10 Retail Marketing Ideas to Increase Sales
Successful retail marketing isn’t rocket science, but it’s not a walk in the park, either. Savvy shop owners know that maximizing profits means smart marketing; however, it can be challenging to devote as much time to marketing as you need in order to market more efficiently. The following lists ten retail marketing ideas to help bring increased sales and more loyal customers.
1. Track every marketing campaign
Do you know what your return on investment was for the last marketing campaign you launched? If so, was the campaign a success? Did you set specific and measurable goals? It’s important to set campaign goals and then develop mechanisms to track those goals for every marketing campaign you launch, online or off. One easy way to track? Coupons and coupon codes.
2. Free marketing opportunities
Do you work the social media sites your customers frequent? Do you place posters and flyers on community bulletin boards, or banners at busy intersections? Have you contacted other local companies who share your target customer base but do not directly compete with you to develop unique package plans in which all of you market and sell for each other? For example, your retail shop could partner with a restaurant and spa to offer a Valentine’s Day package: a gift from your shop, a trip to the spa, and dinner for two. Free marketing ideas such as these abound; and yes, you might have to pay for printing but distribution can be had for free.
Way too many retailers send a single direct-mail postcard and are disappointed by the results, never to market with postcards (or other direct-mail tools) again. That’s a mistake, because repetition sells. You’ve probably heard of the rule of seven – a customer has to see an offer seven times to buy. This doesn’t mean you need to send seven different postcards, but two or three won’t hurt, especially when used in conjunction with banners, flyers, ads, and digital marketing.
Do you follow up with your customers after they’ve made purchases? Rewarding customers for their loyalty is a great way to build relationships and earn more sales. Send new customers a special gift, such as a ten percent off coupon (which you can track), to encourage them to visit again.
5. Greet your customers
Unless you have a line at the register, take the opportunity to greet your customers, ask if there is anything you can help them find, etc. Even better, ask who they’re shopping for and what that person likes so you can make personalized suggestions, help customers find the perfect gift (for others or themselves), and become a reliable resource for the future.
6. Employee training
You probably spend a lot of time training employees how to work your register, open and close, and keep items stocked – but how much time do you devote to training employees to sell? Training employees how to sell well is just as (if not more) important for the success of your store.
7. Run tests
This is especially true for direct-mail marketing campaigns: in order to maximize your ROI, you need to test multiple versions of your marketing materials against each other to see which performs best. Pick small segments of your mailing list to test your different versions on, then send the winning version to your entire list. This is also a great strategy for email marketing and online landing pages.
Do you know what traits are shared by your three best customers? If not, it will be difficult to target the people most likely to be your most profitable customers. Find out everything you can about your very best customers to develop a customer profile; then, target your mailing lists to reach those who match those demographics. Once you have your best customers down, you can create multiple customer profiles for different types of customers for targeting purposes.
9. Build customer relationships
As noted, personal interaction with customers is a great way to establish relationships and encourage long-term customer loyalty. Take your relationship-building a step further with greeting cards, phone calls, and personalized emails.
PR and marketing might not be identical, but the end-goal is often similar: to make customers aware of your company, products, and services. When you have a new product, new sale, new hire, event, charitable contribution, or other newsworthy announcement, be sure to draft a quick press release to send to local newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, websites, and bloggers. You won’t always earn coverage, but it only takes a few minutes to write a press release and email it to media members. Getting covered just once in your local paper can be enough to boost sales.