Setting an Unbeatable In-Store Marketing Strategy

in-store marketing strategies
Flora Delaney on January 13, 2014 - 9:08 am in Marketing, Retail Shop

Setting a store strategy that is compelling, executable, and strong will help you stand out from your competition and truly shine. Here are a few tips on how to pick the best in-store marketing strategy for you.

To begin, keep the five core store strategies below in mind. The best retailers won’t try to maximize all of them. Instead, they select one or two and focus entirely on using them to stand apart from the competition. Once you select one main strategy to prioritize and execute competitively, your competition will quickly view you as a force to be reckoned with!

For example, Walmart differentiates entirely on price, Nordstrom on service and Walgreens on convenience. Walmart makes its decisions on providing products to its customers at the lowest possible price, while Target focuses on an ever-changing fashion and housewares assortment. This is why the two can coexist in a very similar retail niche. By staying focused on one key strategy, you can differentiate your store from the competition and win.

Five In-Store Marketing Strategies:

Assortment – Your shop will not be beaten on product assortment. This doesn’t mean you have to carry every single product type. You create a unique assortment by carrying only premium, eco-conscious, or locally sourced items, for example. An assortment strategy means focusing on the needs of the home-based business, the creative design community or the price-point shopper. Evaluate every product in your store against your strategy and justify its inventory by meeting the needs of your targeted shoppers.

Convenience – Your shop will be the most convenient place to purchase what you carry. To execute this strategy, you might offer extended hours, delivery service, kiosk locations, online shopping, scheduled automatic orders, or other services. Your strategy is to make customers choose your store first because of how easy you make it for them to do business with you.

Service – Your shop has the friendliest, most knowledgeable employees in the market. You create relationships with your customers that no one else can replicate. You develop and reward your employees with training and an enviable pay rate to retain the best talent available. You encourage your employees to provide exceptional service. Your customers know that you authentically care for them and have their best interests at heart.

Price – Your shop has unbeatable prices. You have a reliable price strategy and your customers know that you offer true value and price products fairly. Your customers save money when they shop at your store. Oftentimes, this strategy uses a price-matching guarantee to ensure you will always have the lowest price.

Experience – Your store is a wonderland and a community – not just a store. Perhaps you offer free classes on the latest technology, let scrapbooking clubs use your location for meetings, bring in business speakers or have an onsite coffee house. Customers see your store as much more than just a place to shop. They see it as a destination to learn from and be with like-minded people.

With your top store strategy in mind, strive to be reasonably comparable on the four other strategies. However, let your main strategy guide you in all of your other retailing decisions. For example, if your main strategy is convenience, you may need to invest in an ecommerce website before remodeling your customer lounge.

Once you have selected a main marketing strategy, evaluate it from a competitive framework.. This could mean establishing exclusivity agreements with your niche product vendors or a real estate lease that is below market allowing your prices to  be lower than your competition while still remaining profitable. Think about how you could build a model that your competitors couldn’t affordably replicate.

Your main store strategy can also help you prioritize decisions about your store’s location, promotional depth and frequency, inventory levels, delivery schedules and operating hours. Consistently communicate with your employees and customers what differentiates your store from your competition. Your store marketing materials, store name and brand promise should support your strategy. For example, your claim to fame might be: “Delivery on time or it’s free,” “The city’s widest assortment of handmade candies,” or “The lowest prices on greeting card products.” Whatever it is, repeat it often, so your customers (who may only encounter you two to three times per year) have your message top of mind when they are ready to make their next purchase.

Allow your main focus to guide all your decisions. You don’t have to be everything to everyone. There is no shop that can successfully focus on all five strategies without leading to market confusion . So once you select your store’s strategy, stay true to it, and you’ll be on your way to success!


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