How to turn virtual customers into real

Some franchises increased their flow of new customers through their online offerings during the Covid situation. The below three franchises can show us how to turn virtual customers into real ones and make them visit the brick-and-mortar store once again when we turn back to normalcy.

Nonstop Marketing

Paint with a Twist is an art-making entertainment franchise. They offered paint kits for at-home completion during the lockdown period that was assisted with over 100 tutorial videos. Further their new virtual experience in May last year helped many corporates meet their employee needs for socialising and team building.

Katherine LeBlanc, chief marketing officer tells us about her strategy to bring new customers into the studio. ” “We never really pulled back from our marketing plans and strategies,” she said. “We re-launched our brand in March of 2020, with a new website and a new logo. We launched a new product last fall, a new product this spring.”

This has resulted in over 50% of new customers discovering Painting With a Twist via virtual products. Which is almost the same number of customers visiting the store before COVID. This nonstop marketing strategy has helped them stay strong about their expectations of strong in-studio demand as regulations fade along with an increase in vaccines.

Benefit from digital tools

Anthony Pigliacampo, co-founder of Modern Market Eatery,  is confident that guests would love to come back to regular dine-in once we return to normalcy. “We’ve been able to keep top of mind” with guests, he said.  “Fortunately for us, literally two weeks before the pandemic really took hold, we had rolled out a completely new web experience. We built it from the ground up. It’s a scratch-built e-commerce site for our brand. We highlighted the food visually,” to emphasize the quality of the food.

“Our digital ordering grew on a year-over-year basis over 100 percent in the last two years running. It’s staggering how much business we’re getting. If normalcy would resume tomorrow, we’d still be over 50 to 60 percent digital orders. We have a massive funnel on that side,” he said.

Fair conversion from Competitor’s Customers

When the gyms shut down during the lockdown, everyone bought some home-exercise equipment to stay fit, particularly the high-end Peloton bike. Peloton has successfully introduced many to exercise by spinning. CycleBar’s Chief marketing officer, Dawn Weiss saw this as a great opportunity for conversion. For instance, CycleBar has rolled out virtual programs like Go All Access, which provided their clients with access to all the brands under their parent company Xponential Fitness. Dawn said, “where Peloton is just Peloton, and they’re known for the bike, we have barre, and we have Pilates and other names that our consumer knows.”

Further, she aims to convince new customers to visit the studios through marketing efforts. “We’ve run some tests and run some digital marketing ads, and ran a case study, and found that actually the response was overwhelming. We had 81 percent of the people that responded to our ad had never been to a CycleBar, and of that, 68 percent were actually Peloton riders,” she said.

Source: Franchise Times

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