Best Retail Marketing Strategies That Actually Work and Drive Sales

Retail marketing strategies

The ultimate goal for any business is to turn a profit — the question is, how? Sales wouldn’t be possible without an effective retailer marketing strategy. However, attracting customers isn’t as simple as it used to be. If ever it was.

To help you and your budding business out, we at Selzy have researched and combined the strongest, most effective tactics for your own retail marketing strategy.

What is retail marketing exactly?

Retail marketing is the promotion of goods with the end goal of generating sales. Essentially, it’s letting people know what you have to offer and trying to convince them to buy it.

Depending on what products you provide, there are many marketing tactics you can use. It can be something as simple as placing a sign on the street or handing out flyers. However, technology has changed the way retail marketing works. Today, you can advertise on TV, social media, via emails, and participate in partnerships with influencers.

The basics of any retail marketing strategy

Retail marketing can sometimes be overwhelming. So, to make things simpler, here are two models to help you understand the basics of retail marketing strategies.

The 4 Ps

The 4 Ps of retail marketing concentrates on four concepts: product, price, place, and promotion.

Product

One of the most important factors of the retail marketing strategy is the product. What goods your business sells will ultimately dictate the approach and intensity when marketing. Thus, profound knowledge of the product is a must to properly present it to your target audience.

Speaking about presentation, you should also consider packaging. First impressions matter. And the packaging is the first message you send to your target audience through the product. 

Take Pepsi, for example:

Flavored Pepsi packaging
Source: BeverageDaily

The sleek design is not only nice to look at, but the use of different colors also communicates the various flavors of Pepsi drinks. 

It’s all about knowing your audience well and understanding how to make your product packaging appealing.

Price

Pricing can be tricky. You want to earn enough to cover the cost of production, marketing, and overhead charges, while still maintaining a profit. 

Some businesses follow cost-plus pricing wherein the total production costs (including overheads and labor) are combined with the expected profit you want to gain. 

Another approach could be value-based pricing wherein the price of the product depends on the value it adds to the consumers’ day-to-day life. 

Several businesses also gain from psychological pricing. The item’s price is slightly lower than a whole number to “trick” customers. For example, pricing an item $2.99 instead of $3.00.

Businesses also edge out competitors by means of competitive pricing. You can ensure that you offer the best price on the market by studying the prices offered by your competitors on the same product. 

High/low pricing can also drive up sales, especially of seasonal items. It’s when an item is priced high at first and offered at a much lower “sale” price when demand decreases.

Lastly, everyday low pricing or EDLP is  consistently offering the lowest prices on items. This will save you time and effort from setting up sales and encourage customer loyalty thanks to constantly low prices. 

Place

There are many places you can choose from to set up shop for now. 

You need to make sure that your brand and your products are where your target audience can reach them. To achieve this, many businesses combine physical and digital stores to maximize potential reach.

Your store can be:

  • A physical store or stall
  • A website
  • Part of a virtual marketplace
  • A social media page

Promotion

Last, but certainly not least, you have to consider how you promote your products. This is where the marketing aspect comes in.

Some of the most common promotional tactics include billboards and email promos. However, social media ads and influencer partnerships are also effective and getting more and more  popular.

Tip

Word-of-mouth is free and considered one of the most effective methods of promotion. Build strong relationships with clients for strong recommendations.

The 4 Cs

In 1990, Professor of Advertising Robert Lauterborn declared the 4Ps irrelevant to the modern consumer. Instead, he proposed a more customer-centered approach to marketing by introducing the 4 Cs.  

Consumer wants and needs

This first C, Consumer wants and needs, is meant to replace the first P — Product. Instead of focusing on the manufacturing of products, businesses should focus on what consumers want and need. 

This shift allows companies to dedicate time and resources to creating services and products that their audience will actually benefit from. This provides them with a goal and keeps their target market pleased.

Cost

Cost is meant to replace the Price. This C intends to shift the focus away from solely monetary costs. And instead, consider the overall expenses and losses of your customer that they experience while getting your product.

Aside from the actual price of the product, the costs can also include travel time or loss of other opportunities.

Convenience to buy

Instead of focusing on your location or Place, Convenience to buy directs attention to customers’ comfort.

Do they need to travel far away to buy your product? Do they have to pass through a middleman? Are your services available to customers throughout the day or at times when they need them most?

If consumers have to make too much effort to buy your products, it may put them off entirely.

Communication

Lastly, Communication replaces Promotion. The latter can seem one-sided and is often associated with manipulation.

Instead, this final C encourages the dialogue between companies and customers. Allow clients to give feedback. This way you’ll better understand your audience and give them what they need.

Tip

Consumers today look beyond the sheer quality of the product. They also consider experience and customer service when making decisions and recommending a product.

Common types of retail marketing

Store-based marketing

Store-based marketing, from the name itself, happens within the four walls of the physical store. This approach provides customers with a great experience when shopping.

Some examples of this type of marketing include:

  • Offering freebies, tokens, or even drinks upon entry
  • Speaker announcements about ongoing and upcoming promos
  • Promotional banners with the latest releases, discounts, and sales
  • A personalized, assisted shopping experience
  • Events (sales, promotional parties, etc.)

Non-store-based marketing

Non-store-based marketing, on the other hand, is used outside of the physical store. 

Some examples of non-store-based marketing include:

  • Door-to-door selling
  • Telemarketing
  • Television advertisements
  • Network marketing

Digital marketing

This approach uses various digital channels to reach potential customers and promote the products. 

Some methods of digital marketing include:

  • Email marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • Search engine advertising
  • Promotional websites
  • Promotional mobile apps

Developing a retail marketing strategy step by step

Develop your brand

The company’s brand is its identity. So you need to develop a strong brand and consistently communicate what it represents. 

Next, you come up with a style that fits your brand’s aesthetic and resonates with your target audience. You need to pick a name and logo. The logo is usually complemented by other elements like a certain color palette, fonts, and other details that form the style.

Identify your target audience

Find out who your products are for. Who will get the most out of your products? How will you reach them?

While it may sound simple enough, determining a clear target audience can be quite tricky. First, research your potential audience by monitoring statistics and trends or holding surveys.

Next, segment your target audience based on demographics. Will both men and women like your products? What age groups buy from your business most?

Last, keep tracking their likes and dislikes to further specify your target audience and stay relevant to its interests.

Determine the benefits of your products

What do your consumers get out of purchasing your products? Will it improve their lives? How? These are some questions you need to address when it comes to the benefits of your products.

To be sure about your products’ benefits, consider their function, market value, sellability, and customer feedback.

Decide how you want to promote your product

Now, it’s time to put the spotlight on your product and promote it to the public. 

Some of the best and most effective ways to advertise your products are:

  • Social media ads.
  • Email marketing.
  • Influencer partnerships.
  • Referrals. 

Set a budget

Promotional campaigns can get pricey. You need to account for costs in services, platform fees, loss of profit as a result of discounts, etc. If left unchecked, these expenses can rack up so quickly that instead of making a profit, you end up losing money.

Setting a budget also allows you to see which marketing approaches are appropriate for your business model. For example, small businesses will most likely benefit from social media marketing and other low-cost strategies as opposed to launching an expensive nationwide TV campaign.

Start the campaign and track the results

Now for the exciting part — launching the retail marketing strategy! If you successfully finished the previous steps, go ahead and start your promotional activities. 

After launching your campaign, you need to keep track of how well it’s performing. Take an email marketing campaign, for example. What are the campaign’s open rates? Are attached links gaining more traffic and click-through? Have sales on advertised products increased?  

Note what’s going well and what you can improve. The results of your first campaign(s) will guide the next one. 

Retail marketing strategies you should try out

Not sure how you want your retail marketing strategy to play out? We’ve got you covered. Here are some methods that are guaranteed to get results.

Maximize your social media reach

Take advantage of the popularity of social media and set up an account for your brand and products. 

You can set up a Facebook page, create an Instagram account, or even make TikTok videos that expose your services to potentially millions of people. You don’t have to create brand accounts in all social media at once — rather, analyze where your target audience spends their time and begin testing media in descending order of priority.  

Promote your business on Google

Google is more than just a search engine. It is also one of the world’s biggest online platforms with over 4 billion users all over the world. 

You can promote your business on Google by:

  • Listing your business on Google My Business
  • Setting up Google Ads
  • Using strong keywords for SEO

Use partnerships and collaborations

No man is an island and no business should be either. Partnering up with other companies or even collaborating with influencers can boost your business’s popularity and exposure and try out something different, for example, have a go at inclusive marketing.

Partnerships are especially great for small and medium-sized businesses because they often don’t require any budget at all. It is much easier to agree on placement and work on a partner’s ready-made platform than to start your own channel for the sake of experimentation.

Try out email marketing

Looking for a convenient marketing strategy? Give email marketing a try. This way you can not only promote your products but also build lasting, trusting relationships with your customers.

Not to mention email marketing will be a breeze if you have the right service provider. Here at Selzy, we offer great email marketing plans to suit any business goal.

Businesses often send promotional campaigns or newsletters to keep in touch with their clients while advertising their latest products and offers. To learn more read about some of the email marketing ideas and email campaign examples.

Start a referral program

If your business has a good reputation and a lot of satisfied customers, then a referral program might be just right. 

A referral program allows customers to recommend a product or brand to their friends and family. Usually, a successful referral rewards the recommendations with gift cards, discounts, or even raffle tickets. 

This is a win-win situation for you and your customer. You get a new potential client, and they get rewards and freebies.

Be accessible

Perhaps the simplest marketing strategy is to just be accessible. Now, this doesn’t mean building ramps and wider doors so that everyone can get into your store. It means ensuring that everyone can access your products, be it in-store or online.

Some simple ways to ensure your accessibility are:

  • Having a reliable customer service line (in-store, chat, call, email).
  • Ensuring that locations are within your customers’ reach.
  • Creating social media pages and websites for your business.

Real-life retail marketing strategy examples that actually worked

  1. Casper — Referral program

Casper is an e-commerce company that sells sleep products. E-commerce is great but what Casper needed was a deeper connection with their customers on the emotional level. So they launched a referral program with the following conditions: when a customer refers to a friend, they receive a $75 Amazon gift card and the friend gets 10% off their first order.

The offer stands today albeit with somewhat changed conditions:

pic

Results: 7x higher ROI, 13% increase in referral conversion rate, 220% share rate increase.

  1. American Eagle — Partnership with influencers

American Eagle is a lifestyle, clothing, and accessories brand. In 2020, they partnered with a TikTok star Addison Rae Easterling and produced a set of videos with Addison Rae posing and dancing in American Eagle outfits:

@addisonre Mickey Mouse & I are celebrating the @disney x @americaneagle holiday collection the only way we know how...dancing! #aepartner ♬ Disney x AE Holiday 2020 - Addison Rae

Results: $4.26 million in Media Impact Value (MIV). 

  1. Soluna Garden Farm — Email marketing

Soluna Garden Farm is a farm in Winchester, Massachusetts, that specializes in herbs and flowers. Before 2020, their main sales channel was brick-and-mortar outlets, but after the pandemic hit, they needed other options. 

They decided to use their email list and focus on their online audience which made wonders with one-day sales equalling what normally would have taken them a season to sell in-person.  

pic

Results: online sales increase of more than 500%.

Conclusion

There is no single approach to guarantee success in retail marketing. What’s important is that you keep your business goals in mind and construct a marketing strategy that works for you.

To keep success within reach, remember:

  • Know your product.
  • Research your target audience.
  • Be accessible.
  • Combine marketing strategies to ensure maximum reach and relevance.

The market is always changing. Make sure that your business changes with it to maintain success and sales.

Do you know examples of awesome retail marketing strategies?

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