Retail marketing is much more than promotions, discounts, or cardboard displays sitting around your store. It’s about combining the right channels and tactics to catch the attention of shoppers and increase sales.
Before we dive deeper into the strategy, let’s see what retail marketing is all about.
Retail marketing: The four Ps
The first and most important thing for retail marketing is the product, of course. Without the products, there is no retail and no marketing. You need to take into account everything revolving around the merchandise, from the type of product to the label or packaging.
The second P is all about the pricing strategy you select for your products. There are four main types of pricing for products:
- Everyday low pricing: Retailers use the lowest price possible, within thin margins and try to attract as many customers as possible. This strategy is used by retailers like Walmart and Target.
- High/low pricing: this strategy is mostly used by smaller retailers, and it means that they sell products at high prices which they lower once the popularity of the product fades.
- Competitive pricing: this is one of the most common pricing strategies. Checking out the competition’s price and adapting your own to stay competitive on the market.
- Psychological pricing: this is also known as price ending or charm pricing. It is also really common. For instance, if the price is $1.93, people will first think that it is $1 instead of $2.
The place is the point of sale, the shop, or the eCommerce platforms on which you sell the products. While it might seem like it is not as important as the two Ps mentioned above, the place is essential when it comes to retail. You need to have the right POS, depending on your merchandise.
Last, but not least, promotion. This P refers to the way you market your products, the whole store, or your brand. It is all about the way you communicate with your customers, the way the store looks, smells, and feels. It also depends on how the products are placed, the way they look on the shelves, and how your employees act around shoppers.
The promotion is a combination of tactics, channels, and activities that help you convince shoppers to buy from you.
Now that we know what the pillars of retail marketing are, let’s see how you can create your strategy to attract more customers and engage with shoppers.
How to build your retail marketing strategy
1. Understand your customers and their needs
We can’t stress this enough: Understanding who your customers are and meeting their needs are the most important things. Without this, your marketing strategy will fail because you won’t know who your audience is.
How can you get to know your customers?
Ask them for feedback, regularly. It doesn’t have to be long and complicated and it could be just a simple question when they leave the store. For brick and mortar retailers it’s a bit more difficult to collect and implement feedback from customers, but it’s not impossible.
Also, another great way to understand your customers is to gather data about their shopping patterns. Where did they stop? Did they notice your new campaign? Are they searching for a certain product for too long? Answering these questions will show you if your promotions are visible, if your products are placed correctly, and if the customers are attracted by any specific products.
2. Don’t be afraid to mix and match
The thing about a retail marketing strategy is that you have to allow yourself to make mistakes. For instance, selecting only one channel (in-store) might be safe, but it won’t show you what other channels your shoppers use.
Try to advertise on social media, inside the store, on billboards, on the street, in the parking lot. See which ones of these places are the best ones for your store.
You need to be where your customers are. For brick and mortar shops, in-store advertising is essential. However, focusing on old-school tools is not going to attract the attention of shoppers. It’s best to try out innovative tools, devices, or tactics.
For instance, a robotic POS display like Tokinomo will allow products to speak, dance, or sing to better engage with customers. Digital displays, mirrors that use augmented reality, or gamification systems are also amazing tools that you can use for in-store marketing.
Apart from instore marketing, retailers can also rely on social media to get the word out about their products. Digital marketing is no longer something that only eCommerce platforms use. Brick and mortar retailers can try out Instagram or Facebook ads to attract customers with their latest promotions.
3. Use all of your assets and resources
It doesn’t matter if it’s the merchandise, the location itself, or your employees, you need to know how to use all of your assets.
If you have big windows in your store, you can use them to showcase the best products to draw in more people. Also, interactive windows are amazing tools that will help you engage with your customers. Tom Baker used interactive windows to attract more shoppers. People needed to touch the windows for a chance to win 1000 pounds. When a shop promises you 1000 pounds, you might as well enter and buy a few items, right?
It’s not just about what’s inside the store. You also can use the curbside, the parking lot, or any other space available. You can write a funny message and place it on a board on your curbside or put floor graphics in the parking lot.
Your employees are your biggest assets and they can become your biggest promoters. Remember that customer service is essential in retail. They need to know how to engage with shoppers, how to offer support, and how to answer any questions regarding the merchandise.
4. Innovate and stay ahead of the competition
Always think about something new, interesting, and innovative if you want to surprise your customers. Switch from old-school trade marketing tools to digital or robotic ones. Include more technologies in your shopper marketing strategy.
Also, one thing you need to focus on nowadays is retailtainment. As you know, customers are not in your store or on your website just for the products. They came for the experience. By offering shoppers amazing moments, you turn them into loyal customers and promoters.
Channels, techniques, tools, and activities might be different from one store to another when it comes to retail marketing strategy. However, all comes down to one thing: pleasing the customers and offering them the best experience possible. Try out different tactics and don’t be afraid to change or integrate new channels once in a while. This will help you learn more about your shoppers and their needs.
Nicoleta Niculescu is a Content Marketing Specialist at Tokinomo, the ultimate in-store marketing solution for retailers and consumer goods brands. Tokinomo advertising robots bring CPG products to life on the shelf and lift sales by an average of 200%.