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Build a Retail Marketing Strategy in 5 Simple Steps

Some say retail makes the world go ‘round. In fact, it’s currently estimated that retail sales will be up to $5.23 trillion by the end of this year in the U.S. alone.

However, capturing these retail dollars has never been more challenging, and building and running a successful retail store is no easy task. Requiring the right products, space, engaging marketing tactics, and more… it can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.

In this article, we’ll help with retail management and outline some retail marketing basics, how to find the right strategy for your business, and five steps to start building it.

Retail Marketing Strategy Basics

Before we dive into how you can build a retail marketing strategy for your business, let’s discuss the subject more broadly. What is retail marketing? This term includes all the strategies and tactics stores use to reach shoppers and drive sales. The goal of retail marketing is to promote products and connect with customers. Small businesses often underestimate how much retail marketing can pay off for them.

Related Read: How To Attract Customers to Your Store — 6 Ideas That Really Work

Let’s examine the benefits of a strong retail marketing strategy: 

  • Increased sales and revenue: Well-executed strategies help retailers reach new audiences to boost store traffic, online store sales, and repeat purchases.
  • Improved brand awareness: Retail marketing gets a store’s name, product offerings, and promotions in front of target shoppers so relevant customers think of them first.
  • Better customer insights: Marketing analytics provide valuable customer preferences and behavior data so retailers can refine their product mix to be more appealing.
  • Enhanced customer experience: Personalized, seamless retail marketing boosts engagement and satisfaction to keep shoppers coming back.

With so much competition, focusing on foundational retail marketing grounded in business goals and audience insights is key for stores to cut through the noise. The key is strategically leveraging retail marketing tools to further specific growth objectives rather than copying competitors. Data-driven customer insights should guide smart resource allocation and campaign development so marketing feels tailored to your target audience.

With this information in mind, let’s dive into how you can build a retail marketing strategy for your store. 

Choosing Your Ideal Retail Marketing Strategy

Before you begin your strategy, you must select your ideal strategy type. You can determine your type by looking at where you do business, how customers find you, and your overall business goals.

Choose from three major retail marketing strategy types:

  1. Store-Based: Focus on in-store promotions, window displays, on-site signage, and loyalty programs.
  2. Non-Store: Implement marketing strategies outside your store, including catalogs, signs, and direct mailers. 
  3. Digital Marketing: Use online channels like search, social media, affiliate marketing, and influencer campaigns to reach customers

Related Read: 5 Ways To Build Your Small Business' Online Presence

Most stores benefit from using a combination of these three strategies throughout their overall campaign. 

5 Steps to Building a Retail Marketing Strategy

Whatever type of retail marketing strategy you need, following these five steps will help you get started on an effective marketing strategy. 

1. Keep Your Product Central

Step one to crafting the perfect marketing strategy is to remember to keep your product central. Align your messaging closely with your products’ unique value propositions. Examine your core products and build your messaging around these items to maximize your marketing strategy’s impact.

For example, if your store carries electronics, your core product might be smartphones, and related products could include chargers or protective cases. By mapping the benefits of each product directly to consumer needs, you create a compelling narrative that resonates with your target audience. Understanding the intricacies of your product categories helps craft a more effective marketing approach.

Actionable Tips:

While mapping product benefits to consumer needs, highlight the solutions your products provide rather than simply focusing on features. This approach ensures that your marketing messaging directly addresses the pain points or desires of your potential customers.

Conduct a thorough analysis of your product's strengths and weaknesses. Emphasize the unique selling points that set your product apart. 

2. Choose Your Placement Carefully

Next, you must select the channels and outlets where you’ll target your marketing efforts. One piece of this puzzle comes into play before you open your business: store location. For brick-and-mortar stores, the location could make or break the visibility and foot traffic your store receives. It's essential to consider the area's demographics, foot traffic, and the types of businesses nearby. 

Similarly, in the digital sphere, choosing platforms for hosting your website and conducting sales plays a crucial role in reaching your target audience. You should also consider various channels and their reach when placing ads and other marketing outreach.

Related Read: How To Step Up Your Small Business Marketing

Actionable Tips:

Leverage customer data and analytics to identify high-potential retail channels or locations where your audience frequently shops. This data-driven approach can help you make informed decisions about where to invest your resources.

Test strategic placements for signage and promotional materials within physical stores or experiment with various online placements. These efforts could involve prime shelf space in a physical store or optimizing website elements like banners or pop-ups for better visibility and engagement.

3. Have a Strong Point of Sale System

A robust point of sale (POS) system is the backbone of your retail operations. This tool helps you manage transactions, track inventory, and gather customer and sales data that can significantly impact your decision-making processes. 

A modern POS system can help you streamline operations and the customer experience, from inventory management to customized discounts and customer loyalty program management. A powerful tool, like POS Nation, delivers an all-in-one point of sale system that integrates with all your hardware and software, helping you manage your store and marketing efforts with ease. 

Actionable Tips:

Opt for a cloud-based POS system that offers seamless data synchronization across different locations and integrates well with your e-commerce platforms. This integration ensures real-time data accessibility and consistency across various channels.

Use all the capabilities of your POS system beyond transaction processing. Leverage features like customer profiles and purchase histories to tailor recommendations and provide personalized experiences for your customers.

Related Read: Your Point of Sale Data Is a Goldmine

4. Promote Intentionally

You know you need to run promotions… but not all promotions are created equal. If you want your marketing efforts to succeed, you must promote intentionally. Intentional promotion involves aligning every stage of your marketing strategy with specific business goals. 

Ditch the generic promotions that won’t win your customers’ favor. Instead, aim for targeted strategies that speak to your customers’ needs. These strategies will help you drive sales without sacrificing profit margins or entering a pricing “race to the bottom” where everyone loses. 

Actionable Tips:

Create promotions tailored to customer journey stages, guiding customers from awareness to purchase and retention. This approach ensures that your promotions are aligned with the customer's mindset at each stage.

Leverage POS data and customer insights to personalize promotional messaging or products. This personalization enhances relevance and resonance with your audience, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Finally, implement tiered promotions like loyalty programs to incentivize your best customers to keep shopping with you. This encourages repeat purchases and fosters brand loyalty among your customer base.

Pro Tip: Use an advanced point of sale system like POS Nation to manage your loyalty programs easily. You can also use POS Nation for built-in promotions like buy one, get one (BOGO), mix and match pricing, and more. 

5. Don’t Forget About People

Last but not least, you need to remember one crucial thing when building your retail marketing strategy: You’re marketing to and for people. 

Customers often come to small businesses for the human touch. Ensure this element is front and center in your marketing and promotion efforts. Hire staff who embody your brand values and have a passion for customer service. You can also provide these staff members with regular training about your products and promotions to ensure every customer gets the best possible experience from your store.  

Actionable Tips:

Incentivizing staff to upsell, cross-sell, and promote new products or offers encourages them to engage with customers, increasing sales opportunities.

Leverage user-generated content to showcase positive experiences and testimonials, providing social proof that can influence potential customers' purchasing decisions.

Get the POS Partner Your Retail Marketing Strategy Needs

These five steps should help any small business retailer start to craft their retail marketing strategy. By incorporating these detailed strategies and actionable tips into your retail marketing approach, you can enhance your product positioning, optimize your retail environment, streamline operations, craft effective promotional campaigns, and create memorable customer experiences.

But managing these promotions and marketing strategies can be challenging when you don’t have the right tools and technology in place. The answer? A robust point of sale system.

POS Nation offers an all-in-one point of sale solution built with small businesses in mind. Our customizable hardware and software solutions offer all the essential features you need — and none of the pricey bells and whistles you don’t. 

Schedule a software demo today to see how our inventory management, reporting, customer loyalty, and promotion features can help your business. 


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