Retail seems to be growing with no end in sight. However, brands seem to be disappearing at the rate new ones are growing. Due to an extremely competitive markets, retailers need to be at the top of their game in order to remain relevant. The main goal of all retailers is to increase footfall into stores thereby increasing sales and revenue. Some questions arise from retailers like:
- How do we increase footfall?
- How do we entice customers to buy?
- How do we draw customers away from our competitors?
- How do we become the market leaders in our industry?
- How do we make it through a poor economy?
The answer is a great strategic marketing plan and distributing the right message to the right target audience on the best possible mediums. Some ideas include:
There is a fine line between promotional pricing and pricing yourself into a deficit. Promotional pricing is a great way to increase sales especially if done on a regular basis. It not only gets customers to buy because of the deals but it also brings them back. When customers see pricing on red tags, it’s a psychological pull that makes them feel that they are getting good value for their money. Anything with the word Free in it is another attractive offer for customers as in “Buy One, Get One Free”. It makes customers genuinely feel that they are getting something for nothing.
You can buy almost anything online these days, so retailers need to find strong incentives to bring customers into the stores. On-brand events can increase footfall where customers will be surrounded by limited and only available in stores products as well as product demonstrations and services. Retailers can offer coupons which can only be used in store coupled with great personalized service and fun events.
Point of sale material are also used by retailers in store. POS includes posters, counter cards, product displays, window banners, danglers, register toppers, shelf talkers, menu-board posters among others. POS is a reinforcement of ad messaging that appears in the mass media. Well-designed displays placed throughout the store — are an effective marketing tool and draws people to look at the products. This form of advertising is more impulse buying.
A large number of online shoppers use social media. These customers regularly follow specials and specific brands on social media especially on Facebook. Facebook insights allows you to target your ads to specific group pf people in certain areas creating focused audience segments. Consumers often follow certain brands on Facebook and these become loyal customers that repeat-buy certain products.
LOYALTY REWARD PROGRAMS
Loyalty programs help in retaining current customers through earning points, which can later be used as discounts. Retailers need to be creative like doubling points on certain days which is an added advantage of giving them a personalized experience. Adding tiers to the loyalty program is effective, as the more frequent the purchases, the higher the tiers with more points and larger discounts. This is a great way to build loyalty. .
CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY
Offer specials for a limited time only or while stock lasts. Customers feel pressure to get the store and purchase these products through impulsive decisions. Customers need to feel that is it a once-off opportunity and forces them to take action almost immediately.
THE ADVERTISING MESSAGE
There are two kinds of retail messaging: The promotional message which features a particular product(s) which is discounted and then there is institutional messages which targets the retailers brand image. Promotional advertising can be measured by sales and product movement, and can be seen immediately. Because of this, retailers tend to concentrate on promotional messaging.
Retailers often compromise using national media for institutional advertising and local media for promotional advertising. Another compromise is creating ads that serve both purposes such as an image building institutional commercial tagged with a featured sale item and price.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Advertising is not an exact science and what works for some may not work for others. All these tactics mean nothing if efforts and results are not being monitored and measured. However, there are methods that will give you an indication of whether you are achieving your goals. Make sure these goals are clear and specific. Tailor your evaluation methods to your goal. In order to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign, you can monitor sales, new customers, requests for info, phone enquiries, retail store traffic, website traffic and click through rates. By evaluating and measuring your efforts, it gives you an indication of whether there is room for improvement in your advertising strategy or whether you are doing the exact right thing and getting the ROI as per your goals.
“People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” Seth Godin