Experiment of the Week

3 Questions to Ask Customers

Hello Click and Mortar Moguls!

Welcome to the new format for Click and Mortar, formerly The Visioneer. This fresh take is for you if:

  • You want to grow your business online but find it overwhelming

  • You’re cray-cray busy wearing all the hats and only have a little time each week to work on your online growth

  • You’re doing in-store and online but struggling to do it well with losing your sh*t

Growing online IS overwhelming. There are no shortage of tactics to try and there is a growth guru around every corner yelling at you to post 3,298 Reels a day. Ain’t nobody got time for that, Debra.

So what we’re going to do here is focus on ONE thing to try every week. It will be a little thing. It will not take tons of time. We will eat this elephant bite by bite and a year from now, you’ll be further along than you could have imagined. Also, the tips aren’t sequential, so if you miss a week you’re not screwed. Just hop back in the saddle next week with no pressure and zero guilt.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

It All Starts with Customers

If you have a brick and mortar shop, you are blessed beyond measure. Not just in terms of having a fun biz on your own terms, but because you have something online retailers crave as much as I craved pickles when preggers with my firstborn.

First party data.

If you’re looking to grow online, think of your in-store customers as your OGs. Especially if they are repeat customers. This is your beta audience. There are more of them out there on the interwebs, we just need to find them.

The Experiment:

To start building your online strategy, we’re going to interview those current customers. Not in an obnoxious way where you sit them down and go all Katie Couric on them. Just talk.

How to do it:

Ask every customer that you ring up this week one of the following questions:

  1. When you don’t shop in-person, where do you like to shop online?

  2. What’s your favorite social media app?

  3. What do you like most about shopping here?

If you feel weird bringing these up at random, just lead with, “We’re doing a little bit of research to grow our business. Can I ask you a question?” If you want to get all bougie you can even offer them a discount the next time they stop in. (Incent that repeat business, y’all.)

What to Look for:

When each customer leaves, record their response in a central location. Make a spreadsheet or a Google doc. At the end of the week, look through the responses and highlight any repeats.

The Takeaway:

Look at the repeats for each question.

Question 1 - This is how you sell online. Are they telling you Amazon? Etsy? Boutique ecomm shops? How can you make your products present in those places?

Question 2 - This is how you find customers. Are most of your people on Facebook or Insta? Were you surprised by how many love Tiktok? Prioritize these social channels instead of doing ALL the things.

Question 3 - This is how you differentiate. There is a reason they chose to purchase from your store. Was it how nicely everything was organized? How friendly the staff was? A product they couldn’t find anywhere else? Make sure that carries over to your digital messaging. Standing out online is tough, but your OGs can give you clues on how to do it.

Helpful Tools:

If you use a point-of-sale system like Square or Shopify, you can do post-purchase surveys that way. If you’re on Shopify, check out the Grapevine app. Already have an active email list? You can always survey them, too, with a tool like SurveyMonkey.

Let me know how it goes! 📣

The final piece of this newsletter every week will be me pleading for your feedback. (See the aforementioned importance of customers!) I DESPERATELY want to know how this goes and if you find it helpful.

Now, go forth and kick ass!