How to Grow Your Small Retail Business – Some Useful Marketing Tips
Probably the most important overall success component in a small retail business is the ability to balance your marketing mix. You need to factor in the usual product, price, place, promotion and people – with special emphasis on the last three.
“Location, location, location” has become a mantra in retail, and it is still the golden rule to ensure success. Promotion is important as you have to attract customers into your retail space to be able to sell to them. And, as always, your own employees are critical – their approach and attitude to customers can make or break your business.
Tip One: Create powerful window displays
The aim of a window display is twofold. It should grab the attention of passers-by and then “drag” them into the store. Everything you do must focus on these goals. Don’t clutter your window, as too many items on display can distract people. Concentrate on producing a single compelling and relevant sales message to pull people into your shop.
Tip Two: Use cost-effective promotions
Once inside the store, your potential customers should be exposed to a series of messages that will encourage them to buy. Point-of-sale displays should highlight your products and convey their main benefits and prices.
A price promotion is an excellent idea for a particular season or occasion but should not continue over a long period. You could offer a lower price or a discount on a particular product, a range of products or all of the products in your store. When it comes to designing your promotional materials, use a professional graphic designer as image is important. Digital printing has brought down the cost of display materials dramatically, so there’s no excuse for poor production. Either do it properly or not at all.
Tip Three: Deliver outstanding customer service
To be successful in retail, you need to offer value. Not only do you need to offer good quality products at good prices, but your shop interior and staff should provide added value in terms of a pleasant environment and outstanding service. It’s all about giving your customers a great shopping experience.
Tip Four: Motivate your sales staff
It’s important to get your staff to believe in you and your business. You can do this by sharing your dream with them and showing clearly how each one will be able to share in your success. They need to be passionate about selling your merchandise and, at the same time, really understand what it’s like to be in a customer’s shoes.
Tip Five: Communicate with your customers
Common sense tells you that it’s far less expensive to sell to existing customers than to attract new ones. So it’s critical to keep in contact. Collect your customers’ names, email addresses and cell numbers at the very least. Simple newsletters or bulletins are excellent ways to stay in touch. And not many customers will object if you send them an occasional text message to tell them about a special offer. However, always give them the opportunity to “opt out” of receiving your communications.
Tip Six: Get creative
A lucky draw or competition is always a good way to lure people into your store. It can also help you to build your database.
There is no concept more powerful than “free” – so why not give away something small to customers who buy the product you want them to buy? Sponsoring a competition, prize or trophy will go down well at your local school or sports club and encourage parents and members to support you. A loyalty program entails a bit more administration but can produce great results over the long-term. All of these activities will help create a “buzz” around your store and stimulate sales.