What Is Retail Marketing? (With Importance and Strategies)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published June 4, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Retail managers help direct and oversee all the operations, including marketing, in a retail business. Marketing at the retail level helps manufacturers find consumers to buy their products and gets the products to consumers with an efficient distribution network. Learning about marketing strategies and ways to improve your market stance can help promote your career and generate more revenue for a retail business.

In this article, we explain what retail marketing is, discuss why it's important, describe the principles involved, and share effective marketing strategies for retail businesses.

What is retail marketing?

Retail marketing is the process of taking products or services directly to customers in a retail store using various marketing techniques. It involves all the processes and ways a consumer business generates more products or services sales and attracts more customers.

Retail marketers promote companies' products or services, build relationships with customers, and fix prices to attract customers. They may add additional benefits to customers' purchases, such as quality packaging, cost reduction, and transport convenience to give more value.

Related: Top 5 Marketing Fields to Explore For a Successful Career

Why is retail marketing important?

Marketing is essential for a retail business to thrive in a competitive industry. Without proper promotion or marketing strategies, end-users may not get familiar with a retailer's products, leading to poor sales and high losses for the business. Here are more reasons marketing can be highly beneficial for retail businesses:

Increases customer satisfaction

Many retailers can improve the quality of life of their customers by providing them with essential high-quality products at relatively affordable prices conveniently delivered to them. Retail marketers use their market knowledge and conduct more research to search for new ways to increase customer satisfaction. This is usually to ensure they don't lose their customers to other retail outlet competitors and attract new customers from existing ones.

For instance, if a particular retail store's customer service is excellent and offers quality products or services, existing customers can recommend it to their friends, family, or colleagues at work, increasing the company's customer base and volume of sales.

Related: Relationship and Effect of Customer Service in Sales

Enhances communication between manufacturers and consumers

A retailer is the connection between manufacturers and consumers to foster better business relationships. They gather information on customers' buying trends, likes, and dislikes and convey it to manufacturers to improve their product development or designs and meet customers' expectations.

This can increase product sales, generate more profit for the retailer, and ensure higher satisfaction levels for consumers. Retail trading is ideal as it's beneficial and satisfying for all parties involved.

Helps small businesses with a distribution network

Retailing is highly beneficial, especially for small businesses, and it can save them a lot of time and costs. Retailers are often experts and with lots of experience in distribution networks. They use their closeness and proximity to consumers to collect market data and store products or services that end-users mostly need.

Retailing helps deliver such products in the same size and style the customers expect, saving them transportation costs and stress. They can also use their expertise and knowledge about the products to help small businesses make the right purchases.

Principles of marketing in retailing

The basics of marketing in the retail industry centre on the following major principles:

Product

This is the item customers purchase. Products typically solve customers' immediate needs or perform a particular function. A product can merge with other products or services for customers to buy as a set or package deal. Retailers select practical and marketable products that match consumers' needs for sale.

Price

Retailers set the market price for a product and decide the amount consumers pay to receive it. They try to set a standard price that's not too low, so their market is profitable and not too high to retain their customers without losing them to competitors. Price can be a crucial factor in determining the demand for a product, especially if the price is relatively low compared to its value.

Place

This is where retailers sell products. It can refer to the actual location of a physical store, and it may also refer to an online presence. The physical store is a location customers can visit to get products they want or need, and the situation of a place can also affect product sales.

For example, suppose a store located in a remote area that people don't visit often. It may not be good for sales, but a location in the centre of a city or province filled with people can immensely contribute to the store's sales and profitability. Likewise, getting online visibility or being at the top of web search results for a product can be valuable for an online retail store.

Promotion

Retail promotion involves all marketing activities that generate people's interest in the products and create awareness of the brand. Customers may want to engage with a brand well before trusting them enough to do business with them. This principle focuses on promotional tactics to increase a brand's customer base and drive product sales. A few of these tactics include:

  • Advertisements

  • Hosting events

  • Bonuses on products

  • Sales or discounts

  • Public relations

People

The people here are the company representatives, such as stakeholders, employees, or contacts in the retail store. These people directly interact with customers and can provide answers to customers' questions about product details, such as quality, price, or availability. Representatives are also crucial in a retail business as they can convert potential customers into actively purchasing customers with the correct details and the right attitude.

Presentation

This refers to the overall aesthetics and design of a retail business or store. It also involves the attractive presentation of products for easier identification and provides shopping convenience for customers. It typically depicts how a retailer uses visual elements to decorate and present their space. These elements may include details such as the layout, furniture, or interior decoration items.

Effective marketing strategies for retail businesses

Here are some effective strategies you can use to market your retail business:

Identify sources of traffic

Try to identify the current marketing channel producing the best results for the retail business. It's crucial to find out how most of your customers discover your brand to make more effective marketing decisions as a retailer.

For example, if over 80% of sales are from online and web advertisements, you can consider running more online advertisements to increase your online visibility and attract more customers. Similarly, if most of your sales are from existing customer referrals, consider giving out bonuses or sales packages to customers who refer new people to your business to achieve even more outstanding results.

Related: Marketing vs. Sales (With Definitions and Differences)

Switch pricing strategy

You can adopt several pricing methods for efficient marketing. A typical pricing strategy is low pricing, where retailers sell products to customers at lower prices. Another strategy is high-low pricing, where manufacturers demand high prices for famous products, then reduce the costs as the product's popularity decreases.

Also, the rate of customers' demand for products can change due to consumer trends, market or seasonal changes, or competitors' actions. So you can consider changing prices strategically to keep sales going and get more customers while covering basic expenses and earning a reasonable profit.

Care for employees

Employee care is an effective marketing strategy for retail businesses. Consider compensating employees properly or giving incentives to get the best results. This can motivate employees to provide even better customer service and leave them memorable impressions and experiences. You can also motivate the sales team with bonuses and packages to encourage them to increase their sales. If you hire and retain committed and customer-oriented employees, it's easier to improve the customer retention rate and profitability, and reduce employee turnover.

Read more: How to Motivate Employees

Use social media

Consider investing in social media advertising to reach more of your target audience and convert them to returning customers. Social media can help target specific people interested in the company's products or services and gives you a chance with them. You can use several social media platforms to connect with influencers, promotional models, or hire a brand ambassador to promote the brand.

This can help generate more leads, increase sales, and bring new customers. You may also consider creating a community page on social media where you can interact with customers and get feedback about the products or services.

Engage with customers

Constantly engage with customers and give them reasons to value and stay loyal to the brand. An effective way to make customers loyal is to be helpful to them. Try to provide as much value as you can and answer their questions or inquiries truthfully. You can consider any issues they have from their perspective and provide insight into solutions that can help.

Consider leaving them with memorable experiences by thanking them for their purchase every time and always inviting them to return. You can also offer returning customers discounts or service coupons to keep them engaged.

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