Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market
Every month Beyond Analysis ceo Paul Alexander will offer advice and answer DIY Week readers’ questions about how best to utilise the internet for your business Q: I'm getting a lot of hits on my website but what tips can you provide to make my website easier to use for people on the go?

Today's it's all about 'omni-channel marketing'. This basically means ensuring that your customers have the same level of accessibility and experience, regardless of how they're interacting with you - whether that's over the phone, online, in-store or using their mobile to access online services. 

You need to ensure that your customers can access a mobile friendly version of your website  so one that scales to fit a smaller, mobile screen, is not too cluttered, is easy to navigate and quick to load.

Using social media is also a good way to promote products or offers to people on the go, as the information is in bite size chunks, allowing consumers to quickly read and absorb content.

Spend some time researching social media before you use it so that you get the best out of different platforms. You can find out what DIY topics are being discussed on Twitter by searching a DIY term and then looking at the different hashtags to view conversations about the topic. Once you're aware of what is being discussed then you can contribute to conversations and offer solutions.

Setting up a Facebook page is a great way to position yourself as an industry expert and because it’s interactive, people can ask for advice and you can respond with an in-store solution.

Q: What digital marketing methods can I use to make my DIY store more appealing and maximise the customer experience for those who have limited time to spend in-store?

How about setting up an online booking system for consultations with experts in-store either via your website, a mobile app or both? This is great for people who feel slightly overwhelmed at the thought of DIY. If consumers know that they can book an appointment to have one-on-one time with an expert who can advise them and make suggestions about what they need then they may be more likely to come into the shop.

For those customers who are pushed for time they can book a slot knowing they are guaranteed to see somebody from the moment they walk in. A focused consultation will encourage people to visit when they don't have much time, during their lunch break for instance.

There could even be a section in the booking form for customers to make notes about what they are looking for (allowing you to prepare for what advice you are going to give them and gather a few products together that will be best suited to the customer prior to their appointment).

Talking to people will help you find out what works best, what doesn't and what people have tried before. You can gather information on the bestselling products and look at the trends, which should enable you to predict consumer pain points and give you knowledge about what your consumers will want at different times of the year.

If the budget is available, a 'Click and Collect' service is something with which the larger stores are having huge success. It provides customers with an opportunity to check stock levels of their required product, order it and then collect on an allotted day.  And by getting customers to come into your store to collect your purchases, you have a fantastic opportunity to tempt them with other special offers and promotions whilst they're there!

- If you have any questions about online or social media you would like to put to Paul, email them to
View User Profile for Paul Alexander Every month Beyond Analysis ceo Paul Alexander will offer advice and answer DIY Week readers’ questions about how best to utilise the internet for your business

Posted by Paul Alexander | 17 May 2013 | 16:29 | More from: Dear Digital...


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