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Fine-Tune Your Online Presence

We're looking for great things in the “Online Presence” section of your contest entry.

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TECHNOLOGY MOVES FAST — so get up to speed now.

Here at INSTORE, we pride ourselves on being up on technology, and we devote a fair number of pages each month to showing retailers how to use new media to their best advantage.

So it should come as no surprise that we look for great things in the “Online Presence” section of your America’s Coolest Stores contest entry.

The section itself is pretty self-explanatory, so here are a few extra tips that may help as you fill it out:

  • If you’re redesigning your website, link us to a preview. If your new site will be up before the contest deadline on March 15, just give us the standard URL. But if it won’t be ready, chances are your designer can provide you with a preview link, so judges can see what’s in the works. Just make a note in parentheses after the URL, so we know what we’re seeing.
  • Make sure you tell us specifically what’s cool. While our judges take a careful look at entrants’ websites, you’ll improve your chances of winning if you explicitly mention any awesome digital features. (Do you do custom design via email? Allow customers to share purchase information via social media? Post videos of proposals? Or maybe you’ve just received great comments about how useful your site is.) Alas, there’s no box in this section to make such notes, so make a note of them now to remember to include them in a later section (“What’s cool about your store?” “Provide three fun facts about your store,” or “Tell us one of-of-the-box idea you’ve implemented this year.”)
  • The internet moves fast, so there’s still time to improve things. We love to see great reviews on Yelp, Google, or other review sites. It’s a plus when we see a store has a strong Facebook presence too. If you need some work in any of these areas, the good news is that it’s not too late. There’s nothing wrong with asking a few reliable clients to leave you nice reviews, and if you do that now, they’ll be posted before the judging begins. Same goes for asking for Facebook likes. (If you’re especially enterprising, consider setting up a laptop or tablet in the showroom, so willing folks can do it right then and there.) It’s certainly not cheating — these are things we think you ought to be doing regardless, so consider the contest a useful kick in the butt.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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