Digital marketing and traditional advertising mediums offer fantastic opportunities to attract customers to your stores. However, a secret tool converts customers once they arrive: in-store marketing.
What Is In-store Marketing?
In-store marketing strategies focus on leveraging the customer’s in-store experience to promote brand and product awareness. Retailers use these strategies and tactics to attract customers and drive sales and traffic.
In-store marketing allows brands to reach out to one of the most highly engaged prospects they will ever have in their store. It manages the customer experience, dictates how visitors engage with their surroundings, and eventually drives in-store customers to make purchases.
What are the 4 main marketing strategies?
Retail marketing has four key components, also known as the “4 Ps”: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion. Tracking these components and ensuring that they all work together is essential to any marketing initiative.
Here are some tips about in-store marketing strategies to help you gain user trust and grow your retail business.
1. Develop Curb Appeal
A high-quality and well-designed window display tells customers that you have quality and interesting products in your store.
Window displays are a great way to grab the attention of people walking or driving by your store and draw them in. You can show off some of your best-selling merchandise and represent your brand in an exciting and creative way. When creating a storefront, choose a theme that resonates with shoppers, like a holiday or seasonal. Choose complementary colors and lighting and arrange your display at different heights and depths to make it visually appealing.
Curbside displays, like window displays, attempt to capture foot traffic as people pass by your shop. You may upsell customers by emphasizing package deals for additional savings, promoting seasonal products they can try, and highlighting the features of your lesser-known selections. It is easy to market to customers and drive sales with clearly displayed and labeled storefront or digital signage.
2. In-Store Merchandising
In-store visual merchandising includes everything from window displays and product displays to your cash wrap and retail POS system. The idea is to organize your retail displays to draw attention to them and inspire customers to make a purchase. such as
- Showcase your new and seasonal products at the entrance
- Signs on promoting your special deals, like a buy-one-get-one offer
- Put your fastest-selling items toward the back, so customers need to walk past and see all of your other merchandise.
- Highlight impulse buys at checkout.
3. Create a Comfortable Environment
Customers who stay longer in a store spend more money. Create a comfortable retail environment to encourage shoppers to relax and take their time. If you sell clothing, create accessible and well-lit fitting rooms and comfortable seats for friends and family to wait.
Offer Free WIFI – Free WiFi is one of the easiest ways to connect with customers in your store. Customers receive your marketing messages when they log in, allowing you to promote the various products and services offered.
Leverage experiential marketing – Experiential marketing turns the shopping process into an experience rather than a transaction. Retail stores create salons and set up tutorials for shoppers to try out. They may also add games and activities to your waiting room or change how your employees interact with customers. Good experiences result in positive reviews and increased sales from happy customers.
4. Boost In-Store Brand Engagement
Encourage customers to check in and share to increase in-store brand engagement. For example, retailers can ask shoppers to follow their social media channels, reach out to customers for surveys (set up a few interactive touchscreens by the exit or ask an employee to survey people before they leave), offer discounts for customer reviews or for checking out your business on social media and host a giveaway contest for a chance to win a seasonal product bundle. This will show that you’re listening while also offering coupons to keep customers coming back to your business.
Sell Custom Products – In addition to differentiating you from your competitors, custom products create unique and memorable experiences for your customers. For example, encourage personalization, selling private or white label products, and building brand equity through private labels.
5. In-store or virtual events
You can host events inside your stores. In-store events can do wonders when bringing more foot traffic into the store. Virtual events have become a popular technique to bring people together to keep customers safe and honor social distancing protocols. You may host events through video conferencing software and invite people to see your latest products from the comfort of their own homes. You can connect your brand to your community and a cause by arranging a charitable event that includes a donation. This is an effective way to give back while building your store’s positive reputation.
6. Create a Pricing Strategy
Product pricing is another critical component of your retail strategy.
Consider Your Market Position – Conduct a competitor analysis to see how others price their products. Speaking with your customers also gives you valuable qualitative insights into how to structure your pricing.
Use Promotional Pricing – Many businesses use promotional or sale pricing to attract traffic and sales. Discounted prices can leave small businesses with low-profit margins, but they can effectively attract customers or move merchandise. Seasonal sales discounts and coupons are popular promotional pricing strategies for retailers.
Use digital displays to show important information such as offers and discounts and announcements like sales, special offers, store-related information, store guide, etc.
7. Stay Connected with Customers
When developing your retail strategy, it’s vital to consider how you’ll remain in touch with customers after the transaction. Email marketing is one of the most straightforward methods to stay connected. You can get customers’ contact information at the point of transaction using a modern point-of-sale system and keep up with them after the sale.
Provide Valuable Information to Customers –
Make sure you provide the right information to customers and position yourself as an expert in the field. This way, your customers can turn to your brand, which increases sales and traffic.
Share Audio Messages with Shoppers – Overhead messaging is a powerful in-store marketing tool to discuss upcoming events and promotion opportunities. Because of the nature of audio, everyone will be aware of the information, even if they aren’t looking at your store signage or talking to one of your employees.
Make Your Entertainment Related to Your Brand – make sure the content is relevant to your brand and supports your overall vision.
Referral programs are a powerful retail marketing approach because shoppers trust recommendations from people they know. Providing incentives for customers to refer their friends can bring in high-value traffic and encourage repeat purchases from both. One popular method is to give a coupon to customers and their friends if they successfully refer someone. You may promote your referral and loyalty programs online and in-store.
Loyalty programs are a smart promotional idea for retail stores to show their appreciation for repeat customers. Using your retail platform to pull purchase history and customer data can help you create more customized promotions. One-thirds of retail customers say that they only engage with personalized messaging.
You may also consider using different platforms for your loyalty programs, such as email, social media, and SMS text messaging. By giving customers a choice in how they can be contacted, you also show that you are attentive to their preferences.
8. Partnerships and collaborations
Partnering with other local businesses or local charities is a great way to expand your reach and connect with new audience members.
Create Additional Sales Channels – Retailers can also use local businesses to create additional sales channels. Work with other companies so that when they host events, you can sell your products in their stores. Get involved with the local Chamber of Commerce and other organizations in town to learn about sales and purchasing opportunities at community events. Being present within your community outside of your store will organically spread awareness about your business and boost name recognition.
Wholesale Products to Other Retailers – If you create custom or private label products, consider selling those products to other local businesses.
9. Turn Your Staff into Marketers
You can create an unforgettable, personal customer experience and generate more sales and traffic with the right sales staff.
Provide the Right Training – It is essential to train your staff in advanced sales techniques, inventory, and hard and soft skill development. Make sure everyone is aware of your latest promotions and store updates so they can share them with your customers. If they do, they will be able to sell for you, guiding customers to the products they are looking for and even pointing out the ones they were not looking for.
Well-trained store associates, especially if they have access to an advanced retail platform that displays information about customers, will be able to spot potential add-on purchases, leveraging cross-selling and upselling to increase the overall purchase value. They’ll be excited about your brand and products, so your customers will be too.
Arm Staff with the Right Tools – Equip your staff with the right sales tools such as a mobile POS to help them feel more confident and boost sales instead of just answering questions and maintaining the space. With mobile point of sale, they can walk around the sales floor and meet customers wherever they are. When customers have questions, they can look for answers on the spot.
10. Analyze & Optimize Your Efforts
You’ll never know whether your retail marketing plan is working until you track it.
Analyze Customer Foot Traffic – analyze how people experience your setup; you need to monitor foot traffic. For tracking, you can use free customer WiFi. This analysis varies in complexity; however, some retail stores provide sensors that monitor foot traffic and use this data to create heatmaps of your store layout.
You can precisely measure, track, and interpret sales, employee, and customer data with retail data analysis to better understand your business and refine your retail marketing strategy.
When you choose a retail marketing strategy that makes sense for your brand, you’ll be able to invest your budget wisely in in-store and online promotions that work for you. Having different touchpoints makes you more discoverable and accessible to your customers.
When planning your overall marketing strategy, don’t forget to optimize your employee scheduling for the best results. All retail stores have a handful of sales employees who are top performers. Make use of scheduling tools and store data to ensure you always have at least one experienced, high-performing employee in your store.