Retail marketing tips and tricks

7 min read
Mallika Krishnamoorthy

Looking to improve your in-store marketing and increase sales? In a customer-centric culture, a retail store is akin to tiny fish in gigantic seas. There are many stores to shop at. So how do you ensure that your retail shop stands out despite stiff competition? Here are a few tips in retail marketing that could boost sales.

10 retail marketing ideas

Retail is a very competitive segment. Here are 10 good ideas to generate sales.

  1. Consistent branding.
  2. Your retail store window.
  3. Train your staff.
  4. Know your market.
  5. Events and promotions.
  6. Keep it moving!
  7. Social media.
  8. Motivate your staff.
  9. New retail store?
  10. Be geography-specific.

Select two or three strategies from our list to focus on and then add others as you have time.

1. Consistent branding

Our first tip on retail marketing is fundamental. What exactly distinguishes you from the other retailers? Simply put, why should a customer walk into your store and not someone else’s? What do you stand for? How can those values be translated into a signature brand?

Your brand is everything people associate with your business: colours, images — even how they’re treated in your store or on the phone.

When customers notice an end-to-end synergy, they begin trusting you. Trust goes a long way in creating repeat customers.

Draw attention to your difference

Perhaps impeccable customer service is your claim to fame. Ensure that it translates into treating customers as valued guests. Pamper them with a few luxuries to help them relax while they make their purchases. Once the customer realizes that your store is a treasure house, they won’t mind going that extra mile, if need be, to stop by.

Remember, service without quality is never effective. If you have excellent customer service and poor-quality products, one may make one purchase feeling obligated, but you may never see them again! Remember, it’s end-to-end.

2. Your retail store window

Retail Marketing Hermes Shop Window

Let’s assume you have a store in a mall. A mall may ensure greater footfall. However, people may simply walk past without even giving your store a glance. Here is the main reason — was there anything eye-catching in your store window?

Your store window is the first impression for a potential customer and we know what first impressions create!

A few tips:

  • Include a variety of products in harmonious colors with one or two color pops to draw attention.
  • Use the average eye level to display your most attractive product (like an exclusive jewellery piece).
  • Change the theme every other day to pique the curiosity of passersby.

If potential customers walk past your store, they must stop; stand arrested in rapt attention, and make that crucial decision to step inside.

3. Train your staff

Your staff must be trained to study a client from a distance. Asking too many questions may seem intrusive, and may push a potential customer into saying ‘Oh, I’m just looking around,’ while they may have had an initial intent to purchase.

But some genuinely need assistance. Instead of ‘How may I help you?’ maybe ‘Are you looking for something?’ may seem more focused.

Train staff to be polite, patient, precise and prepared.

By prepared, the staff must be ready to provide additional information on any product. They must be intelligent enough to suggest a different product at appropriate moments without creating discomfort.

The staff must enrich a client’s experience with subtle gestures of help. This will truly set you apart in their eyes.

4. Know your market

Stay abreast of the latest developments in your field. Study your competitor; know their products, so that you have comparison points ready to show how your product is superior to others in the market.

Tip: Sign up and attend key business forums to stay updated and network.

5. Events and promotions

These are very important to enhance brand value and spread awareness. Choose festivals and important occasions to declare discounts or distribute coupon codes on your products.

It’s worth organizing a public event such as a fashion show in a mall, if you own a garment retail store.

You could sponsor a sports event or invite a celebrity to your store to mark an important milestone. Keep it busy, keep it happening! A local celebrity is perfect to create a buzz.

Tip: Organize a karaoke contest or surprise a few clueless onlookers with gift hampers of your products inside!

6. Keep it moving!

It’s smart to create a unique style for your store. This helps your client to identify with the ambience and develop a relationship with your business. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t rearrange stuff within.

Retail Marketing Mens Retail Display

Store segments can be rotated based on the season. Feel free to move things around, but not often enough to break the overall rhythm. The idea is to excite customers with a sense of freshness but not tire them out in the process.

Always keep clear sign boards for quick direction on various store segments.

Tip: Sometimes a store puts a handbag section right next to the fitting rooms while the clothes section is far away, just to give the store a brand new look. We need to stay practical and not inconvenience customers.

7. Social media

Digital marketing is the buzzword today. Invest in a good website and make a simple digital marketing plan for your retail store. This could include:

  • Buying ads on Facebook
  • Posting stories regularly on Instagram

If you’re offering a discount towards Christmas, allow for excitement to build by offering bigger discounts as you get closer to Christmas to encourage customers to purchase.

End-of-season sale is another opportunity to boost sales. Display trendy products, and force your customer to buy before the sale period ends. Advertise on social media, to make people aware.

Tip: Build the excitement by putting up a large stop clock ticker outside your store, displaying time before the sale ends.

8. Motivate your staff

Keep staff motivated by offering incentives, a friendly chat and appreciation for good work done. Advice is valued, especially when given by a caring boss. Connect with employees whenever possible.

Happy employees work harder and are more loyal. This translates to dedicated work and happy customers.

9. New retail store?

Get the word out and start with discounts and promotions to push your products out into the market. Let the masses experience your brand first. The idea is to get more people to shop at your store and spread the word around.

10. Be geography-specific

Apprise yourself of the culture and traditions prevailing around your store. For your products to gain popularity, they must be acceptable to the local community.

In store marketing takes planning

Retail Marketing Woman with Clipboard

The key to retail marketing success is to plan ahead. Create targets, prepare and achieve. Revisit and realign periodically. Draw out immediate, quarterly and annual goals.

There will be glitches and setbacks — learn your lesson quick, apply and move forward.

Also, have a vision for a slightly distant future. Where would you like to go five years down the line? Plan your long-term objectives. Keep moving!

Many of the retail marketing strategies listed here may appear as obvious, but implementation, attention to detail and follow-up are a prerequisite for success. The journey of an entrepreneur is full of lessons and the ones in marketing are worth learning!

Products Used