A Guide To Successful Retail Marketing Strategies For Small Business

When it comes to a company’s retail marketing strategy, most successful businesses are continually refining that strategy, searching for new and innovative initiatives that they can add to their retail marketing strategy, as well as, removing any strategies that are not providing enough return-on-investment. A process that a lot of companies employ is to start working on the coming year’s marketing plan in Q4 of the current year. This way they will have their retail marketing strategy in place right at the beginning of the next year.

Below we will talk about the following topics in our Guide to Retail Marketing Strategy:

  1. Questions To Ask When Building A Retail Marketing Strategy.
  2. Tips for Attracting Customers To Your Store.
  3. How To Engage With Customers In-Store.

Questions To Ask When Creating Your Retail Marketing Strategy

Throughout the year they are implementing their strategies and tactics, collecting and analyzing data from those strategies and tactics, researching potential new ideas for next year, and ultimately honing everything so that they can make informed decisions in regards to keeping, evolving, or removing, strategies and tactics for the next year. This is a cycle that gets repeated year in and year out. As companies go through the year, they should be asking themselves three very important questions in regards to their retail marketing strategy, if they truly want to be successful. Here are those three questions:

  1. Are Shoppers Fully Engaged with Our Brand When In Our Store?
  2. What New Technologies Can Be Integrated Into Our Retail Marketing Strategy?
  3. How Can We Enhance Our Retail Marketing Strategy to Grow Sales?
  4. Are Shoppers Fully Engaged with Our Brand When In Our Store?

A successful retail marketing strategy is geared towards engaging shoppers while in-store. If shoppers are not engaged in your brand, your products, and/or your services, why would you expect them to make a purchase? Shoppers need to be educated. Shoppers need to feel like you care. Shoppers want to take part in activities that will provide them with rewards, such as discounts and prizes.

What Technology Can Be Integrated Into Your Retail Strategy?

Traditional retail marketing strategies rely on employees to engage shoppers, but we all know just how little shoppers these days want to interact with employees. They think they are being “sold” and the image of the used car salesman is burned into their mind. With the release of new technologies like bluetooth low energy devices, wifi, tablets, smart phones, etc. companies now have the ability to use technology to engage shoppers while in-store. It’s time companies of all shapes and sizes start researching and implementing new technologies in-store to engage shoppers in your brand.

As you move through each calendar year, someone, or a team of individuals, should have researching new technologies for retail as some part of their job description. New technologies are being developed every single day. Successful retailers are the companies that pick up on these new technologies the quickest, and find creative ways to integrate them into their retail marketing strategy.

Over 3 years ago now the founders of OnSpot Social spotted a huge emerging trend for retail, using tablets in-store for marketing to consumers. Back then only the very early adopters were leveraging this new technology, tablets, in their stores. Now, more than 3 years later, I can’t go out shopping without seeing at least one company with a tablet running in-store. That said, this new trend is just getting started. Not only that, but now there are more new technologies emerging that support this trend and will push it even further for innovative retailers to take advantage of.

Who on your team is responsible for spotting new technologies? Make sure you get them involved in the discussion during your next retail marketing strategy planning session.

How Can We Grow Sales?

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The next question that needs to be asked is one related to sales. Without sales we have no real business. Finding new technologies to integrate into your retail experience is great, but will it increase sales? When it comes to your retail marketing strategy, 95% of of the strategies and tactics that you implement should, at the end of the day, have a goal of increasing sales. The best way to enhance your retail marketing strategy to grow sales is to make sure during your planning that each strategy and tactic is set up in a way that can impact sales and sales-oriented goals are put in place for each strategy and tactic so that everyone knows what he/she is working towards.

When it comes to integrating new technology into your retail marketing strategy, make sure you pick technologies that can impact sales. Don’t put a tablet in your store because it’s cool. Put a tablets in your store, and pick apps to run on those tablets which are geared towards impacting sales. Without increasing sales you don’t have money to fund next year’s marketing strategies. Be sure that you are always tying sales-related goals to your retail marketing strategy. If you do that, and continually refine that strategy as the year goes along, you will have a great chance of generating more sales for your business.

Are Shoppers Fully Engaged with Our Brand When In Our Store?

The best way for businesses to cater to this new type of consumer is to provide a better environment for consumers while in your store. The future of Retail depends on how well you engage your customers while they are in your store. Creating an in-store experience that resonates with this new consumer will help separate you from your competition. In our experience combining creativity with new technologies is the secret to creating a better in-store environment for your customers.

4 Ways to Attract Customers to your Retail Store

There’s no business like the retail business, until you hit a slump.  Sales can be soaring one minute and sagging the next.  If your business is in need of a sales boost, check out these four ways to draw customers to your retail store.

Make a Great First Impression.

It is reported that as many as 70% of consumers visit a company’s website before visiting the brick-and-mortar store.  It makes sense, then, to make your first impression a lasting one.  Be sure your website provides comprehensive content in terms of product information, customer testimonials, pricing and store locations.   Look at your website through a customer’s eyes.  Would all your questions be answered or would you be left frustrated?  A few tweaks to your webpage can really change a customer’s perception of your company and nudge them toward a visit to your shop.

And, the Winner Is…

People love excitement and nothing creates excitement in the world of retail like an in-store give-a-way.  Ask customers to leave their email addresses, entering them to win a prize or special discount.  You can use an iPad to collect emails with apps such as OnSpot Social.  You can then use those collected emails for your email marketing campaign, further enticing your customers with store specials and new merchandise arrivals.

Meet ‘em and Greet ‘em.

As a business owner, your number one priority should be your customers.  After all, without them, you have no business.  Going out on to the sales floor to say hello to patrons is a great way to keep them coming back.  I call this the “Cheers” technique-your customers will come back because it’s fun to go to a place where “everybody knows your name.”  It may be “old school,” but it’s tried and true.

Get Technical.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get on board with digital marketing.  Take the time to set up social media accounts, start blogging, and use technology creatively, in your store.  Offer free WiFi, encourage customers to visit your social media pages and “check-in” on-line.  Use an app like Boutique Window to showcase your best products to shoppers on-line, driving foot-traffic to your physical store.  I also suggest using your iPad as a digital sign, advertising sales and highlighting new products in appealing & colorful display.

Getting your small business to the top of the food chain can be tricky, but a few inexpensive changes can really attract customers to your retail store and make a big difference.  Giving customers some face time, keeping up with retail technology, creating excitement and having a well-thought-out website will go a long way toward boosting your bottom line.

How To Increase In-store Engagement

So you have done some best in class retail marketing, got people to come to your store and now you need a way to engage with them while they are in your store to keep them coming back. Below are a few tips and ideas for increasing in-store engagement.

Tip #1: Digital Signage

I was at a local ice cream parlor with my family the other day and the owner had a 42 inch television set up as a digital sign. He also had a desktop computer set up and had a slide show of images playing. The digital sign was used for:

  • Showing old pictures of the ice cream parlor from the 50s <– wicked cool!
  • Showing events that they had coming up
  • Explaining different ice cream flavors
  • Showing Special Discount Offers

While I waited for my ice cream, which was a long wait because everyone in town loves this place, I was able to learn more about the company, see what new ice cream flavors I might want to try, and learn about different events coming up that I might want to bring my daughter to. All of that without me having to ask any store employees, which obviously would take time away from what they were working on. I left the ice cream parlor already knowing when I would come back, the following Sunday for the Kids Sunday Sundae!

Tip #2: Run Contests In-Store to Engage Customers

Another marketing strategy that I think is going to explode sooner rather than later is retail companies using technology to run in-store contests. Running a contest in your store with iPad and other technologies can be a great way to get people engaged in your company. Retailers can come up with creative contest ideas that involve customers coming into the store, interacting with an iPad or other technology to take part in the contest, and then having an opportunity to win a prize. Consumers love competition. They also love winning and getting “free stuff”. Retailers need to find ways to get their customers to take part in contests while in-store in order to increase engagement. It’s the fun-factor, right? Having fun while shopping is something that will get people talking to others. That word-of-mouth marketing will go a long way towards attracting new customers to your store.

Tip #3: Use iPad to Deliver a Better In-Store Experience for Customers

Last, but certainly not least, is using iPad in a variety of ways to deliver a better in-store experience for your customers. I’ve already alluded to ways in which you can use iPad in your store with some of the ideas mentioned above, but with a technology as groundbreaking as iPad, business owners are simply limited only by their creativity. In-Store Marketing with iPad is going to be the next big retail trend. As more and more business owners start using iPad as a Marketing tool and not just a Productivity tool we are going to see Retail change forever. Here are a few ideas to help you get your synapses firing:

Video Marketing with iPad – Show product & service videos on iPad in-store. Lebron James opened a retail store called UNKNWN and he has 20something iPads set up next to each pair of shoes he sells. Customers can watch videos on iPad to learn more about the shoes that they are interested in purchasing.

Social Media Marketing with iPad – Using iPad apps like OnSpot Social retailers can now convert shoppers into social media connections right in your store!

Story Time: A customer walks into your store. You’ve never seen her before. Maybe she’s from out of town. Maybe she recently moved to the area. Regardless, she’s walking up to your counter looking to purchase one of your products. Normally you would be polite, allow her to pay for her purchase, and say goodbye, never to see her again. But today is different, today you have an iPad Kiosk setup on your counter. Your iPad has OnSpot Social running and it seems to have caught your customer’s attention. She quickly understands that you’re looking for her to connect with your business on social media. Instead of her having to pull out her smart phone, open her Facebook app or Twitter App, search for your business, and Like your Facebook Business Page, she simply taps the Facebook icon on OnSpot Social’s Kiosk Display Screen, enters her Facebook login information, and Likes your Facebook Business Page right there on the spot.

Survey Marketing with iPad – There apps out there that allow you to ask customers questions on an iPad in your store. You can now get real-time feedback from a consumer who’s standing right in your store. Pretty powerful stuff if you leverage it properly! Maybe you tie your survey feedback into a mobile marketing strategy whereby you ask certain questions, and based on a consumer’s answer you send him a text message with some sort of promotion that he can then use right then and there.

Collect Consumer Data – Collecting customer data is something that almost every business on the planet does. Collecting customer data is definitely part of marketing strategies that EVERY business can benefit from. Learning more about your customers and prospects purchasing habits, needs, likes, and dislikes can provide important information and context when it comes to making strategic decisions for your business.

Example of a restaurant using iPads in their location

stackedI could go on and on here on the different ways to use iPad for in-store marketing.  But a real life example is when restaurants get in the mix by turning iPad into a digital menu and ordering tool. Stacked, a burger chain out in Cali has been doing this for years now and it has their patrons coming back over and over again.

You are truly limited only by your creativity. If you want to learn more about how OnSpot Social can help you build your online community, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Shameless Plug: Using OnSpot Social to Collect Customer Data on iPads In-Store

With the speed and power of the internet, the past 5 – 10 years has seen the rise of businesses getting comfortable leveraging digital internet-based technologies to help them better manage their business.  An off-shoot of this, Social Media Marketing for business, has taken the world by storm recently. Businesses have been using computers at home and in an office of some sort to execute internet marketing strategies. That all changed a few years ago when the world’s first cost effective tablet came out, the iPad. From that moment on, internet marketing would never be the same. Businesses are now using tablets in-store for marketing. This new trend has let to the creation of new technologies to support the trend. One such technology that came onto the seen back in 2012 is OnSpot Social. OnSpot Social is an iPad application that businesses all over the world are now using in their stores, at events and tradeshows, on college campuses, etc. to collect customer data.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are using OnSpot Social at a physical location with an iPad to engage consumers with digital marketing technologies and collect customer data. OnSpot Social allows businesses to collect many different types of customer data. Collect the following customer data with OnSpot Social:

  • Mobile number (phone number)
  • E-mail Address
  • Name, Address, Zip Code
  • Open-ended questions
  • Multiple choice questions
  • Birthday (date)

Colleges, doctor and dentist offices, sports companies and arenas, retail stores, restaurants, small businesses, museums and aquariums, and companies who attend events and trade shows are taking advantage of all of the benefits that the iPad brings, coupled with OnSpot Social, to collect customer data more efficiently and more effectively (in-store) than ever before in history.

Before now, the marketing technologies available to us (radio, tv, phone, internet, computers) only allowed companies to collect data somewhere away from the storefront, or in their store using a piece of paper and pen.

Now, with development of tablets and OnSpot Social, businesses can combine the best of both worlds to collect customer data in-store.

Will you try OnSpot Social for your business?