Every small business owner needs a marketing strategy. And when it comes to a retail business, they need to be particular. They do not have the advantages of a wholesale business, but they surely can do very well in a short span. Being conscious and strategic is the key, and you can form a concrete retail marketing strategy easily.
To help you out in this concern, we have listed out the best retail marketing strategies. Some of these are even applicable to wholesale and medium-sized businesses, and we are sure these will help you. So, let us begin.
1. Understand the difference between marketing and promotions
Business owners are confused between the terms, and as a result, they carry out the processes in a weird fashion. They promote while they think they are marketing. As a result, the outcomes are not expected, and the marketing budget goes overboard. Marketing is an activity that you indulge in to bring the product to customers’ attention. It is used to introduce your product and increase its demand for the customers. On the other hand, promotion is an act when you introduce the need for the product in the customers’ minds.
2. Build a sales funnel
Without a sales funnel, you will be marketing with no sales results. There is a deeper connection between marketing and sales. When you market the products or services, you don’t generate sales directly but, first, create a sense of trust in the customers’ minds. The customer feels the need to trust you and then purchase the product. Yes, it is the hard-earned money of the customers, and they cannot afford to spend it on someone whom they don’t trust. Hence, when you prepare a retail marketing strategy, ensure that you create trust in the customers’ minds and then expect sales.
Similarly, a sales funnel is a mandatory requirement in a marketing strategy. You need to build the components of the sales funnel. But before that, get into the basics, learn the definition and learn more about it.
3. Select a target audience
Retail marketing is audience-specific; you can shoot bullets in the air randomly without the knowledge of the audience. You need to select your target market based on several factors such as demographics, psychological factors, geographic elements, and so on. You need to study your neighbourhood as you would be serving there and not selling to a far-away continent. Hence, dig into your surroundings as much as possible, analyse the revenue potential, market size, existing competitive forces, and then form a marketing strategy.
4. Get local and vocal
Yes. If you run the business operations as per the slogan set by PM Narendra Modi, “Local me vocal,” you are in a win-win situation. Since online marketing has become much easier, business owners tend to underestimate the power of local marketing. Hence, our suggestion is to spread the word about your new business amongst your friends and relatives. They could be your first customer, spread brand image to others, and with no marketing costs at all. Moreover, as you seek feedback on your products and services, you can tweak them instantly and improvise for further sales to a larger audience.
5. Be a part of local listings and network groups
Gone are the days of yellow pages, but we can still find local listings and network groups such as Quora, FB business groups, and others. All these need to be on your marketing agenda as you can reach the maximum target audience easily. It is an advantage for small owners as they don’t have to break the current bank to list their products or services or market on network groups. The read is good, and yes, you might even seek a chance to collaborate with other brands.
6. Implement content marketing tactics
Once you are done vocalising your business locally, you can get into content marketing. Of course, as the name suggests, it is a kind of marketing through various content types. And yes, thanks to digital technology, these can be done even for free.
7. Try paid marketing (but after all, the free marketing is done)
Paid marketing involves running digital campaigns, executing Facebook ads, and other paid types of advertisements on social media channels.
8. Choose an appropriate merchandising strategy
Have you ever visited a local chemist? Of course, you had. You must have noticed that in addition to the regular medicines, he also stores all the medicines prescribed by the local doctors, specific to that area. Yes, that is how you need to formulate a merchandising strategy. As a retailer, you need to store products and supply services that are local to that area. The customers demand something, and you need to be capable of fulfilling their expectations.
9. Include customer service standards in the marketing strategy.
There is no product without an effective customer support plan. You can include several customer services such as home delivery, loyalty coupons, credit facility, return policy, installation (for certain goods), teleshopping or online order placement, etc. A properly developed customer service plan is inclusive of such aspects to attract and retain clients.
10. Select the right location
When it comes to retail business, location is a critical aspect. Depending upon the type of products you sell, you need to choose a feasible location. It could be a residential area or a mall, or a lively place in the heart of the city. Moreover, you need to build a store or a shop with a nice and attractive ambience. People don’t prefer to step into clumsy stores; they always choose something that is attractive, well-lit, and has a huge variety of items.
In conclusion, the above marketing strategies are a must for a retail business in India. You can tweak them a bit or adopt more, depending upon your type of business. The point is to be aware when you draft a marketing plan, or else you might have to spend money unnecessarily.
Infographic created by Clover, a retail POS system company