Competition is fierce, particularly in the retail industry. Instead of giving up or getting discouraged, the competition just means that you must be strategic about your customer service, retail product marketing, branding, referral generation, and online presence. You have a competitive edge, but you must articulate how you will best use position your products and services.
One of the main differentiating factors with the competition is your local presence. Tap into the substantive competitive advantage of your local retail storefront to make it clear that you’re part of a community.
- Target your local marketing promotions during the holiday shopping season.
- Geotarget your ads, include locally relevant keyword targeting to reach out directly to your audience.
- Write local content that makes your dedication to the community clear.
Your target audience is the group of people in your community who are possible customers for your products and services. Make the local tie-in clear when with your retail product marketing efforts. If you’re looking for a grade for your current local presence, try our local SEO audit tool.
Amplify Your Promotions
Don’t just post your locally targeted promotions to your website. Take it to the next level. Go geo-social by posting timely, relevant and consistent messages across your social media platforms, as part of your retail product marketing effort. Your goal is to reach ever-wider swathes of your local audience.
- Post and encourage your customers and prospects to post across your social media channels
- Reinforce the concept that (unlike many of your competitors), you’re a home-grown retail store
- Make it clear that you belong. You’re part of the community.
More than that, you’re dedicated to delivering the product and local service that your customers need. You are not a virtual abstraction. You and your team are real people who are standing by to assist your customers in determining which products will best meet their needs.
Make it an Event
Often, event planning is centered on holidays and national events for retail product marketing. In most cases, it’s important to tap into those shopping bonanzas like Black Friday. Those holidays really bring shoppers out in droves, and it’s easy to get caught up on in the hype and shopping mania. Serve the needs of your customers, but don’t forget that your customers come to you for a real shopping experience. While it’s great to invest in retail product marketing that is focused on the big events, don’t forget to include a substantive and actionable value proposition. Make it clear what sets you apart, and how you will help your customers achieve the experience they are looking for.
- Focus on the interests of your customers. Why do they come to you? What do they need? What do they want? It’s not about you. It’s about what is important to your customers.
- Offer an educational workshop or series.
- Center your event around product launches, new features, and exciting news as part of your retail product marketing.
Always remember that your customers have a myriad of other choices. You have no way to really force them to come into your store. So, every customer is valuable and worthy of your utmost respect and attention.
Unique Ways to Reward Customers
- Host a contest that is not only fun and entertaining but also a great experience for the entire family. Also, be sure to tie it back into an educational, product-centric value proposition.
- Make it about community and sharing. Whether you host a pizza party, a happy hour, or an ice cream social, make it clear that your retail product marketing event is centered on giving back to the community and offering an experience that customers want and need.
- Make it clear that your customer appreciation initiatives are something that is a core value for your company. It’s not a once-in-a-while thing. It’s important to you on a daily basis. Your goal is to make even your most difficult customers walk out of your store feeling like they were listened to, their questions and opinions were valued, and you worked to deliver exactly what they needed.
Events shouldn’t be flash-in-the-pan, one-time things. Every event should be strategically deployed as part of your retail product marketing plan. Don’t just throw something together at the last minute. Be purposeful about it. Make it a meaningful and wonderful customer service experience that will stay with them.
No Promotions? No Problem
There are no off-days or down days in retail product marketing. Every day should be focused on what the larger goals are, and how you intend to achieve them. The scope and direction of your marketing plan do not have to fill up every single day or minute with marketing promotions. There is such a thing as overkill and promotion fatigue. Your customers may feel like they’ve heard too much of the same (great) thing over-and-over again. Implement other retail product marketing tools!
One of the most effective tools in your marketing kit is your incentive or referral program.
- Create an easy-entry point and instant gratification. The prizes don’t have to be huge to be fun and popular. The idea is to tap into a value proposition that feels shareable and winnable.
- Build anticipation and excitement. Don’t just start the program and forget about it. Incentives and referral programs require attention, fostering, and cross-promotion. Don’t waste your time and annoy your customers by starting something and then never following through!
- Prizes keep you front-and-center. Your incentive program is designed to keep your customers thinking about your products and services, but it’s also a great way to generate referrals.
Referral generation is a huge, often-untapped reservoir of business opportunities. Nielsen consistently reports that 92% of Americans rely on recommendations from friends and family members. Those are referrals, whether you want to think of them that way or not. In the International Journal of Market Research, M. There’s an almost involuntary desire to share and collaborate in the buying experience. It matters. Your customers feel the personal connection when you ask them to share their experience. It feels good like they matter.
Product Marketing for eCommerce Retailers
While you’re prepping and thinking about all the ways to integrate retail product marketing strategies into your in-store activations, don’t forget about eCommerce furniture website. It really is your most powerful resource. It’s there for you and your customers in the middle of the night and all day long. While you aren’t always able to control every aspect of your customer’s experience in areas that are outside of your control, your website really is a type of showroom.
You’re inviting your customers in, showing them around, answering their questions, making the process easy, and ensuring that they feel welcomed and appreciated. While you’ve probably spent substantial time and resources in developing and deploying your website, here are a few tips that you must consider to be competitive and to be sure that your products and services stand out and are counted as the best as part of your retail product marketing strategy.
Product Marketing During Black Friday
Prep your site for Black Friday deals and checkout. Don’t stop there, though. Make sure that prep, organization, and stringent focus on optimization is part of every roll out for the holidays and any promotional effort. It’s easy to think that it will “just work” no matter what you throw at it. Your competitors may have thought that too.
You’ve heard the embarrassing stories about the big retailers who rolled out huge multi-million-dollar promotions and were devastated when their site crashed seconds after launch.
Create Impactful Messaging
Add a sense of urgency in your messaging. You must include a call-to-action in all of your promotions and retail product marketing efforts, but you must also make it NOW. It’s not next week or next month or next year. Your customers have probably been following you for a while, so if they come to your site, you don’t want them to put it off for even one more day. What can you do, say, or show your customers to inspire them to take action right now?
Create Urgency to Buy
Creating that sense of urgency and anticipation is not always easy or fun. It sometimes feels like you’re saying the same thing over and over, and that your customers will no longer respond to your constant pleas to buy. Your customers don’t go to your website every day, though, and they don’t even see every one of your social media posts, your event promotions, or other pieces of your marketing plan. It’s not possible for any one customer to see it all. So, don’t let your sense of promo overload stop you from encouraging your customers to act right now.
Be clear, concise, and honest. Your website is a great space for sharing details about your discounts and the availability of your standard and custom products and pricing. It’s always a challenge to keep everything up to date on your website, but it really is the face of your company. You must check every link, verify every piece of information, and create an immersive and powerful customer experience that demonstrates who you are as an honest, wholesome, and trustworthy company. You can’t afford to let any error, inconsistency, or oversight ruin the reputation that you’ve built for yourself and your entire team online.
Boost your graphics with a new look for the holiday shopping season. Make it look great. Don’t rely on the same, tired-old graphics that you’ve used every other year. Work to bring a new reinvigorated look and feel to the standard holiday promos. Dig in. Figure out what sets you apart and then show that off to your customers. It’s something to be proud of. The same goes for all your product descriptions and every other piece of content on your website. Every promo, blog post, social media post, and other visible assets is a representation of who you are as a company. It sets the tone for the relationship of trust that you are developing with your customers. It’s unique. It’s yours.
How MicroD Can Help Set You Apart
At MicroD, we’re here for you. We help you stand out and differentiate yourself when compared to your competitors. We’ve been in the industry for long enough to know how to tap into the technological revolution in the retail space. We work with you to jump right in, with all the consulting, products and services you might think to ask for (or not ask for).
Even if you’ve been in the industry for years, we offer the right advice for now, but then we also continue to help you as your marketing plan. It’s our goal to be your partner as we advocate for the solutions that will take you to the next level with your retails space. We don’t believe in leaving you to guess it all out. Instead, we offer ideas, consulting, and a strategic plan that will help you develop and implement solutions that work for your today but also for all those holiday marketing bonanzas coming up.