Word of mouth remains the number one form of customer referrals.

As the shopping market and the world continue to become more heavily saturated by technology and digital enhancements, word of mouth remains as important as ever.

Also known as referral marketing, word-of-mouth marketing is essentially shoppers making purchases, visiting stores and displaying loyal patronage based solely on recommendations from another person’s opinion or influence.

Shoppers are more likely to listen to a trusted source, such as a family member, friend or even social media users like celebrities, before they make a purchase or visit a store.

Referral marketing is essential for three core reasons, according to Shopify. These include:

  • Precision targeting: Brands are capable of reaching their intended audience effectively through word of mouth. With a clear message and targeted exposure, a brand idea can be spread quickly and concisely.
  • Reach and acceleration: With the use of social media, such as Facebook posts and direct tweets, customers can share their experience instantly.
  • Trust factor: A recent Nielsen Trust study found that referrals are the most trusted form of advertising, as opposed to branded websites, newspaper ads, commercials and brand sponsorships.

Implement an effective referral marketing program in your small business with the following tips in mind.

Be sure to provide exceptional customer service from the beginning of their shopping trip. Look at the shopping experience from a customer perspective instead of an employee’s.

In addition, pay attention to analytics. Be sure your inventory system tracks products, inventory levels and future purchase orders. Maintaining a frequent shopper rewards and tracking program will also enhance the experience of your shoppers, personalizing their time within your business every time.

Visual Retail Plus understands the importance of customer referrals and overall experience. VRP also has an integration to shopify. To learn more about this feature or our point of sale and inventory system, visit our website.