Retail stores face a unique set of challenges when it comes to marketing. It is difficult to create a successful marketing campaign that hinges on the individual needs and preferences of the consumer. This is especially difficult for retailers with very diverse customers. How can you understand your “target” audience when your potential customers are from varying walks of life? How can you develop a retail marketing campaign that appeals to the masses? Check out a few of the most common problems executing retail marketing and how to overcome them:
1. Luxury items require unrealistic sacrifice. In a struggling economy, selling expensive items is an arduous task. Experts at Chron.com point out that many consumers feel that a high-ticket item requires a big sacrifice on their part. No one has “extra” money anymore to simply toss away on unnecessary items. It is imperative that your marketing strategy convinces consumers that the benefits of your product outweigh the cost. This is easier to do with items like cars–which are very convenient on a daily basis–but it can be a challenge for luxury items like jewelry. Additional benefits to the consumer (like an interest-free payment plan) are necessary to make these items more appealing. Offering extra benefits will also help your customer retention rate, as customers will return to retailers that they feel “help them out” in tough times.
2. Retailers are not going mobile.Many retail marketing teams have overlooked the golden opportunities available through mobile apps. Going mobile offers retailers a fantastic way to connect and build a relationship with consumers. Mobile devices are lifelines for most people today and they present an excellent opportunity for effective marketing. Consumers eat up special offers available on their mobile devices. Target is a perfect example of effective mobile marketing. The retail giant has developed their own mobile app called Cartwheel. Once consumers download the Cartwheel app, it automatically pops up whenever they enter a Target store (some might think this sounds intrusive or pushy, but it’s really just a friendly reminder–“hey, don’t forget to save money today!”). Cartwheel (basically a mobile coupon-clipping app) offers consumers special time-sensitive discounts on a huge variety of merchandise– if you don’t see an item listed in the sale section of the app, you can simply scan the barcode on the item in question to see if there is a discount available. It really can’t get any easier than that. The Cartwheel app has helped Target increase sales in their bricks-and-mortar stores. According to Fortune, Target has stated that Cartwheel users spend an average of 30% more in the store and the app has led to hundreds of millions of dollars in additional sales. Mobile marketing is genius, especially for bricks-and-mortar stores who have to compete with e-commerce giants like Amazon.
3. Customer data is not being analyzed. How do you create a marketing campaign that appeals to a broad audience? Well, first things first, you have to know what that audience is thinking. You have to understand them–understand what they need, what they are willing to spend, and what makes them tick. The best way to do this is by analyzing customer data. First, you must decide on an effective way to capture data–email forms, mobile data capture, surveys, etc. You need a way to reach customers (for marketing purposes) and a way to gather feedback. Once you gather this data, it’s important to analyze it. It’s no use to your company if you simply let it sit there. Make sure you have a team that can properly analyze this data so that you can begin to create more personalized marketing campaigns. Marketing can be personalized in many ways such as triggering product recommendations, emailing relevant deals and bargains, and creating a unique shopping experience.
Exceptional retail marketing is essential to the success of a store. Increasing popularity of online retailers makes it even more difficult for bricks-and-mortar stores to increase traffic and retain customers. It is especially difficult to create successful marketing campaigns for luxury items that are far outside of consumers’ budgets. The key to overcoming problems in retail marketing is to understand the customer. Gather and analyze the appropriate data that will help your company understand how to connect with consumers, and employ new strategies (like mobile apps) to build lasting relationships. These tools will increase customer satisfaction, retention, and sales for your business.