A Retail Marketing Guide to Promote and Sell Any Product

Retail wine shop owner happy with his marketing strategy

Retail marketing is an ever-changing responsibility for businesses. As technology evolves it’s important to embrace digital channels, but more traditional methods can’t be ignored either.

An integrated retail marketing strategy is bestĀ and can help every retailer move more products. In this guide, we’ll explore the four pillars of retail marketing, and give you some great tips to make sure your marketing tactics attract and retain customers.

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4 pillars of retail marketing

1. The customer rules

You’ve probably heard the retail mantra, “The customer is always right,” and it’s still a principle that rings true. Customers mean revenue, and without that, your business won’t survive.

In today’s digital age, catering to customers is easier than ever before. By getting to know your customers you can create tailored marketing messages to boost revenue. How do you get to know your customers? You should work to collect customer data through surveys, special software or a loyalty program. You can use this information to send the right customers the right deal at the right time.

2. Stand for something

There are 28.8 million small businesses in the U.S. which means there’s a lot of competition out there. To standout, a business has to stand for something. In other words, what’s your mission or purpose and how does it relate to the public?

Sixty-four percent of consumers that have a relationship with a brand say it stems from shared values.

Once you define your mission, it should guide the direction of your retail business. Everything from the people you hire to the vendors you work with should embody your mission. It should also shape your marketing efforts, and be shared with customers.

3. Core marketing should include the three p’s

When you focus on retail marketing, you should take a look at the three p’s: product, price and place. Your marketing should clearly show a product that customers want, it should highlight its competitive price and be showcased in a place where customers can buy it easily.

Sometimes businesses get so wrapped up in promotional designs that they forget to focus on these three things.

4. Avoid ‘pigeonhole marketing’

To create a successful retail marketing strategy, you have to use all of the avenues available to you. You need a good retail marketing mix. That means you need a cohesive mix of “new school” platforms like social media and mobile coupons coupled with “old school” tactics like in-store signs and window displays.

It’s important to evaluate your retail marketing process on a regular basis to make sure you’re taking advantage of every marketing channel and tactic that can help you attract and retain customers.

5 retail marketing tips to move more products

1. Offer unbeatable customer service

Small retailers face a lot of competition, but the one place you can outshine the big box stores and e-commerce sites is to offer unbeatable customer service.
The value of customer service can’t be understated. Seventy-eight percent of consumers didn’t follow through with a purchase because of poor service last year. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Make sure every employee is well trained and can answer questions.
  • Review your checkout process. If wait times are more than 10 minutes, make efforts to improve it.
  • Review your complaint process and make sure solutions are provided quickly.
  • Make sure contact information is easy for customers to find. Put it on your website and social channels.
  • Try to provide “extras” for customers like free gift-wrapping, assistance carrying goods to the car or the ability to earn rewards for continued loyalty.

2. Offer a loyalty program

By implementing a loyalty program, you can market both your business and your product. Fifty-seven percent of companies plan to increase their loyalty budget this year. Why? Loyalty programs make it easy to attract and retain customers.

As customers earn points and redeem rewards it’s confirmation of their value to your business. It’s a powerful marketing tool that can not only intrigue new customers to sign up but also encourage current customers to return.

Be sure to set up a reward structure that offers coupons or money-saving promotions, which is the primary reason that consumers participate in loyalty programs.

3. Offer mobile coupons to shop in-store

Coupon use is huge right now, especially mobile coupons. Research shows 74.1 million people used mobile coupons in 2015, but that doesn’t mean all of those coupons were redeemed online, some were used in-store.

To get your digital fans to shop in your physical store, provide a coupon via email or on social media that can only be used in-store. It’s a great way to encourage a different segment of your audience to visit your store, and it increases foot traffic.

Here’s an example of coupon offered on Facebook that only be used in-store:

4. Make product reviews available online and offline

When consumers need help making a purchase decision, they often read reviews. Thanks to the growing popularity of online review sites like Yelp, there’s a push to collect reviews for products that are sold online. However, you should work to collect and display product reviews both online and in-store.

Big box store Target is now offering product reviews on TV monitors displayed near specific products. The store teamed up with CNET to provide third party reviews to help customers make decisions.

Try something similar. Ask local bloggers, moms and current customers to review your product and shoot a video with their thoughts, or write a paragraph that can be displayed on store shelves next to certain products.

5. Create eye-catching window displays

We mentioned using both “new school” and “old school” marketing methods earlier, and one of the more traditional marketing tools is a window display. By putting together an eye-catching array of products coupled with banners or window clings, you can draw customers in.

Here’s a unique display from Brooks Brothers:

Consider using do-it-yourself marketing websites to print your own banners, flyers and signs to use in window displays. You can save a few bucks, and reuse digital templates again and again. Check out this list of websites that can help you make amazing marketing materials.

Every retailer wants to use the most effective marketing techniques to increase revenue, but it’s important to utilize a variety of platforms to maximize your reach. Take a look at your online marketing assets as well as your traditional approaches and make sure that your retail marketing messages are customer-focused.

Lisa Furgison
About the Author
Lisa Furgison

Lisa is a writer at FiveStars, a freelance journalist, and co-owner of a media company, McEwen's Media.

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