My first assumption is you’re here because you feel that your retail business could do with a bit of a boost. Whether you’re just starting off in the retail industry or perhaps trying to catch up, we now know that social media is the number one way to advertise your retail business and the products or services you have to offer. It is important that we create content to build our retail business whilst growing an audience and increasing our brand visibility. With consumer behaviour, and a distrust of ads growing, content marketing can attract, convert and retain customers better than most ‘conventional’ forms of marketing and can be used to draw people to your retail store or your e-commerce platform.
- Make a trip to your retail store valuable.
If you want to give your customers a reason to come to your store you need to create in-store only offers, customers have maybe seen something they liked when browsing online but have been holding off for pay day or a sale. When you reveal that you’re hosting an in-store sale this might draw them to pop in and buy the product quicker as you have created more of a demand for it. Also, maybe every so often you host an event within your retail store. Are you a fitness outlet? Host a morning yoga event with a special discount on fitness gear post event; it’s amazing the return on investment you can achieve from these.
- Social networking platforms
Having a social media presence is an obvious one and admittingly I would be the first to type a retail name into Instagram to see what products they sold before approaching the store. Utilise all the features available to you on each of the apps to advertise and target your audiences. When new stock comes in, don’t be afraid to get in front of the camera and show off what has just arrived! Take quality photos and upload them to the social network or website to allow customers to have a good nosey. You can also search for stunning stock photos, as it will be a free and easy option. If you work in a clothes store, creating fun and interactive reels that show you putting together outfits for your customers are a great way to see what they can match their clothes with as well as driving those sales. The possibilities are endless when it comes to social media!
- Celebrate all the holidays
Shopping is one of the main activities people get up to when they have time off (especially with us girls!). Making a fuss of relevant international days like Valentine’s, St. Patrick’s Day or bank holidays by releasing special limited edition products that are relevant to the day can encourage people to spend. Putting on a sale or having selected discounted items can create a surge of excitement within your customers as well. Always creating the feeling they are being rewarded for getting a bargain which will make them feel good and spend more. Don’t forget to let your customers know of these products beforehand via social!
- Get Creative
Whether you’re a small independent retail business or a large well established store there is no better way to bring products to life than through video. It can be anything from showing off your new instore range, how a product works or how it can look on, customers will be fully immersed in your brand – especially if it has an entertaining story behind it that your customers can resonate with. For those of you worried about budgets, don’t be! A good quality camera pixel on your phone still has the ability to create outstanding, fun videos; utilise your materials to the best of your ability and take the time to learn more about what you can do if needed. If you don’t have the time, why not hire a marketing or social media intern that can handle this for you? Plus you’d be giving them good experience and a chance to get creative.
- Plan, Plan, Plan.
Retail marketers are hopefully already aware of their business’s seasonal peaks. Whether it’s summer sales, Black Friday, or holiday peaks, retailers need to plan their campaigns in advance of these seasonal peaks. This includes things like adjusting ad spend, working with design for new creative content, and executing seasonally relevant campaigns that will boost sales .. Planning is absolutely key for these peak times because competition is typically steeper, so upping ad spend and using ad scheduling tools to save time is critical if you want an increase in sales.
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A-lot of conflicting opinions surround the use of influencers to drive sales, but hey, if it works, it works! It can be an expensive marketing tactic but extremely effective as many retail stores have used and continue to use influencers to advertise their business or products. Using major influencers would not fit within the budgets of small, independent retail stores but you could always opt for the micro influencers who would have a smaller fee or not charge at all. Many micro-influencers are happy to advertise the products on their social media platforms if a deal is made. For example; they are given a number of items from the new stock each season and provided with a discount code they can give to their followers on their platform.
If your target audience for your retail store is mainly local, then use the local lingo. You don’t need to fancy it up because you want to make it as relevant as possible. People want to feel like they’re part of a community, and if your brand blends in seamlessly with their area then they are more likely to draw an emotional attachment to your business. People want to support local, so they are going to buy local if you can pull this off right. Fill your ad copy and imagery with the local area; take pictures and videos of the nice scenes you live in and also don’t be afraid to show support for other local businesses in your town.
- Product Reviews or Case Studies
What is more reliable than another customer sharing their review of a product or experience of a service for your retail business? 91% of 18-34 year olds trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, and 93% of consumers say that online reviews influenced their purchase decisions (Qualtrics, 2020). Get customers on board to leave reviews on your website and platforms where possible as well as other review sites, in particular to products you personally feel are going to be of great value or there will be hype about. These will drive your sales and create customer loyalty as well.