Retail store marketing ideas to help you attract more customers and generate more business and referrals from your existing customers.
Retail store marketing
You’re wearing a lot of hats as a retail store owner. Here’s what to focus on for your marketing for the best return on both your time and money.
- Get people to come into your retail store
- Get existing customers to come back more often
- Sell more to your existing customers
- Encourage existing customers to refer others
- Attract new customers to your retail store, especially customers who will be most profitable and pleasant to serve longer term as customers
From our experience: Most retail store owners spend a lot of money on advertising retail store sales as a primary way to attract new customers. We think you’re better off trying other marketing approaches that will attract the most profitable and pleasant to serve customers vs. people coming in just to buy because you’re running a sale. The best customers buy at full price and tell others. Learn how to identify your most profitable customers.
TIP: Buying psychologists have learned that when a person in a store decides they want to buy one thing, they will then start looking for other things to buy. Ravi Dhar of the Yale School of Management, calls it ‘the shopping momentum effect.’ There’s a certain amount of guilt that most people experience when spending money, but having opened our wallets the first time, with each additional purchase the guilt ebbs. “Research has shown that just paying for something has some pain attached to it, even though you get something back in return,” Dhar says. “But after you’ve bought the first item, the second item doesn’t hurt as much.”
Retail store marketing “must do” list
Before you rush off to try some new innovative retail marketing idea, make sure you are doing all the things on this “must do” list for marketing.
Collecting and updating your customer email and cell phone information. That will allow you to send email and text messages and call people. These are all the least expensive (and most effective) ways to contact people.
Customer contact plan. You’ll also want to set up a customer contact plan to keep your retail store top of mind. You need to contact customers at least six times a year with some type of relevant message or offer. Ideally, you are contacting customers monthly.
Your contacts can be through email newsletters, email alerts, personal emails or cards, text messages, calls or direct mail postcards, Facebook posts, letters or catalogs. Mix it up. Use a variety of ways to contact your retail store customers to stay top of mind.
TIP: Don’t want to do all this yourself? There are lots of really talented marketing professionals who you can hire on a project basis to set up your marketing and then either you manage it after they’ve set it up or hire them to continue managing your marketing for you.
If you’re a local retailer, do some research to find out who the real estate agents are in your town who are Top Producers (their industry term for the agents who sell the most). These Top Producers often have people who work for them handling their marketing. They also tend to have great mailing lists of neighborhoods.
Is your retail store marketing and merchandising planned to capitalize on the consumer mindset throughout the year?
The big box retailers increase sales by understanding and capitalizing on offering what consumers want throughout the year. They anticipate the consumer mindset and adjust their in-store displays and marketing to promote what will be most relevant.
Is your marketing set up to capitalize on all these seasonal marketing opportunities and the mindset of consumers during each of these months?
People are generally willing to spend more during special seasons. A key goal is to use your advertising and marketing and in-store displays to get people to buy impulsively. Once a customer has one thing to buy, they generally find other things they want too.
What’s new in retail store marketing?
Behavioral tracking and optimization coming to a retail store near you…
In-store sensors and motion trackers watch and track what you do in stores to help retailers and merchandisers optimize in-store experiences, packaging and store and shelf layout. It’s like combining Google Analytics and Microsoft’s Kinect’s motion-sensing software and using it to create usability labs in retail stores.
Retail store marketing idea: Create Brand Fans
Make sure your existing retail store customers are completely satisfied. It’s much less expensive to sell to your existing retail store customers than it is to attract new ones. Are they totally satisfied? If they are, they should be telling other people about your retail store.
Top reasons customers never return to give you repeat business:
- They have a bad experience
- They don’t feel special, important, valued
- They are not encouraged (reminded) to return or buy again
- They bought on a price off deal and don’t see the value of the full price product/service
You want to create “Brand Fans” for your retail store. Brand Fans are more than people who “like” your Facebook page. They’re the people who share positive word-of-mouth in person, through email, at events, online and also when asked for a recommendation.
Make it easy for people to tell others about your retail store…
Create 2-sided or folded business cards that have your store hours, location and website address. Hand those out to your existing customers, at trade shows or events and give them to other business owners to use to refer business to you. This is a simple and inexpensive way to promote your retail store!