If you own a retail business, you know how tough the industry can be—especially with the impact of the pandemic. It resulted in online shopping going through the roof—for example, online grocery sales increased by almost 300% in 2020, with fewer and fewer people shopping in-store.
How can physical retail businesses compete against online shopping? While it’s tough, the truth is that online shopping can never replace the feeling and experience of shopping in-store.
Retailers can still do well, even during challenging times, but they need to be smart about their marketing strategy. To learn more, keep reading to find five retail marketing tips that can help both small and large businesses be successful.
1. Give Shoppers a Specific Reason to Visit Your Store
If you want to sell products, you need to give shoppers a reason to visit your store. It’s retail marketing strategy 101—you can’t sell if you don’t have customers!
You’ll want to get creative and think of fun and innovative ways that you can encourage your store to become a destination that people seek out to visit.
One thing many stores do is hold events within their store. You can promote and market the event as an exciting, not-to-be-missed opportunity.
For example, a cooking supply store might have a baking demonstration led by a local cook, or a clothing store could organize a spring fashion show. Think of something fun that will appeal to your target demographic.
As an added incentive, you could offer snacks and drinks, door prizes, or a special discount that shoppers can use on the day of the event.
2. Invest in Digital Marketing
One of our top retail marketing tips is to make use of online and digital marketing. Sure, your store might be brick and mortar, dependent on in-store sales, but you need online marketing to attract their attention in the first place.
Your starting point should be an SEO-optimized website, which will make it easy for customers to find you when they’re searching on Google. You want to rank high for the type of retail store that you provide, helping your store get found before the competition.
To boost your business, you’ll also want to think about pay-per-click online ads, social media, and starting a store blog—all of these tools can help you attract more customers to your retail store.
You can also bring the digital world into your store to create a unique and futuristic shopping experience—Decibel can help you learn more.
3. Don’t Neglect In-Store Marketing
Once you have customers through the door and into your store, that doesn’t mean your marketing is over! In-store marketing is still an important way to encourage shoppers to check out the products you want to sell the most of.
Signage is a great way to do this—create banners, signs, or digital displays highlighting any current sales or promotions or new products.
You might also want to use a PA system to make audio announcements, keeping shoppers informed about the daily specials or promotions.
Free Wi-Fi in-store can be another marketing strategy, as you can ask customers for their email when they log in, which you can add to your marketing list (with their permission, of course).
4. Train Your Staff in Customer Service
A retail store is only as good as its staff, so if you want to increase sales and improve your marketing, you need to have amazing employees.
Take the time to train all staff in customer service, ensuring all customers have a positive experience in your store. Staff should be polite, helpful, and knowledgeable, so that they can answer any questions that a customer might ask.
You want your staff to deliver consistent customer service, so no matter which salesperson helps them, they’ll receive a great shopping experience. If customers love shopping at your store, they’re not only more likely to return, but they’re likely to tell their friends about your store as well.
If your staff aren’t welcoming or friendly, then customers aren’t likely to come back into the store—no matter how great your marketing is.
5. Try Out Experiential Marketing
Have you heard of experiential marketing? It’s the idea of creating experiences in your store, going beyond just shopping.
This is helpful for building brand loyalty and creating positive memories that shoppers will associate with your store. The concept is centered around in-person, face-to-face experiences that shoppers can have while visiting.
You can do this in all sorts of ways—even simple things like giving away free samples within your store can count.
Or, think about your shoppers—would they enjoy a seating area with free refreshments? Or an in-store contest that they can enter for the chance to win prizes?
If you’re looking for a way to generate more hype or awareness around your store, running an experiential marketing campaign can be a great way to do it.
Grow Your Store With These Retail Marketing Tips
With these retail marketing strategies, you can take your business to the next level, increasing turnover and profits. While retail might be a competitive industry, there are plenty of ways to stand out, if you’re clever with your marketing.
Keep in mind that it might take some trial and error before you figure out which type of marketing works best for your store. If it’s within your budget, working with a marketing agency can help as well.
With a solid marketing plan, your retail business is sure to succeed—even in tough times!
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