Description Hello, This is a two part questions. First I will need the discussion question answer which will be below in bold, 300 words APA format. For those response I will need three responses of at least 150 words each. Your best friend owns a small children’s clothing store located in the downtown area of a community of 50,000 citizens. Business has been slow the past year due the construction of several new strip malls and a new Wal-Mart store (Increased competition). She discovered you were taking an online marketing class, asked you for your advice for ideas that would increase her sales (She owns her present building and will not relocate her business, even though the downtown area is losing stores to the new strip malls). Based on what you have learned in this course what would you tell her. Part two Student one: First off, I would want to know what her current marketing strategy is so that I would know what is working for her and what is not. Since she obviously lives in a large community, she will want to expand her customer base. She could offer sales, promotions, and other types of benefits for customers. The first way she could increase sales is by building customer relationships. She could listen to their needs/wants and satisfy them as best she can. Customizing offerings to meet the needs of customers is one way. The second way she could increase sales is by utilizing the internet with all of the technology that we have today. This would enable her to grow a larger customer base, as well as communicating in more unique ways. By creating an easy-to-use website, presenting her contact information clearly, and providing excellent customer service, this should also attract new customers. The third way that she could increase her sales is by offering benefits and/or promotions on her website. This creates a high-volume sales funnel which allows consumers to get to know and trust the company, as well as keeping them coming back. She would need to know which efforts are driving her sales. Is it her advertising efforts, referral program, brand awareness, etc.? She will not know until she measures her marketing efforts. Small businesses have limited time and funds. Sales are critical for every business. Therefore, all business owners should know how to generate and track their sales, as well as figuring out ways to improve their sales efforts (Kappel, 2017). Reference Kappel, M. (25 January 2017). Small Business Strategies to Increase Sales. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2017/01/25… Student two: I would tell her not to price match the new stores that are popping up in her area because she will never be able to go low enough to compete with them. I would tell her that she needs to offer more of what they cannot offer. She needs to offer more than just the product that only a small store can offer. Things that personalize why the customer is choosing her store over the competition. This is known as brand equity. “Brand equity refers to the importance of a brand in the customer’s eyes.” (Aaker, D. (2018, p.1). Another thing she needs to add is marketing. Since her friend has been taking online marketing classes this would be a good place to start. She should start having digital ads pop up on websites, social media platforms, and send out emails letting consumers know about her business. She could put pictures of her store in the ads along with some reasons why people should choose her store over the competitors. She should have a direct marketing advertisement put in people’s mailboxes within a twenty to a thirty-mile radius of her store. In this direct marketing advertisement, there should be a link that customers can put into their computers to go directly to their website. With her friend’s help, she should online target consumers that are interested in the things she sells. She needs to try and gain brand recognition. If she is the only seller of a certain product that the others do not have she will have an advantage over the other competitors. Aaker, D. (2018, May 17). Brand Equity vs. Brand Value: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from https://www.prophet.com/2016/09/brand-equity-vs-br… Student three: I actually grew up in a town with a similar population. It had a town square with all kinds of small stores that had been around for years. Then Wal-Mart opened a store in the town and within five years all the stores were closed. So I would actually tell my best friend to start developing an exit strategy because there is no way she can compete head to head with a giant like Wal-Mart. However since I can only give her marketing advice I would help her develop a low cost, community outreach, social media site driven marketing plan. I would target mommy groups on Facebook, Twitter and blogs since women make 85% of the purchasing decisions in a household (Drell, 2011). I would tell her to incorporate short, funny, interactive clips that showcase her products on these sites to attract their attention. I would have informational videos on how to get stains out of kid’s clothes and put her own children in the videos if she has any to make it more authentic and personal. I would recommend she gather feedback from these groups on their wants and needs and begin to stock the store with what her customers want. The one advantage of being a small business is that she can be much more personable with the public and actually incorporate their feedback quickly since she only has the one store. The other key for her is to capture the loyalty of mothers with babies and young toddlers to ensure repeat business as their children continue grow up. She can do this by holding fun events at daycares and after school programs which would be great for marketing her store. I would also advise her to incorporate a rewards program and some sort of picture montage all around the store with pictures of the shoppers (parents and their children) as they age to make a personal connection with shoppers. Lastly, I would tell her to decorate the outside of her store in a way that no one could possibly drive by without noticing it and put a big sign up that says, “WE ACCEPT USED CLOTHES TOWARDS YOUR NEXT PURCHASE!” References: Drell, L. (2011). 7 tips for marketing to Moms. Retrieved from: https://mashable.com/2011/12/29/marketing-to-moms/
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