Retailers face tough competition in almost any economic climate. In uncertain times, stores need to test different online and offline retail marketing strategies to find those that yield the most profits. This could require an investment in both time and money that some business owners don’t care to make. On the other hand, it’s important for retailers to do everything they can to communicate to potential customers, no matter the economic situation.
If the same old advertising strategies aren’t working as well as they used to, it might be time to test out some new ones. These ideas can help retain old customers and attract new ones:
1. Launch an App
Today’s consumers spend a lot of time on their mobile phones. Imagine how well a retail store could improve their brand recognition by having their icon displayed on a consumer’s screen every time their phone gets used? In addition, store apps provide retailers with a great opportunity to make a direct connection with current customers and potential customers.
These apps can be used to send messages about specials, run loyalty programs, and even to buy products or purchase services. Mobile apps for retailers have the ability to help bring in new customers and keep old ones loyal.
2. Educate Your Audience
A retail store could provide resources about their product. This nurtures your audience into buyers. For instance, hardware stores could hold a webinar to help their customers learn to seal windows and doors against drafts. Outdoor sports retailers could upload a YouTube video that teaches young people how to surf. Handmade soap retailers could publish a blog about the health benefits of using additive-free soap.
3. Grow a List
Stores can certainly benefit by gathering contact information from current customers and potential customers. Retailers can solicit this information in order to build a mailing list, email list, or even a text messaging list. This gives the store a way to directly communicate special offers or just provide helpful resources relevant to the customer. As long as the list subscribers find the information valuable, the business has a good chance to profit.
It’s also possible to establish two-way communication to customers this way, which gives the retailer a chance to offer better customer service and please more customers. When a business develops a connection with customers, they can enjoy more brand loyalty.
4. Sponsor a Good Cause
Certainly, companies sponsor worthy causes because the owners hope to improve their surrounding communities. However, it’s fair to say that they may also visibly support some events and charities out of enlightened self-interest. Community members who support a cause that a business sponsors are likely to view that company in a positive way.
When those local consumers need products that a sponsoring retailer sells, there is a good chance they will decide to patronize a company that they view as supporting the same things that they support. An investment in a good cause can therefore be a great marketing investment as well.
5. Hold a Contest
Who doesn’t like to win free stuff? Retailers hold contests because they can offer a variety of benefits. For instance, contest entries can provide a great incentive for people to sign up for a mailing or email list. They can also attract people to a social networking page and even get them to share news about that page to their own social circles.
Retailers can use information about the contest to generate some buzz and provide content for blogs and social networks. They can also draw more attention to print advertisements. An investment in some attractive prizes can also help increase sales of those products in the future.
How You Can Revamp Your Retail Marketing Efforts
Successful retailers know that marketing is key to letting consumers know about their products and services. In addition to awareness, retail businesses need to highlight the positive aspects of doing business with their retail store versus that of a competitor. These are large feats, meaning that it may take some testing and tuning to maximize profits from a retail marketing investment.
In order to take advantage of innovative retail marketing strategies such as the ones mentioned above, retail business owners may need to consider flexible funding options that will allow them to pursue new marketing tactics. In addition to business funding, retail business owners should practice financial management in order to ensure they are making the most of their resources while staying within their budget. Finally, having a solid business plan that includes provisions for marketing can help retail businesses ensure that their marketing efforts are not only original, but specifically focused on their current and future customers.
About the Author: Below is a guest post from Kabbage. Jami Schwartz is in charge of content at Kabbage. Kabbage helps small businesses get the funding they need to grow. Through a fully automated, online platform, businesses can link their latest business data, allowing us to review the overall health of their business to approve and provide lines of credit up to $150,000 in minutes.