What is Retail Marketing

retail marketingRetail marketing is a strategy in which retailers plan a series of activities to promote the sales of their products and to help generate interest and spread brand awareness. This leads to an increase in sales through an increase in visibility of the brand and products it offers.

Effective retail marketing includes; merchandising strategies, knowing about consumer behavior, retail merchandising, retail branding as well as advertising. By implementing the right strategies in all these areas you will be able to win loyal customers who will continue to shop in your store which will lead to higher profitability and brand growth.  Retail marketing’s foundation is based on product, price, place, and promotion.

Productretail marketing

The type of product that you carry in your store will determine which category your store fits into and the brand image that you want people to imagine when they imagine using your product. This will help target your marketing efforts in a way that is specific to how your product will allow your customer to look or live a certain type of lifestyle.


The price you give your products should be taken into consideration when thinking of your target market and what kind of prices they expect and are willing to pay. Pricing will also influence your retail marketing efforts since it will determine what kind of shopper you are marketing to, as well as what type of brand you are.

Always make sure to calculate all of your costs to make sure you are pricing your products in a way that covers all of your overhead and leaves room for profits as well.

retail marketingPlace

The place refers to where you choose to offer your products and does not need to be limited to just a physical retail store but could also include an e-commerce store as well as in catalog form which is mailed out.


Your brand identity and prices will determine the style of promotions your will run, for instance, if you are a high-end boutique than your marketing efforts need to be tasteful and sales and promotions should be done in a subtle and sophisticated way. Whereas if you are a discounter then your sales promotions need to be very present and bold as well as incredibly visible throughout the store.

There are various types of promotions when deciding which retail marketing strategy fits best for your store as well as your budget. Important when deciding this is what method is best for targeting your target audience, where do they spend their time, what are they reading and doing where they might see your promotion? The different channels of promotion include; events, window displays, social media, print advertising, google ads, billboards, television, and radio. 

There are many different approaches retailers can implement to market their products, below you can read about the various strategies and decide which retail marketing mix is right for you.

Types of Online Retail Marketing

Connect your offline retail store to an online environment

Since everything is moving online today it is important that your brick and mortar store at least has an online presence which will help increase your foot traffic and connecting to your customers, which will in turn increase revenue. The following are some online retail marketing strategies:

Having a Website

Even if you decide not to sell your products online it is important to have a website to showcase your products. People like to pre-shop on to read up on product information, analyze reviews and see what selection of products they will find in the store but the majority of people still prefer to buy the products in stores. If you can it is also a good chance for you to add customer testimonials to add trust to the products. These are all examples of an informative retail marketing strategy. Your website is also a great place to communicate other marketing materials and offers that are currently running in your store.

SEO-  Localized digital retail marketing

Optimizing your online marketing for local searches is key to being found by new customers who are specifically looking for what your store has to offer. Add pages on Facebook and Google+ for your location as well.

Google My Business

This easy to use retail marketing tool will allow you to set up a business profile page for your store. Make sure you include all of your stores’ information such as; location, store hours, contact information and photos. This is a vital tool to being found since most people use google to find businesses and good maps to see how to get places or explore what is around them. It will look something like this:


Social Media

retail marketing

These days one of the most effective and valuable places to market your business is through social media marketing. This is where many people are spending their time so it is a great place for you to advertise your business at a low cost. Use social media channels to share pictures of your store, events, people shopping, and new merchandise. Make sure to use hashtags so you can be found by people searching for specific things. This is a form of retail marketing that allows you to have instant communication with potential customers. Create status updates about special promotions, sales, events, and industry news.


Email Marketing

Collecting your customer’s email addresses allows you to follow up with them and encourage further shopping by offering them discounts, informing them on trends or news relating to your industry and also letting them know when new merchandise has arrived in your store. Weekly email newsletters is an easy retail marketing method to stay connected and keep your customers up to date. It is important to keep your newsletter brief though to make sure that customers can quickly and easily read through it. Also always make sure to include links back to your website and have your stores contact information visible. By law, you also need to allow people to unsubscribe to your newsletter. There are various email services, such as MailChimp, that allows you to easily manage your subscriber list, provides newsletter templates, and it will also send out the newsletter for you.


Create an identity as an industry expert by writing articles or tips on topics related to your business. This is also an easy way to promote merchandise in your store and create urgency as well as the need for your products. Look to our blog for inspiration,

Offline Retail Marketing Strategies

retail marketingEvents

This is a great reason for people to come to your store and even if their intention might not be to buy something, there is a high chance that you will be able to convert many of your guests into instant customers or future ones. If your customers have a great experience at your event then this is also valuable brand marketing in which they will always associate this good feeling with your store. If you can it is ideal to have at least 1 event per month. These events can also be partnerships with other companies or artists.

In-store Promotion

Even though new customers are important most of your stores’ success will come from repeat customers. To bring these customers back in a good retail marketing strategy is to offer something of value to your customers to encourage them to make their next purchase soon. This can be achieved by having flyers a the cash desk to offer them a discount on their next purchase or have specials that are running throughout your store and notify your customers through newsletters of signage in your store to highlight these promotions.


Generating hype about your business is an important retail marketing strategy that should span across numerous channels. Before you open it already a good time to start getting the word out about your store and either mention an opening party if you will have one or include the date of the first day of business. If you can afford local influencers or bloggers you are able to reach your target audience in an organic way. Press is also a great way to spread the word about an opening, or if you are already open then approach them for a story that they could write about your business. This could be some interesting fact that could have an entire story written around it or it could be to announce an event or workshop you might be putting on. If you are having an opening party then this is a great opportunity to invite press and influencers at no cost.

Interactive Marketing

This is a new wave of retail marketing that will become very much in trend as technology becomes more accessible for retailers. Creating memorable, fun experiences with your products is one of the retail marketingbest retail marketing techniques you can implement. Allowing your customers to interact with the merchandise by always having at least one of the products out of the packaging to allow the customer to experience it or if you can hand out samples.  iPads is another great way to display lifestyle videography which adds value to the merchandise since it inspires and helps the customer visualize how they can experience the brand.

A few brands are turning to Virtual Reality as a unique new approach to interactive marketing that engages your customers with the brand and immerses them in the feeling of owning the merchandise. This creates an emotional connection and brand loyalty that is far stronger than any other method would allow. These experiences will instantly win your customers over and lead to increased sales as well as admiration for your retail space for implementing such new and exciting technology that they would only find in your store.

Another way to market your brand via social media while allowing your store to interact with your customers is offering in-store experiences which they are able to share. This should be branded content that your users are able to partake in within your store and is motivating for them to post on social media so they, in turn, are producing retail marketing materials for you that are fun, organic and will drive other customers to want to take part in it as well. There are many retail marketing examples to model yourself after, such as Topshop who offered free styling and makeup to people who created a postcard photo which they shared via social media with the theme “wish you were here”, they were then also able to take a printed version home.

Following up

retail marketingThis tactic is beneficial because it not only creates more sales but it builds valuable relationships with your customers since you are rewarding them for their loyalty. This can be achieved by sending handwritten thank your notes to important customers or ones that have made large purchases along birthday and anniversary greetings. For new customers, it is great to send them a gift, such as a coupon to encourage them to come again. Personal interaction with your customers is the best way to build a long-term loyal customer.

To do this you first you need to persuade your customers to collect their home address as well as their email address. You can do this by letting them know that their information will only be used in the store to get a hold of them to notify them of special promotions and events. Another way is to have a box at the cash desk where people can fill out their information in order to win something in a raffle.

Psychological Retail Marketing strategies

retail marketingAuthority Figures

Brands often do events with influencers because they want the customers to associate their brand with an authority figure whom their customer looks up to on a given topic or lifestyle area.

Social proof/ informational social influence

This means that people are influenced by making decisions based on what they see their peers doing. For example, if someone sees other people they identify with holding a branded shopping bag they are more likely to go and shop there as well.

Quantity of stock

Scarcity, as well as choice, is a fine line that you need to balance when it comes to stock on your sales floor. There should be enough of the same stock on the floor such as 3 of the same blanket or size of a particular article of clothing so your customer has the feeling there is a choice but then not too much of that item so there is no sense of urgency to purchase it.

Customer Loyalty and Commitment

This refers to getting your customer to commit to your brand. Through loyalty programs, customers are creating a feeling of commitment to your store and would rather spend their money there and collect points or know they are working towards getting something back then spending their money somewhere else where they would receive nothing in return.

Comfort and happiness

retail marketing

It is important that customers feel good in the space they are in which is why friendly salespeople are essential, and a nice retail environment that is filled with good smells and music is also important.


It is a proven fact that if you give someone something they have the urge to give something back such as if they received a sample or free gift they would give back by making a purchase.

Effective Retail Marketing Strategies

There are many different selling strategies in retail that can be easily implemented or it might be something that you are already doing but just needs to be tweaked to make it an effective retail marketing strategy.

Create a sense of urgency to motivate customers to take action and buy

retail marketingHaving customers feel that they are limited by inventory or time is a great opportunity for impulse purchases since they will feel that if they don’t purchase it now they won’t have another chance. This can be due to a special limited edition collection or a sales promotion. Holiday shopping another example when shoppers are feeling a time constraint, so a good tactic is to have a gift section to remind customers about the gifts they still need to purchase and then a good way to arrange your merchandise is in gift form and including some great gift packaging is a good way to win a sale. It is also a good way for you to cross-merchandise, by placing products together that would make a great gift set.

Give people a reason to go to your store

 This can be achieved through promotions, events or a special limited collection.

Employee training

Training your employees is an on- floor sales marketing strategy. It is important that your sales staff is well educated on the products as well as has a foundation of good sales techniques then they are able to help influence your customer’s buying decisions in a positive way. Also providing friendly and a great customer service experience is important to influence your customers to come back.

Giving away branded merchandise

Providing free t-shirts, bags, and backpacks that have your logo on it is a great way to market your brand and spread awareness. Also giving away branded pens, and other accessories are a great way to be remembered by your customers when they are using it.

Window displays and Visual Merchandising

Your window display should be inviting your customers to come into your store to experience it as well as fulfill their desires. A well-executed window display encourages impulse sales and creates curiosity about what your store is about or has to offer. It is also a good strategy to place a sign on the sidewalk outside of your store to bring more attention to your store and lead them to the door to enter. 

Event Ideas for Retail Stores

Events are a great way to get people to your store and create great memories for your brand and store. Through this, you are able to create customer loyalty, spread brand/ retail awareness, attract new customers to your store, as well as encourage sales by getting people into your store. An event for your retail store does not always need to be expensive or take a lot of time to plan. Here are some great event ideas to help bring people into your store and apply some creative retail promotion ideas:

retail marketingCraft and DIY workshops

Try to pick topics that your staff is good at or enjoys so you don’t need to find an outside source to lead the workshop unless you can find another company to lead the workshop and provide the materials to do retail marketing of their own. To help with the cost you can ask customers to purchase a ticket to cover the cost of materials. Some ideas would be; creating wreaths not only for Christmas but there are summer and spring wreaths that can be done as well, candle making, wine tasting, or any topic that might relate to your store and products.

Art night

Collaborating with a local artist to showcase their artwork in a gallery night is a nice event to bring people in and you might be able to feature the artists work in your store and collect a percentage of the profits while adding to the ambiance of your store by having artwork displayed.

Loaning your retail space out for events

This is a great option that can save you money on planning and host an event while still driving people to your store. Examples of this could be hosting the launch of a book release party.

Partner with other retailers or companies

If there is no direct competition between your products then this is a great option to cross promote. For instance, if you are a home decor company then perhaps partner with a florist and decorate your store with lots of their flowers or have a flower stand outside, this will also draw attention to your store since it is something unique and eye-catching. In return, the flower company could display some of your vases and home accessories in their store. Both retailers should make sure to include flyers of each other the maximize on retail marketing and creative retail promotion.

A possible event for this scenario could also be to host a flower bouquet workshop to create the perfect bouquet for mother’s day. Or using the greenery to have a  wreath workshop.

Hosting a charity drive

People are always willing to spend money if it is for a good cause so maybe you can have an event in which you donate a percentage of the earning to a charity. Another option is to collect things from your customers to donate such as canned foods or clothing. This will bring people into your store for and is a great thing for your store to be associated with, you might even be able to get some free publicity.

Musical entertainmentretail marketing

Having a local band play in your store for a party in which you can invite customers to an after-hours party is another great way to offer something special and bring people into the store. Make sure the music is something appropriate for your target audience or have a jazz night to keep it neutral and attracts people of all ages.


Events in which you are able to include a creative retail promotion drive the most sales. This means the customer would have to purchase your products in order to take part in the event. Customers also see it as a worthwhile investment because they get the added value of having something personalized which would usually cost money but it also makes their product unique. For instance, Toms did an event at Nordstrom in which a tattoo artist drew whatever you wanted onto your canvas pair of shoes for no additional cost with every purchase of a pair. Another great idea is offering monogramming during wedding season. This can be done on anything from homeware to fashion. No need to invest in a monogram machine since you are able to rent them as well.