Marketing is essential to the success of any business, but particularly so in retail. After all, if people don’t know you exist, how can they buy your products? Retail marketing can involve various elements, ranging from advertisements and promotions to the training of store personnel.
With such a broad definition and even broader possibilities, marketing for retail can seem like a daunting task. To get you started on the right foot, here are five tips for retail marketing to help boost your sales.
Marketing for Retail: 5 Tips from the Pros
1. Inspire Consumers to Shop Now
Customers want to feel that they are getting the most value out of their purchases. Drive a sense of urgency by running short-term sales or limited offers (limited either by a deadline, stock, or both). Aside from slashing price tags, consider enticing customers with exclusive gift sets, collectible items, or limited-run collaborations.
Offering products with a definitive deadline can push consumers to buy as soon as possible because they know they will be unlikely to get the chance to do so again. And if they do manage to get their hands on the product, it elicits a sense of exclusivity as they are now one of the few who have it.
Holiday and end-of-season sales are common amongst brick-and-mortar retail shops. Customers are conditioned to expect sales and season-specific products during certain periods and try to prepare for them accordingly. Online stores can do the same, as well as run flash sales and offer limited-time discount codes.
2. Offer a Personalized Experience
No two consumers are the same. For physical stores, this is where highly trained and personable staff come into play. Well-trained and well-informed salespeople can engage with customers and provide tailored assistance. They can direct consumers to the products they are looking for and suggest appropriate complementary items that will go well with what they intend to buy.
The staff is also the face of the brand; a customer’s experience with them will define how they perceive your business and impact their likelihood of repurchasing and recommending you to others.
Online retail stores have a plethora of opportunities to provide customers and site visitors with a personalized experience. For example, remarketing and retargeting enable you to reach out again to potential customers who have either expressed interest but did not purchase or consumers who previously purchased but have been inactive for some time. You can serve them with tailored ads for products they will likely be interested in, or products that go well with something they bought in the past.
Whether your retail business is physical, online, or both, a POS system can be a massive help with customer engagement. While the primary benefit of a point-of-sale system is streamlining back-office functions like inventory and employee management, a top-tier POS system is equipped with consumer engagement tools and can be integrated with CRM platforms. It can help store vital information such as contact details and purchase history. These can help you tailor your marketing efforts towards your customers, re-engage them at relevant periods, and foster relationships with loyalty programs and gift cards.
3. Stay Relevant in Your Community
In the age of information and social media, consumers are increasingly becoming more aware of socio-civic matters and consider ethics and sustainability when making purchases. An estimated 71% of customers lean towards brands that mirror their values. Consumers value transparency from brands and expect them to be socially involved in relevant issues.
While some brands may be wary of alienating those who do not have the same beliefs, silence and apathy from brands can also turn off potential customers and risk irreparable reputational damage, especially among loyal customers.
Show that you are a part of the community and genuinely care about its people. This will open doors to non-traditional marketing and outreach opportunities that can help you foster brand affinity authentically and organically. Consider partnering with a local charity and co-sponsor an event. Donate a portion of your profit to a local NGO and let your patrons feel that they are contributing to something bigger than your wallet.
Aside from charity work, you can also assert your local identity and sense of belonging by celebrating minor, even community-specific, holidays to keep your target market engaged. Offer weekend discounts every time your home team wins a game. Have special gift sets to celebrate Grandparents’ Day or Siblings Day. Of course, choose holidays that align with your brand image and values. For example, it may not make sense for a fashion retailer to celebrate Oktoberfest.
4. Leverage Visualized Search
Oftentimes, especially when it comes to fashion, consumers know what they want but don’t know where to buy it from. They may have #OOTD pics, style icons, and fashion fantasies that they can’t live out because their go-to stores don’t offer the pieces they want. But thanks to technological advancements, users can upload and run a photo through a search engine (for example, Google Lens) to get a list of websites that contain similar images. It may lead them to specific retailers, or at least provide a starting point for their consumer journey.
To maximize visual search, be present on image-based social networking platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. If a potential customer is on the hunt for a specific style or piece that your brand offers, they will be likely to find you even if they’ve never shopped with you before.
5. Maximize Online and Social Media Tools
With the sudden and drastic changes brought about by 2020, many brick-and-mortar retailers have migrated to the digital space, or at least transformed their business models to be an offline-online combo. But the good news is that many social media platforms have introduced e-commerce features that make it easy for retailers to reach their target markets.
Facebook has long offered advertising options such as geo-targeted ads to specifically reach people within a few miles of your store. Instagram has a Shop tab. Influencer marketing enables retailers to be where their intended consumers are via a popular content creator that aligns with their image.
Aside from social media, you can’t go wrong with optimizing your SEO and banking on online reviews. Whether a person chooses to buy online or in a physical store, most consumers are likely to research products on search engines before making a purchase.
To improve your marketing for retail and boost your sales, see how True POS can help your business and get a free quote today.