A good retail marketing strategy can improve business for retail stores in every industry, regardless of size. Get started with these 24 amazing retail marketing tips to help you expand your reach and connect with your customers.
1. Focus On Experiential Marketing
Customers don’t just want a product; they want an experience. Focus your energy on efforts that customers can walk away from and remember for years.
Experiential marketing, also known as “live marketing,” tends to play on the five senses and allows the consumer to play along with whatever is happening.
Here’s an example brought to you by Oreo from the SXSW Festival in 2014. They put up a booth that 3D printed uniquely flavored cookies for attendees to try.
The flavors were determined by what was Trending on Twitter at the time. People would tweet which flavor they wanted someone to try, and the 3D printer would create it.
2. Host A Community Event
Raise awareness about a problem that your product or business helps solve. Make it fun and actionable so that your customers or readers can instantly take what they learn and put it into practice.
Anthropologie frequently hosts pop-up markets that feature local artists. These events have involved many topics, including animal rights, fashion shows, and physical wellness.
3. Take Advantage Of Your Display Window
Think of a cool way to present your product or business to the world.
- Place a window decal over the window
- Work from the display window
- Present products in a fashionable way
This example from Timberland shows how color and balance can create an effective display. It even goes along with the tagline, “Classic Meets Color.”
4. Offer Free Wifi
You might not choose your favorite coffee shop because of the free Wi-Fi, but it helps. Free wifi allows you to plant your marketing messages and promos on your customers’ phones while they sign in.
You can use wifi marketing to collect customer contact information in exchange for the wifi. Then, you can use this information to send promotional texts or emails. Starbucks uses this tactic below in their shops to connect with their customers.
5. Put Your Product Where Your Customers Are
If your customers aren’t coming to you, go to your customers. Analyze where your customers are and what channels they’re using, and then place your ads in front of them.
Are you on the same social channels your target audience is on? You should be. Cover all the bases and incorporate retail displays, online listings, and digital marketing into your strategy.
6. Do A Tour Of Your Studio Or Office
This is a great way to share details about your work and introduce your employees to your customers.
This tour can either be in-person or online. Facebook Live allows you to reach a bigger audience without worrying about the crowd.
One notable example is when Instagram showed off their new office in New York.
7. Package Your Products In A Way That Mirrors Your Brand
Ensure every part of your packaging mirrors the message you want your brand to convey.
For example, Victoria’s Secret wraps your purchases in colorful tissue paper and then puts them in a matching bag.
Now you just have to think about how you will do this.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- How do you want your customers to feel when they visit your store, blog, or social platforms? (Example: happy and content.)
- What do your customers find to make them feel _____ and _____(Insert your answer from above).
- Will wrapping them a certain way make them feel special? How so?
8. Put Your Favorite Social Media Handles On Your Business Card
Make sure your customers know where to find you online. You can promote your social media profiles by including your handles on your business cards.
This design template from Brandly shows a great example of what this might look like.
Doing this helps you grow your follower base and opens the door for more engagement on your social media content.
9. Hold A Customer Photo Contest
Get your customers involved in your marketing efforts and create a contest for them.
Have them submit pictures of them with their favorite products, and give the best image a gift card. You can use the images as social proof and broadcast all your happy customers.
Here’s an example of how Cremahh did it:
10. Run Geo-Targeted Ads
You can try running geo-target ads to ensure people in your community know about your store. Google allows you to run ads in a specific radius of a geographical area.
You can use these tips to ensure you’re reaching people in your area:
- Test out different areas
- Get your timing right
- Double-check your location options
- Exclude undesirable locations
- Use Google Trends
11. Use Google Reviews
79% of shoppers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Make sure you monitor those reviews and reach out to those who are unsatisfied with your business.
In addition to that, thank those who leave positive reviews. You may even incentivize customers to leave positive reviews on Google, just like G2 Crowd did.
12. Send Out Something Personal
Reward your most loyal customers by sending out some handwritten thank you notes or goodies. This fosters brand loyalty and makes them more likely to make another purchase.
For example, Chanel sent this note to one of their customers after helping them make a purchase.
You can do something like this too. Find out who your best customers are, and send them personalized notes to show them you care. They’ll appreciate the effort.
13. Send Out Product Samples To Potential Customers
Let your potential customers know what they’re missing out on. Sending samples to someone thinking about making a purchase can push them over the edge.
Sending out samples:
- Lets them see how valuable your product is
- Builds customer loyalty
- Helps consumers make buying decisions
- Increases brand exposure
14. Try Some Urban Marketing Ideas
If you have a physical storefront, find creative ways to spread the word about your business in your area. You can use chalk on sidewalks, posters, or even window displays.
Here’s an example from Alexander Keith’s Brewery and how they used sidewalk chalk to promote their business:
This blog post from The Cyphers Agency goes into more creative, low-budget, guerrilla marketing tactics.
15. Perfect Your Elevator Pitch
Can you explain what your business does and why it’s helpful in 20-30 seconds? If someone asks you, you must ensure you have a great hook to pull them in.
Craft your elevator pitch so if someone asks you what you do or what kind of products you have, you’ll be able to answer clearly and confidently.
Below is an example of a 30-second elevator pitch from Indeed‘s Career Guide:
16. Develop A Word Of Mouth Customer Referral Program
Similar to online reviews, personal reviews are critical. 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
Creating a word-of-mouth referral program can help facilitate organic conversations about your business. This also allows you to paint yourself as a prominent business in your neighborhood.
17. Partner With Similar Businesses
Partnering with similar companies or blogs can help you connect to others in your industry; just make sure they aren’t a direct competitor.
One notable example is Dolly and Crate and Barrel. They partnered up to offer easier furniture delivery for Crate and Barrel customers. This improved customer experience and helped solve a common issue.
Other benefits of retail partnerships:
- Build Customer Loyalty
- Exposure To New Audience
- Product Expansion
- Shared Resources
18. Create A Loyalty Program
Get your customers to keep coming back. Loyalty programs can help you retain existing customers while attracting new ones.
They also help build emotional connections between your business and your customers. The best part is that they’re super easy to create.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Choose the best kind of program for your business
- Point-based, partnership, or tiered
- Define how much money you can invest into your program
- Introduce incentives to start
- Measure customer satisfaction
- Adjust your strategy if needed
19. Create A Pricing Strategy
Make sure your prices are just right for your customers. Set your prices too high, and your customers won’t come. Set them too low, and you won’t have much of a profit margin.
The general retail rule of thumb is to charge double the price you pay for it. You can also use promotional pricing and sales to attract customers and clear out older merchandise.
The below example from Marketing Tutor shows a variety of pricing strategies you could use.
20. Monetize Your POS
Point of sale (POS) refers to your store’s register or checkout point. This area is key for you to broadcast some of your smaller, more affordably priced products.
Stores do this all the time. They place gum, candy bars, or anything fun near the registers so that impulse buyers will make a bugger purchase.
21. Utilize Point-of-Purchase Displays
Use point-of-purchase (PoP) displays to draw attention to specific items in a retail store. Use this strategy to increase sales on things you are featuring or on a discounted item.
This is an example of a PoP display created by KSF global to draw attention to a specific brand of beauty products. It is an effective retail marketing idea because people are more attracted to items that are easier for them to notice.
22. Highlight Your Loyalty Program
Now that you have a loyalty program advertise it at your POS to increase program users. This can look like a prompt on your POS system if you do your loyalty program through there or a punch card available to grab.
If you are using a Square system, you can allow an option for people to sign up for rewards immediately after their purchase, making it simple to enable more sign-ups.
23. Make A Countertop Display
See-through countertop displays are a solid retail marketing idea most commonly used by jewelry stores. Use this style of counter to place the customer closer to the register to make purchasing easier for the customer.
24. Support A Cause
Have you ever been at a store when you are about to complete your purchase, and they prompt, “Would you like to round up to donate to _____?” This is a simple way to make a difference because it only requires people to make small donations that add up to help in a big way.
Goodwill of Omaha, Nebraska, used this idea during the COVID-19 pandemic to support the local United Way and those affected by the pandemic.