The retail environment is a dynamic space. Sometimes you get a boost from shopping seasons and holiday seasons, then a slump from economic pressures, increased competition and other factors. Yeah, you get some ups and you get some downs, but there are ways to get your ups higher, and your downs virtually non-existent. Here are five tips to achieve major growth with your marketing strategy.
Give People a Great Reason to Visit Your Store
Use in-store events such as classes on how to get the best from your products. This could be cooking classes if you sell cooking ware or fresh produce, exercise techniques for sports stores, or self-care tips for cosmetic stores. This can also be in the form of demonstrations for existing products, new products or new features.
New product launches are also a great reason to have an in-store event. This can also be combined with a class or a demo to get people to get your customers excited about the new product or service.
Lastly, seasonal specials such as clearance sales, new product sales, limited items or in-store competitions will attract new and existing customers to your store.
You can get the word out for these events via email, text and postcards, to your existing customers. Use posts and ads on social media to reach new customers. Target people in the surrounding area, mall or shopping centre with flyers and posters before the event. Include coupons, to be redeemed in-store, for extra encouragement.
You can also support these events with boards, banners, counter stands and wobblers placed around the store to notify people of the event, what it’s about and what’s on offer. Use pamphlets and brochures to give attendees something that can be taken away about the new product and key points from the class and demonstration.
Bring Your Brand to Life
Your retail store is an opportunity to bring your brand to life and communicate your value to customers. You can use your in-store branding such as PVC Banners, Stickers and Signage to highlight your brand values, the benefits you are creating and the story of your brand.
You can also enrich your customers’ in-store experience by incorporating Augmented Reality (AR). Most people use their mobile phones to find out more about the product online, compare it to similar products, take photos to save later or simply as a shopping list. Therefore there is an opportunity to use tools like AR and QR codes to actively incorporate the ever-ready mobile phones in the shopping experience. An example is using AR to provide details about the product in real-time, alongside the product your customer is looking at. You can also send them to a landing page where they can compare the product to something similar or download your app. Lastly, you can use explainer videos to show a demonstration of a new product or feature in action, including tips on getting the best from the product.
The right right branding, messaging and integrations will create an unforgettable experience that encourages a purchase or repeats visits.
An Example from American Apparel:
Inspire Immediate Action
Purchasing or leaving are not the only actions that your store visitors can take. There are a variety of actions that people can take that can develop a lasting relationship, which will eventually lead to a purchase.
- Subscribing to an email newsletter or direct mail catalogues
- Taking away a product catalogue or pamphlet
- Following your social platforms – you can advertise these in your takeaways or in-store displays
- Sharing their experience or recommending you on social media
- Downloading your app app
Encourage your colleagues to consider these actions when interacting with your customers. In-store displays such as posters, pull-up banners, counter stands and wobblers can encourage these actions. Remember, your promotional items are not there to only advertise a sale or a product, they’re also there to communicate with your customers and encourage a variety of actions. Use urgency to drive these actions, e.g. “subscribe today and get a free sample”. If action is not taken immediately, then it is less likely it will be taken later.
Marketing and Advertising Locally
You are part of the local community. This local community is your main source of new customers and advocates. Therefore it will be effective to advertise and promote your store in local media, high traffic areas and local establishments. Some effective methods are:
- Inserts, adverts, articles and press releases in local newspapers
- Flyers, Brochures and Business Cards at local businesses, restaurants and coffee shops
- Handing out Flyers and Leaflets in local high traffic areas
- Activations in the mall or shopping centre
- Ads and appearances on local radio and local TV
- Geotargeting your online advertising with specific messaging for your local area
Integrate Online and Offline in Your Marketing Plan
Your presence may be limited to your retail store or you may also have an online presence as an e-commerce website. Either way, you can always benefit from integrating your offline with your online marketing and presence.
Start with consistency. Ensure you have consistent brand messaging on your in-store promotions, local ads, social media, emails marketing, banner ads and website. Especially for major campaigns. This creates instant recognition of your brand and reinforces your message. Remeber the rule of 7; theoretically, it takes 7 interactions to drive a purchase from a user. Make sure they know those 7 interactions are from your brand, and they know exactly what action to take.
Add QR codes, Vanity URLs, Subdomains and physical addresses to all your promotional material. If people cannot make it to your store immediately, then make sure they have other options for taking action or finding out more about you and what you offer.
Print your ebooks, product catalogues, and other popular online content to make available in store. If you have content that is adding value to your online audience, make physical versions of this content available to people who visit your store. This will serve as a great takeaway that will bring them back in future or may be shared with associates.
Most people have probably looked you up online before they came to your store. These people may have found you via search, online ads or through a recommendation. Use that pre-shopping experience to get them to your store. You can do this by providing valuable content that shows them everything they need to know about your products along with comparisons to similar products and reviews. You can also provide coupons that can only be redeemed in-store.
The Bottom Line.
There are a number of opportunities to drive new customers to your store, to bring existing customers back to your store and to create advocates out of your loyal customers.
What is important to remember is that there are many channels where you can reach them, such as online, locally and in-store; there are sequence of messages and media that you can use, such as events, product launches, specials and classes; and a variety of actions you can drive, such as buying, subscribing, sharing and following.
Use this knowledge to make your down-cycles less down and your up-cycles more up.
Cheers to growing your retail sales!
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- 10 retail marketing ideas to boost sales
- Print and augmented reality – 5 things worth knowing
- Counter Stands – How to maximise your point-of-sale advertising
- Get effective distribution for your printed materials
- Integrating print and online marketing – tools, tips and tactics