Most successful retail stores are in a constant state of refinement and improvement where they are always looking at their retail marketing strategy and making changes based on the results they’re getting and the data they are collecting. These businesses are always on the lookout for new and innovative initiatives that they can pursue in order to add to their strategy. At the same time, they are working to remove any part of their strategy that is no longer effective and isn’t providing them with the return-on-investment that they expect.
The result of this on-going process is stable growth in visitors and loyal customers. A proactive approach is definitely important in this process, which is why many companies choose to begin working on the coming year’s marketing strategy in the final quarter of the current year. In this way, they’ll already have their marketing strategy ready to go into action as soon as the new year starts.
So, how do you experience similar growth and on-going improvement?
Know What Questions To Ask
Throughout the year, successful businesses are not just implementing new strategies and tactics, they are also collecting data and analyzing it with each new change. Without this data, they’d never know what exactly was working and they’d be blindly making decisions.
There are three crucial questions you should be asking yourself throughout the year to help you align with the right strategy.
- Are shoppers fully engaging with our brand when they are in store?
Having a successful retail marketing strategy means you need to gear it towards engaging your shoppers while they are actually in your store and potentially minutes away from making a purchase. If your shoppers are not engaged with your brand and your products or services, why would they take the plunge and get out their credit card?
Above all, your shoppers need to be educated and feel like you care about them and their problems and needs. They also want to take part in activities that will give them good rewards, like prizes or discounts.
- What technologies could we integrate into our new marketing strategy?
The next question is crucial to staying current in the marketplace and ensuring that you are maximizing all the tools available to you. Traditional strategies will rely on the store’s employees to engage shoppers, but most shoppers these days just want to be left alone unless they have a question. Instead of seeing the interaction with employees as helpful, they usually feel as though they are being pushed or sold. They instantly call to mind the image of a used car salesman.
However, with the release of new tech like bluetooth low energy devices, tablets, wifi, smartphones, and so much more, you can begin taking advantage of technology to engage your shoppers while they are in the store. As you move through the year, someone on your team should have the task of researching the latest technologies and thinking about innovative ways to engage consumers when in stores.
- How can we further enhance the strategy to grow our sales figures?
The third and final question you need to ask is directly linked to your sales figures. Without sales, you don’t really have a business. But, if you are working to find new technologies to integrate into your retail experience for your customers, that’s a great step in the right direction. However, will that in itself increase sales?
To help you grow your sales, one of the best things you can do is plan things out so that you have sales-oriented goals set for each Strategy you implement. This way, everyone on your team knows what they are working towards. When integrating something new, pick technologies that can impact your sales. Don’t add a tablet to your store just because you think it’s cool. Put tablets into your store and carefully select apps to run on those tablets that will help impact your sales.
If you don’t increase your sales this year, you won’t have the funds to power next year’s marketing strategies. So, always be focusing on sales-related goals and continually refine your strategy as the year goes along.
Create An Experience
The modern-day customer doesn’t want to interact with employees unless they have a question, so how can you help monitor and shape the customer experience and ensure it is working in your favor at every turn? The best way is to foster brand engagement throughout your store. For new types of customers, you need to be experience-focused.
Create an in-store experience that will resonate with the new customers you are dealing with today. Create an experience that will help separate you from your competition. Creativity and innovation should be big priorities for your store.
Omni Channel Engagement
Once you have mastered your in-store customer experience’s design, you also need to begin looking at your store’s online presence. Ideally, there will be a seamless transition between your in-store experience and a customer’s online experience with your brand.
This goes beyond keeping coloration and logos consistent, you need to transfer your store’s entire look and feel on to the internet and across your social media platforms. You also need to be thinking about the appeal of your store and making sure it shines through with your online presence. This will help you bring customers into your retail store from the internet, and here are three ways you can go about it:
- Make a Great First Impression. Roughly 70% of consumers will visit your website before they step foot into your store. That’s why your website’s first impression needs to be a lasting one. The content should be comprehensive when it comes to product information and testimonials, along with pricing and store locations. Look at it through the eyes of your customer and figure out what questions still need to be answered.
- Hold a Giveaway. An in-store giveaway is a fantastic way to boost your foot traffic through the doors and create lasting excitement. Be sure to share online weeks before the giveaway occurs and make a day-on (or even weekend-long) celebration out of it. Have customers leave their email address, helping you to create a mailing list, in order to enter-to-win a prize.
- Meet and Greet. If you want to instantly begin building great customer loyalty, brand authority, and overall trustworthiness for your business, a meet and greet is a fantastic daily occurrence to pencil into your calendar. Your number one priority as a business owner is your customers. Head onto the sales floor at peak times and introduce yourself. Just say hello and personalize their experience. If you remember customers names and say hello again next time they come back, they will be glad to come back over and over again. After all, who doesn’t want to go where “everybody knows your name”? This “Cheers” technique is used by high-class hotels, resorts, luxury shopping outlets, and restaurants because it works.
Be Online & Offline
Being a successful retail store takes an omni channel approach, one where you focus just as much on your online presence as you do your offline growth. You’re online posting to your website, adding new content to your social media profiles, and engaging with customers. You’re offline doing much of the same thing: printing sales flyers, attending marketing events, hosting giveaways, and getting up-close-and-personal with your customers.
However, online marketing definitely has to hold a special prominence in your growth plan. After all, it’s the 21st-century and with most people heading to your website before being convinced to drive to your store, you need to make sure that your online marketing is doing your business good. This means solidifying your social media presence and looking into your website customer experience while also finding new ways to engage with customers and potential customers online.
With Strategic website revamping, feedback, engagement, and even paid marketing and advertising, you’ll begin to see your online presence grow while also seeing more and more people calling in and driving in to your storefront. Ultimately, this all-around will result in better brand awareness, more sales, and more loyal customers.
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