These days, most products and services are oversupplied in proportion to the demand for them. In this sort of environment, creative marketing makes the difference in whether a retail store will succeed or fail. If you’re either running a retail store or thinking of starting one soon, these six creative marketing ideas will give you an edge — enabling you to attract returning customers, and to sell more products.
1. Create a Mobile-Friendly Website for Your Business
You might already have a website for your store, but is it a responsive website? With mobile traffic becoming increasingly more important for driving both website visits and online sales, it’s critical for retailers to consider the needs of their visitors who arrive using smartphones and tablets.
2. Drive Repeat Business With Email Marketing
If your customers visit your retail store, you can invite them to sign your guest book. If they visit your store’s website, you can encourage them to sign up for your email list.
Then be sure to use your email list to communicate with your visitors about anything you want them to know — new products, discounts, seasonal sales, and store events. You can also email them ideas for making the most of the products and services your store sells. You could even host a contest, game or giveaway that’s exclusively for your email newsletter subscribers.
Develop a set schedule for sending out emails. For many businesses, weekly emails work well. With a set schedule in place, many of your customers will look forward to receiving their newsletters.
3. Sell More Products With Creative In-Store Marketing
When my friend used to work in a shoe store, she noticed that her best-selling shoes for the day were always the style that she happened to be wearing.
If your store sells clothing, accessories, or beauty products, motivate your employees to wear your products to work. Nothing sells products better than endorsements. When your customers see other people wearing the products, it’s a powerful motivator. Don’t underestimate this sort of influence as an effective way to drive sales.
For marketing other sorts of products, in-store product demonstrations are effective.
For inexpensive items, free samples can also drive incremental sales and impulse purchases. This is a particularly effective strategy for retail sales of food products, where free samples can motivate shoppers to pick up a couple of extra packages on their way to the checkout line. It’s also good for small-ticket items like pens, or shopping bags imprinted with your logo.
4. Blog About Things That Matter to Your Customers
Create an informative blog that your readers would find helpful and interesting. Update it frequently with posts your customers will look forward to.
An example: If your retail business sells cosmetics, beauty tips and product tie-ins would be of interest to your customers. Makeup application tutorials would also help you sell more cosmetics; be sure to remind your visitors that your store is the best place to purchase the items they see pictured in each tutorial.
Also, be sure to follow up each tutorial or tip with an invitation to sign up for your email list, or an invitation to visit your store.
5. Engage Your Customers Using Social Media
You can use sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr and Pinterest to engage your customers and potential customers. These are great platforms for answering people’s questions about your niche, and also for inviting them to your store and / or your website. For more info on how to build a robust social media strategy check out our previously published articles – Part 1 and Part 2.
6. Use Content Marketing to Overcome Your Customers’ Objections
For example, let’s say your company specialises in selling silk furnishings. Your typical customer’s main objection: She’s not confident of her abilities to properly care for the silk. So, she’s reluctant to buy, because she’s scared she’ll ruin her new piece, and her money will have been wasted.
You can overcome this objection by empowering her to care for her own silk furnishings, and educating her about how to do it.
- Create an email class on caring for silk furnishings, and invite potential customers to sign up.
- Create articles for your website about how to care for each type of product sold in your store.
- Host in-store events where an instructor demonstrates how to care for your store’s offerings.
- Give your customers coupons for several local dry cleaners; be sure to negotiate with the cleaners separately, asking them to promote your store’s materials as well.
So now you’re updated about six different ways you can incorporate email marketing, in-store marketing, social media marketing and content marketing into your business strategies. Consider these six creative ideas for driving more sales and more repeat visitors to your retail store.