaints, listen to their recommendations, and tweak your online and offline sales strategy continuously.

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