Customer retention and customer acquisition are surely one of the core objectives of every business. Whether you are a wholesaler, distributor, or retailer, you would love your customer base to increase on a regular basis. But the question is, how can you drive more sales with the help of your marketing strategies, especially if you are a retailer?
Well, this is exactly what we are going to discuss today. But before we move to the main topic, let’s have a basic understanding of retail marketing.
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What Is Retail Marketing?
Retail marketing, in simpler words, includes tactics and strategies which a retailer implements to generate more sales. Retail marketing stands on four pillars (the 4Ps), including
- Product: Any physical item(s) which is retailer intends to sell.
- Price: Pricing strategy, which defines how much a retailer wants to charge for its product(s).
- Place: It is a physical space or platform where the retailer intends to sell its product(s).
- Promotion: The advertising strategies to attract customers and drive sales.
The next question is, why is it so important for a retailer to market its business? The most appropriate answer would be “immense market competition.” Yes, fierce competition in the market has left retailers with no choice but to use different marketing tactics to attract the customer. It is obvious that why would someone purchase from you if someone else is selling the same product at the same price?
Change in consumer behavior is another reason why retail marketing is important. As consumers realize that they have so many options to choose from, they have the upper hand. Apart from that, they want proper facilitation at every contact point, such as online platforms, physical stores, etc.
If a retailer or any business wants to grow in the market, it is mandatory to have a strong marketing strategy in order. If you are looking forward to boosting your retail sales but don’t know how to do it, here are some helpful and effective tips for you.
Effective Retail Marketing Strategies for your Retail Store
Before we start the discussion, it is important to understand that these factors or tips are helpful when you use them in “synergy.” That is, these strategies are only effective if they are implemented simultaneously and are integrated. Here are 9 effective retail marketing strategies for your retail store to drive more sales.
Make Your Storefront Attractive
Do you ever wonder why there is a formal dress code in the corporate sector? Why do the bankers or sales agents follow a “formal” dress code? It is because the first thing most customers notice is their physical outlook and communication skills; the same applies to the retailers regarding their store’s outlook.
Imagine, if you are selling clothes and there are so many other retailers around you, how would you differentiate your offerings? How would you attract customers? How would you maximize your visibility? The only answer is, “make your storefront look attractive.”
You can use easily visible colors or choose a minimalist design. It would be even better if your storefront itself depicts what you are selling. Or, you can change it dramatically to make it look unique. For instance, this radio-shaped storefront from Diesel is breaking stereotypes and turning tons of heads.
Provide Proper Training to Your Employees
Business practices change rapidly. Sometimes it is due to technological advancement, or it may be due to change in market practices, etc. Either way, it is important to equip your employees with the latest skills.
Training your employees is vital to stay competitive. For instance, for a retailer, it is important that his/her employees know the significance of customer relationship management, upselling skills, retail selling, etc. Ideally, you need to train your employees as soon as you hire them and then conduct training sessions every six months so that they can cope with changing trends.
Motivate Your Employees by Giving Them Incentives and Rewards
Most business owners fail to understand the fact that employees are your assets, not liabilities. They are the ones who bring business for you and convert your plans into reality. They are your brand ambassadors, and they will treat your business the way you treat them. Therefore, you have to motivate them, and for that, incentives and rewards programs are a must-do thing.
You can start with the “employee of the month” program, or you can initiate the profit-sharing schemes (very common in insurance companies). Then, there are healthcare facilities, paid leaves, bonuses, salary raises, fun gifts, etc.
Most importantly, don’t forget the fact that mental support is as important as monetary support/rewards. For instance, Groupon, an American global eCommerce market place has a unique employee rewarding system. Apart from other benefits, they give free bright green Adidas jackets to employees for every year they serve in the organization. Employees can customize the jacket with a nickname. This is a gesture of appreciation for employees’ efforts.
Similarly, Influence& Co. rewards its employees with a professional wrestling-style championship belt.
Partnerships and Collaboration
Striking partnerships or collaborating with other relevant brands can be a huge booster for our retail marketing campaign. However, you can also pair up with brands or institutions that don’t share the same line of business with you.
You can collaborate with other retail stores in your area by asking them to offer your coupons to their clientele, and you do the same for them. If you think coupons won’t work effectively, you can set up a pop-up shop for a day near your partner’s retail store.
Another very effective way to market your retail business is to coordinate with charity organizations. Participate in charity events; this will establish your business as a caring one, and you will be able to advertise your brand.
Engage Your Customers through SMS and Email Marketing
Any marketing campaign is incomplete without SMS and Email marketing because it is one of the most cost-efficient and effective forms of marketing. You may not believe it, but the average open rate of emails ranges between 28-33 percent, while for SMS, it is 97%. Even after the emergence of other marketing channels, email marketing is still one of the most sophisticated and standard forms of marketing.
You can use SMS and email marketing in different ways, such as;
- Wishing your customers on special occasions and send them different discount offers via SMS or email.
- Enabling SMS loyalty programs for qualifying customers.
- SMS alerts about new offers or product launches.
- Seek customer feedback
To fasten up the process, you can use different SMS and email marketing tool to automate your marketing campaigns.
Advertise Your Business on Google
If you don’t have your business presence on Google, you are missing a massive opportunity to get customers. Google is the biggest global search engine that caters to 90% of queries on all search engines. Moreover, consumers now prefer to search everything on Google. For example, if someone wants to dine in traditional cuisine, they will search on Google before going out.
That is why, as a retailer, you need to make sure that you have enough online presence so that consumers can easily find you. You can create your Google business profile where you can add your store location, website, category description, and product images. You can also encourage the visitors to leave a review on your business profile.
Leverage Social Media
Retailing is a customer-based business, and leveraging your social media capabilities is extremely vital to reach out to your customer. Here is an eye-opener for you, 81% of people use social media o find the product they want to buy.
Talking about social media, a retail business must have its presence on these social media platforms.
These platforms give businesses a wonderful opportunity to showcase their products. For instance, you can set up a business shop on Facebook and Instagram, run targeted ads, and ask customers to leave feedback. In a nutshell, these platforms can take your retail business to the next level if you explore them properly.
Launch a Referral Program
Word-of-mouth marketing is probably the undisputed champion of marketing. The words of a happy customer are stronger than you can imagine. People trust the recommendation from their friends or family more than the ads you run.
You can use referral marketing to bring more customers. That said, you can entice your current customers to refer your brand to their friends, family, colleagues, community members, etc.
The question is, how can you do that? Well, you can offer rewards for word-of-mouth marketing. For instance, you can offer your loyal customers a share in sales they generate. Or, you can give them a commission for every new customer they bring. Moreover, special offers, discount vouchers, loyalty points, etc., will be very helpful.
Be Visible Locally
“Tea can never replace coffee and vice versa.” No matter how strong your digital marketing campaign is, you cannot ignore the importance of the local visibility of your retail business. We are talking about utilizing local advertising tools such as billboards, local newspapers, brochures, etc.
46% of consumers believe that billboard advertising is the best way to bring new products to consumers’ attention. Currently, there are more than 342,000 billboards in the US. Talk about newspaper advertising; Stack Zolnikov reported (January 15, 2020) that 34 percent of consumers still trust print advertisements. Are you sure you want to miss that huge advertising opportunity?