In the infamous flop Elizabethtown, Orlando Bloom’s character explains the difference between a failure and a fiasco. A failure is the absence of success, but a fiasco is a disaster of mythic proportions. He is discussing a product he’s attempting to market that eventually destroys his career.
The world of retail marketing strategy has never been more complex, always branching out. With companies like Amazon, however, it’s becoming harder and harder to compete. It’s always important to find an edge, a niche so as not to be eclipsed by tech giants. From your website to your little mom and pop store, you need to find an angle that will set you apart from the massive, all-encompassing monoliths of retail.
Here are five popular types of retail marketing strategy plans:
1. Signs and Displays
If your store or website is already set up, start with the raw materials. For stores, make use of the location. Signs outside on the curb can attract customers. Set up displays of the most desirable products in the front of the store so customers immediately see what they’re looking for. One might consider telling a story with their retail POP displays, sticking to a particular theme that makes some sort of vague narrative.
Changing the displays to match the season is always a popular retail marketing strategy, highlighting Christmas-like items in December and spreading fake dead leaves around in the fall.
2. Social Media
Never neglect social media as part of your retail marketing strategy. It’s become one of the most significant, driving forces in retail. There are three major platforms every company should use – Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. All three can be used to promote events or sales at your place of business. Twitter can also be utilized in the same fashion, tastefully or amusingly chiming in on popular hashtags. Anything it takes to get noticed online is worthwhile.
Unfortunately, when it comes to Facebook, you’re going to have to invest. Last year, Mark Zuckerberg said they were going to prioritize newsfeeds to focus on friends and family posts, decreasing visibility of your advertisements. But the investment will surely pay off.
Start a Facebook group, invite friends and family and other local businesses to join. But the key here is always to be active. The less you make a reader feel like you’re trying to shamelessly promote yourself, the better, so try and make it as personal as possible.
Instagram posts can’t just be random shots of your store. It’s important to establish an aesthetic theme, much like window displays, and stick to it.
3. Retail Partnerships
Connecting with other local businesses can be very beneficial. If you’re located in a mall or a plaza, ask the conjoining stores to offer coupons to their customers. The advantage here is you’re grabbing an audience who can stop by right away.
Become friendly with other stores that cater to the same clientele as you. Together, perhaps you can organize a drive or a charity. Staying active in the actual community can be as useful as the digital one.
It’s always important to remain locally relevant, so paying attention to events around the community and getting involved in them – be it a fair, a tragedy, an election – will show customers that you care about them.
4. Influencer Marketing
Consider the Fyre Festival. For those not in the know, Fyre was a heavily marketed, deluxe, exclusive music festival that was supposed to take place on one of Pablo Escobar’s former private island, with guests paying through the nose to stay in fancy villas throughout. It was a disaster – poorly executed, a shortage of bathrooms – and it led to rioting and the eventual arrest of the organizer for fraud.
The reason it sold so many tickets, however, is worthy of note. Popular models were photographed on yachts promoting the festival and one of the key players – Ja Rule – talked about it like it would be the next Woodstock.
The retail marketing strategy lesson here is never promise what you can’t deliver, but if you’re going to deliver it, use key influencers to talk up your business. A mere mention of your business from a key influencer can drive up profits.
5. Special Events
The popularity of Amazon has led to the decline of the American mall. So, you need to find a good excuse for people even to leave the house. Organize events and have special in-store discounts. Lululemon has this down to an art form, offering free Yoga classes for customers.
In short, the more reason for a customer to get off his or her couch and come in to your store, the more likely your store’s popularity will grow.