These days, retail marketing goes far beyond what’s on display in your shop window. Modern retail marketers use every marketing channel to generate interest and provide end users with the information they need to complete a sale. Whether shoppers are checking prices, reading product reviews, or browsing competitor websites, 82% of them start their customer journey online before committing to a purchase in a store. Technology is forcing retailers to adapt, and in order to stay competitive, marketing strategies need to adapt as well. Your retail marketing strategy needs to include more than the standard marketing fare that retail establishments have been relying on for ages; you need innovative retail marketing solutions.

 
Shoppers share what's hot and what's not about the retail experience.

A complete retail marketing definition includes any strategies or actions that retailers follow in order to promote their products. Because these strategies can vary widely based on industry, location, target market, and several other factors, the most effective marketing strategies are proving to be those that are capable of changing along with the world of retail.

In just the past ten years, the percentage of retail purchases that occur online has almost tripled, from 2.9% in 2006 to 8.1% in 2016. As customers become have more information available to them through digital sources, so must retailers. By gathering the right data, businesses can develop more effective retail marketing strategies tailored to each client. When the customer follows a personalized product recommendation informed by solid metrics, the conversion rate is 5.5 times higher.

With the right retail marketing analytics software solution, you can keep track of a staggering amount of data to analyze and leverage into more effective marketing campaigns. By tracking and organizing this data, you can draw valuable conclusions on the best ways to utilize your company’s marketing budget and other resources. Through careful study of customer behavior, you can predict future behavior and avoid wasting money on ineffective campaigns, instead building efficient, collaborative retail marketing strategies.

Data helps develop a clear picture of not just the market as a whole, but of each customer individually. With this information, you’ll be able to put together personalized campaigns to appeal to each individual client, with 1-to-1 messaging initiatives alongside your broader marketing campaigns. Of course, before any of this is possible, you’ll need to find the right retail marketing tool for your business’s unique situation. The good news is that there are certain characteristics shared by effective retail marketing solutions.

  • Tools
    If the solution you put into place can’t provide the information you need, it’s not worth the investment. Your solution should provide you with tools to gather information about your customers’ behavior, as well as tools to analyze that data and present it in a readable format. Email and text automation tools will allow you to create personalized marketing campaigns to predict and suggest products to your customers and share timely information with them, and superior data analytics will make it possible for you to create highly effective rewards programs to help keep loyal customers engaged.   

  • Ease of integration
    This includes both integration with your current infrastructure and integration with tools you may want to add in the future. How well does the solution you are planning on using work with other programs as a rule? Does it interact with your CRM solution to provide data on your client database? Does it have a reputation of working well with other programs, or do reviews indicate that it causes problems? Cloud-based online retail marketing tools generally offer the best experience with regard to integration, enabling users to access the complete tool over any internet connection, on any platform, and in conjunction with most CRM solutions.    

  • Flexibility and scalability
    As your business model shifts, does the tool have the ability to shift alongside it? Can its tools scale to grow alongside your business, or will you need to find a new solution as your needs change? Tools that offer users the freedom to customize and configure ensure that the chosen retail marketing strategy will be as effective years from now as it was on day one.

  • User experience
    How easy will the solution be for your team to use? As you bring in new employees, how extensive will their training on the program need to be? How difficult is it to access the necessary data? Can you export results in a readable format? Basically, how much of your team’s time will be spent making informed decisions based on relevant data, and how much will be spent screaming at their computers in frustration? The best retail marketing tools include built-in tutorials and multichannel live support, so that users can learn the system as they use it, and resolve even potentially catastrophic problems quickly.

  • Cost
    How much of a financial investment is the software you have chosen? What sort of value does it bring? It’s always important to weigh the costs versus the benefits. Even if your solution seems expensive at first, keep the benefits it offers in mind. If the benefits outweigh the initial investment, as well as the upkeep, then you should be fine. Otherwise, you’re essentially throwing valuable resources out the window. Look for retail marketing tools that offer free trial periods, so that you’ll be able to get a feel for what is being offered, before you commit any resources to it.

Retail is evolving. It is adapting to fit new technologies and a changing culture. By leveraging new technologies for your marketing plans, your business can evolve to fit the new digital environment. Advanced retail marketing ideas, strategies, and tools can help position your business in a place of prominence in that environment. Don’t put your marketing strategy in the hands of window mannequins: Take advantage of marketing technologies, and see for yourself just how bright the future of retail can be.

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