Do you have a marketing strategy in place for your retail business?
If not, you’re not alone. Many businesses still view each marketing tactic as their own segment and don’t also look at the bigger picture.
But when you take a step back and look at everything you're doing, you’ll see that there are many areas that these tactics intersect. This might not sound like a big deal, but when you think about how these tactics could work together to build a more comprehensive experience, it just makes sense.
It takes the average shopper nine or more touch points before they commit to making a purchase and having a well-thought-out retail marketing strategy can make each of those touchpoints more effective.
So rather than sending a one-off email every couple of weeks, you can send an email to customers based on their interactions with your brand in-store, on your website, or even through social media and other channels.
Having a strategy in place will help you take your marketing to the next level. In this article, we’ll take a look at why you should build out a marketing strategy and a few tips to help get you started.
Here’s a quick overview of what we’ll cover throughout this article:
- The importance of having a retail marketing strategy
- How cross channel marketing can benefit you
- Why you should integrate digital into the in-store experience
- How user-generated content can expand your marketing efforts
If you don’t already have a retail marketing strategy in place, you may be wondering why it’s so important. You’re probably already implementing a number of marketing tactics to help bring customers to your store and website, so what’s the difference?
Well, it all comes down to understanding what a marketing strategy is and how it can benefit you.
Defining a strategy for your brand will allow you to have a clear path on how all of your marketing tactics work together to build a comprehensive experience. It allows you to identify ways to stand out and separate yourself from the competition while building a loyal customer network.
Developing a marketing strategy takes a variety of things into account. From understanding your current efforts and performance to determining what steps you’ll take next. Image courtesy of Business2Community.
The retail marketing world is a competitive one. It’s no longer just about the in-store experience and marketing to customers through print pieces mailed to their homes. To stay competitive, you need to build a cross-channel, all-inclusive retail marketing strategy.
That means thinking outside the physical store and embracing the digital world around us. Your mind probably jumps straight to social media and email marketing, but to stay ahead of the competition, you’ll need to take it even a step further.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few different things you can build into your strategy to help your brand stand out and appeal to more customers.
When it’s time to start building out your strategy, take it one step at a time. You don’t have to get in over your head by trying to implement every single option out there. Take what you currently have and start building off of that. Little by little, you’ll start to see how having a well-thought-out strategy will quickly benefit your brand.
Cross channel marketing is a great option when starting out with your retail marketing strategy. That’s because you’re likely already doing a number of different marketing efforts, this simply means bringing them together to create a more strategic way.
The idea of cross channel marketing is to build a seamless experience across multiple channels to help move a customer through the sales funnel.
Remember when we said it takes a total of nine touchpoints before most customers make a purchase? That’s why building a seamless cross channel marketing experience should be a big part of your strategy. Image courtesy of ClickZ.
That means it could start in-store when a customer texts to join your SMS subscription list and ends when they’ve been served a product recommendation via email weeks later. Each customer will have their own individual path based on their behaviors and interactions with your brand.
Here are just a few ways you can easily integrate cross channel marketing into your retail strategy:
- In-store signage to promote your SMS and email subscriptions
- Sending predictive product recommendations via email and digital ads based on user browsing behavior
- Remind customers about a product they left in their cart on their social media channels
It all happens with the help of customer data and analytics. Having the ability to understand how customers are interacting, what their current behaviors are, and what actions they may take next allows you to serve them with the right content, in the right place.
Have you noticed that in-store shopping is becoming more digital than ever before?
That’s because, in recent years, more brands are investing in their physical locations to help bring them into the digital world. In fact, some companies are planning to spend up to 50% of their budget on-brand experience — that’s pretty significant.
The in-store experience is something many retail executives are planning to invest in. Stay ahead of the curve and integrate it into your marketing strategy. Image courtesy of SlideShare.
But what does it really mean to integrate digital into the in-store experience?
It’s more than just adding TVs and monitors running ads throughout your store. It’s about creating a full experience for your customers. By finding a unique way to share your products you can help your customers through their purchasing decision.
Here are a few examples of how you can utilize digital in your physical store locations:
- Use VR technology to immerse your customers in a digital world to experience your products
- Add touch screens throughout your store to allow customers to engage in interactive games, create custom designs, or search for an item they had their eye on
- Install interactive mirrors in dressing rooms that allow customers to easily request new sizes and see what their outfit would look like in different lights or backgrounds
Once a customer has engaged with your in-store technology, they can then provide you with their email address or phone number to continue interacting with your brand. From there, you can then start utilizing your cross channel marketing efforts to build a connection and move them through the sales funnel.
Having a strategy in place allows you to see where these connections appear and let you take full advantage of all avenues you can reach your customers.
User-generated content is a great way to bring your customers along and create a more personalized marketing experience.
User-generated content is now trusted more than other media outlets. That means your customers are turning towards user-generated content to learn more about the products and brands they are interested in purchasing from. Image courtesy of Business2Community.
Ninety two percent of consumers trust organic user-generated content more than traditional advertising. That’s because for many customers, seeing content that was produced by real people allows them to see the products in a more realistic environment. This can help them build a stronger connection with the brand and feel more comfortable purchasing their products.
The great thing about user-generated content for brands is that you don’t have to do anything to create the content. Simply engage with the customers who are already talking about your brand and ask them permission to use their content.
Not sure what types of things that would qualify a user-generated content? Here are a few examples of content you can promote:
- Social media posts
- Blog reviews
With user-generated content, the possibilities are endless. If you have a large following that is loyal and frequently shares their positive experience with your brand, user-generated content is a great option to expand your retail strategy.
So, how do your current marketing efforts stand up?
If you haven’t already taken the time to build out a comprehensive marketing strategy, now’s the time to start. Companies across all industries are starting to jump on board with cross channel marketing, digital in-store experiences, and using more user-generated content.
Break the status quo and take a risk. By starting to implement these and building a strategy around how they all work together will put you ahead of the competition. You’ll find that the investment will be well worth it in the long run.