The biggest challenge for Jersey Shore businesses like Jamaican Me Crazy is the short selling season; but it doesn’t have to be that way. We are poised to help this client start doing business year-round through a new ecommerce website – and we have some tricks up our sleeves to improve traffic and leads!
Jamaican Me Crazy – Making Waves in Local Business
Jamaican Me Crazy is a seasonal gift shop in Margate, New Jersey. This small business is a hyper-localized brand, and locals might call it a “shoobie shop” because they sell a lot of souvenir-worthy products. This store is full of cool beach toys and swimsuits, caps embroidered with “Margate NJ,” and Long Port Beach Patrol tee shirts. Jamaican Me Crazy also sells fashionable beach gear like printed dresses, canvas totes and sandals, drawing locals and tourists each year to shop for a summer wardrobe.
The Jersey Shore Offseason Blues
There is a brief but intense 10-to-12-week window for seasonal sales before the summer ends and the island quiets down for winter. Any leftover inventory is discounted dramatically in late August and September. End-of-season clearance virtually eliminates the profit margins, but the shop owners don’t have much of a choice. The dead season is completely kills the cash flow and it’s tough for local shop owners to sustain businesses during the offseason.
This is the hard reality of the Jersey Shore offseason blues. Most local business owners have a second job in the winter and they close up shop, doing virtually nothing for their primary business until springtime. It’s not a great situation, from a business perspective or from a personal standpoint. Thankfully, there is a better way. When you bring the Internet and digital marketing into the picture, doing business in tourism-driven areas like the Jersey Shore starts to look much more promising!
DotCom Global Media has the Solution
DotCom has helped many Jersey Shore-area clients take a niche, localized brand to a greater share of the market using the power of digital marketing and web design. This approach incorporates a smart digital marketing strategy along with a fresh website that ranks well in design, features, content, and authority. Local businesses like Johnsons Popcorn, Shriver’s, and Sand Jamm Surf Shop are great examples that we like to use as a reference point. These Jersey Shore businesses have been very successful with using online tools to drive the success of their localized shops.
We have achieved this at DotCom for clients such as the Windrift in Avalon, and for the Spray Beach Hotel and Mariner Inn in LBI, enabling them to nurture leads and book reservations during the offseason. We’ve designed ecommerce platforms for many shops in Cape May, to help increase sales during fall and winter. We have largely improved the SERP visibility and targeted traffic for Hula Restaurant in Ocean City, with an on-site content marketing strategy.
Jamaican Me Crazy – New Ecommerce Website, Coming Soon!
The next local client we are going to help is Jamaican Me Crazy. We have identified the major problems and most promising opportunities for this business and are rolling out at strategic plan. The current Jamaican Me Crazy website is a very static, outdated site with surface information, limited functionality, mediocre imagery, and virtually no authority or trust – much like we’ve seen across other Atlantic County NJ website design examples. We need to upgrade this website before doing anything else on the front end.
Development is in the works for the new Jamaican Me Crazy website, which will serve as a fully functioning online store. Besides detailed product listings, a secure sockets layer (SSL) and credit card processing, there will be a ton of keyword optimized written content and website verification steps taken to help make this website visible and effective as a sales tool. There is a basic landing page serving as a placeholder until the new ecommerce website is ready to launch.
Reputation Management for Jamaican Me Crazy
Aside from the new website design, there are several other important things that we need to do to help this client. Reputation management is a big deal for a small, local business. We are actively working to get a handle on Jamaican Me Crazy’s online reviews on Yelp, Facebook, Google, and various other platforms. It’s important to listen to customer feedback, respond when necessary, and identify what areas could be improved upon. The ultimate goal is to increase the number of reviews and bring up the overall business rating.
Local Directory listings
Another important tool for a location-based business is the local search directory management. There are a ton of directories and databases online with business listings. Most business owners have no idea how often their company name, location, and contact information are incorrectly listed online. There are hundreds of records that need to be managed. This impacts many things, from the authority of the website to helping people to find the business. Local Search Directory Management is a service that we offer at DotCom Global Media, and we are currently doing this for the Jamaican Me Crazy store.
Lead Capture and Relationship Building
Everyone knows that a great website is useless if nobody sees it. That’s why we take lead capture and relationship building very seriously. Digital marketing is the next step to take after solid website design. For Jamaican Me Crazy, we’re going to use social targeting to find and market to the right people. We’re also collecting email addresses in the store to aggressively build up a mailing list.
We are using social targeting to identify groups of people who care about the Jersey Shore. These are folks who have self-disclosed on their own social media accounts that they’re interested in the local beach scene, or they have recently visited or plan to visit the Jersey Shore. There are tools that we use to easily locate and track these people, and ultimately get this brand out in front of them. We also use location-based targeting because we know that residents and college students in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs often come down to the Jersey Shore for vacation in the summer.
Building a Mailing List
We are aggressively capturing email addresses in the store all season long so that we can build a mailing list and nurture relationships year round. There is an iPad with an app at the store that’s used to collect information on the customers at Jamaican Me Crazy. We are going a step further and looking for co-op opportunities with local businesses that also capture localized email lists. Once we have a healthy email list, it will be time to develop an email marketing campaign for this business.
Jamaican Me Crazy is Bypassing the Jersey Shore Blues
By converting the website into an ecommerce sales tool and getting a handle on reputation management and leads, Jamaican Me Crazy will grow past their current geographical barriers. This business is on track to break annual sales records next year. We are excited to keep this business alive and jamming, even during the slow season at the Jersey Shore. Less down time and a better cash flow should bring a good kind of“crazy” to this local business, thanks to doing smart business in the technology age!