Canadian Music Trade - August/September 2017 - Page 29

“The number one trend we see is the advancement of contactless technology, as the use of cold hard cash has become a relic of the past.” CMT: Some retailers don’t seem to recognize the importance or potential of digital location management. What is digital location management specifically, and how can retailers take advantage of this to attract potential customers that may not find them otherwise? LL: Digital location management is putting your store on the map so customers can easily locate you. For starters, make sure you have a Google page, as this comes up prominently accompanied with your address and location upon search results. To supplement your Google page, make sure you have a Facebook presence plus a website that provides your company information. If you implement these strongholds on your name and brand, then you won’t risk having people finding a competitor when in fact they are search- ing for you. Ninety per cent of Canadians use their smartphone to search for local information. Two-thirds of consumers use smartphones to find store locations. Very few are at an acceptable level of locatabili- ty. For businesses who cannot be found on the map or the location is wrong, that will deter customers from shopping with them and they will go to the competitor. CMT: There’s no question that social media tracking and management is growing more and more critical. How can retailers and their employees address negative reviews, posts, or feedback in a way that maintains professionalism and minimizes a potential loss in business? LL: The best way to address negative feedback is to provide constructive comments in response and convey your position in a humble manner, so customers know that you are willing to improve, whether it’s about your service, products, or attitude. It’s better to address the situation with a solution rather than fuelling the fire or neglecting it. In today’s world, the customer is always right – even when they’re not – and you don’t want the situation to escalate and potentially lose future business over something rather minor. CMT: You talk about how social media is becoming more than just a marketing tool for retailers. What are other ways retailers can use their social media presence to their benefit? LL: A lot of companies who utilize Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter will follow and like other businesses in or related to their industry, joining topical forums and contributing to the conver- sation with participants. This is good for small businesses to put themselves out there and the more they participate in the conver- sation, the more consumers will remember them. Also, we would strongly recommend that businesses promote their social media channels at the store. Because social media moves fast, you might be able to quickly amass a following by simple word of mouth, or a post going viral. To encourage customers to like your pages and be champions for your brand online, always interact with your cus- tomer base – not in a sales-y way, but in an educational manner. CMT: Are any of the popular, or perhaps not-so-popular social media platforms be- coming more or less effective for business use as time goes on? LL: Obviously, Face- book and Twitter are still the most popular social media platforms businesses use, but with the rise of Instagram and Pinterest, more businesses are taking advantage of these new social media to reach a wider audience. Insta- gram is an amazing tool to display pictures of what you and your staff are doing while Pinterest is a perfect platform for retailers to follow boards and pin them to your own board. It presents every- thing in a very visually appealing and attractive way. According to the Huffington Post, quality images are likely to gain traction on this site due to its visual nature. If your image is pinned by a highly-fol- lowed member, it has the potential to be viewed by millions. It’s also a great platform for promoting products. CMT: Are you seeing any of the trends you identified in “Technology Trends for Canadian Retailers in 2017” growing considerably more or less significant leading into 2018? LL: The number one trend we see is the advancement of contact- less technology, as the use of cold hard cash has become a relic of the past. More and more customers tell us that they love the convenience of tapping their cards to pay for their products. As mentioned in our blog, consumers will rely on their mobile phones to shop or at least browse for items before they go into the physical location. Having a mobile-friendly e-commerce website infrastructure can help to capitalize on such browsers, turning them into buyers from wherever they are. So, to answer your ques- tion, the trends we proposed in our blog are indeed seeing a more significant impact. Lindsey Lu is the marketing communications specialist at MONEX- group, a leading provider of debit and credit point of sale terminals and eCommerce, gift card, contactless, mobile, wireless, virtual, and integrated payment solutions. As a Canadian-owned and operated company founded in 2002, they process billions of dollars for over 100,000 business locations every year nationwide, across all industries and verticals. To learn more about the company and its competitive processing rates, industry leading technology, and 24/7 service, visit www.monexgroup.com. CANADIAN MUSIC TRADE 29