When you’re in retail, the most important thing you can do is move product, but it’s easier said than done. Products don’t market themselves. In fact, there have never been as many products on the market place as there are today. Your mission, if you should accept it, is to actively search for the right customer for your product, differentiate your product from everything else out there, and promote the product’s benefits (and not just the features), and strategically price it so that customers won’t hesitate to make the purchase.
Mission impossible? Not if you listen to the following advice. Below, we’re sharing top retail marketing tips from retailers and small business professionals.
Before we dive into the details on this topic, we suggest you check out Square, a free POS system that can manage inventory, process credit cards, and track sales by item. Visit Square to learn more.
10 Retail Marketing Ideas From the Pros
Marc Prosser, Co-founder, Fit Small Business
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Harness the power of referral marketing by asking customers to share photos of themselves using your product.
Tracy Willis, Content Strategist, N2Q Consulting
Retail marketers can generate free advertising by asking their customer to show off their products with a custom hashtag! This hashtag can be searched by users and can also be leveraged by sharing customer posts on your brand’s social networks.
Join the Conversation and Participate in Social Media Traditions.
Zoë Sadler, Snap Retail
If you’re struggling to find something to say on social media, try joining the existing conversation. Share a typographic quote on #MotivationalMonday to help spread the positivity and kick off the week on the right foot. Have a funny product you used to sell? Share a photo on Thursday as your #TBT. And even better? You can schedule these posts ahead of time to save yourself some headache.
Create a friend referral pop up on your website to drive wordofmouth marketing.
Madeline Johnson, CEO, Marketing & Public Relations, The Market Council
Wordofmouth marketing is where 90% of your new business growth will come from. Speed this along by creating a friend referral pop up on your website and help your biggest fans spread the word faster. Reward those that bring in friends with promotions and incentives.
I did this for a client www.unikwax.com and it was tremendously effective through all of their brick and mortar locations.
Create a story for your product to connect with your target customer.
Sherry Holub, Creative Director, JV Media Design (JVM)
Whether you have a brick and mortar store or exclusively sell online, people connect more with brands that really know their audiences and tell a story. So really get to know your customers, what they like, where they hang out, etc. Then be genuine with your brand. Tell a story through your marketing that speaks to your ideal customers interests and needs.
Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Craig Wolfe, President, CelebriDucks
Take risks!….BUT..calculated risks. In other words, you can sense that you have something of value. It’s a gut instinct, not foolish enthusiasm. It’s a rare trait, but worth its weight in gold.
Also, NEVER put all their eggs in one basket. Always have different irons in the fire even in their core business so they are never at risk with being dependent on one large vendor, one product line, one limited service, etc. This is very important.
And three, they think outside the box.. see what others don’t..they are aware of public trends like products made in the USA, safety, etc…and doing things that hit an emotional chord with people. I think if you look at successful marketing people, you will see that they all lived by these maxims.
Market directly to your target customer and no one else.
Mary Babiez, President, Thoughtful Presence
Know your customer and market to them specifically. Whether it’s through email, social, or other, there is no one size fits all. The more you personalize your marketing, the better your customer response will be.
Pay attention to the small details.
Zondra Wilson, President/C.E.O., Blu Skin Care, LLC
My favorite tip for retail marketing is “Pay attention to the small stuff”. Pay attention to the smallest details. Wrap each product, be careful as to how you place in the bag. Make sure your bags are durable…etc.
Make eye contact as soon as a customer comes in the door…but don’t charge them. Let them know you are there to serve them if they need your help. Also, having cold water available on a hot day and treats at the checkout can really make a big difference in presentation.
Ali Newton, Marketing Executive, The Display Centre
Customers are spending more on experiences and less on shopping. Why make them choose? Hold events in your store. Ask your customers to take part in a catwalk, give product demonstrations or get a guest stylist in for the day. Don’t forget to post about it on your social media!
Ask an influential person in your industry to market your product.
Richard Protheroe, Marketing Executive, Veeqo
Smart retailers are using influential people within their industry to help leverage their product. This is known as influencer marketing and is especially effective on Instagram. A great way to identify influential people is to use a tool like Webstagram.
From here you can follow and direct message these accounts to feature your product. Their audience will be relevant to you so it’s a great way of gathering exposure. You may have to pay to what they call a ‘sponsored post’, but as it’s relevant you may see that accounts will promote your product for free.
Consider shifting your ad campaign from Google to Amazon.
Scott Markman, Director, Beautiful Nutrition
I see a shift in digital marketing dollars moving away from Google into Amazon. Google Adwords is saturated with competition and CPCs are extremely high. Google search is a top of funnel (research tool) for shoppers and extremely hard to get direct response for nonbrand searches. Most of the time the shoppers end up researching product on Amazon. With Amazon’s ad platform, more dollars will be put into that to drive sales. CPCs are much lower on Amazon. Although, initial sales will be driven for the brand on Amazon, there will be a halo effect for the brand website. A much better halo effect than nonbrand searches on Google Adwords.
A big thank you to everyone who contributed their top tips for retail marketing. If you’d like to share your own tips or suggestions, leave them in the comments section below.
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