10 In-Store Marketing Strategies to Try
Digital marketing, as well as traditional marketing strategies, can be great for driving foot traffic into your business, but entering the store is not the end of the customer journey.
Once potential customers come into your store, how do you convert these potential customers into people that buy your products? One of the best ways to improve the customer experience and drive sales is in-store marketing. There are various ways that you can use in-store marketing to help drive sales, improve the customer experience, and foster loyal customers.
What is In-Store Marketing?
In-store marketing is a type of marketing that takes place, not in online stores, but in physical stores, brick-and-mortar shops, and the retail business. In-store marketing helps promote products and offer a great customer experience to the shoppers.
This type of marketing focuses on engaging with customers to provide a personalized experience during the shopping session. There are multiple in-store marketing tactics that you can use to engage with customers, personalize their experience, and ultimately increase your revenue.
Unlike eCommerce platforms, brick-and-mortar shops can engage with customers in real-time, which is the key to getting shoppers’ attention. Once you have the attention of your customers, the chances of them purchasing your products increase.
Nowadays, businesses focus more on digital marketing efforts to attract people. However, once customers step foot inside a shop, their attention is not captured.
While digital marketing and brand marketing are essential, in-store marketing is crucial for sales and market share. This article is all about leveraging in-store marketing to increase your sales and improve your customer experience.
How Can In-Store Marketing Help Your Business?
In-store marketing strategies help brands:
- Promote products
- Educate prospects and shoppers
- Drive up-sells and cross-sells
- Generate leads
- Build brand recognition and affinity
- Decrease perceived customer wait-times
- Support sales and customer support teams
In-store marketing allows brands to market to one of the most highly engaged prospects they will ever have — someone in their store. It controls the customer experience, dictates how visitors engage with their surroundings, and eventually drives in-store customers to make purchases.
So, how can your brand embrace in-store marketing strategies?
10 In-Store Marketing Strategies
With just a few steps, you can improve your in-store experience and convince more customers to buy from your brand. Check out these ten in-store marketing strategies to increase sales at your brick-and-mortar store.
1. Free Wifi
Free wifi is one of the best ways to increase customer experience while engaging in more direct in-store marketing. When people have free wifi from their brick-and-mortar store, they receive marketing material, as well as promotions and deals, when they log into the wifi.
It is also possible to add to the login interface links to your store's social media accounts which will encourage customers to post about your brand. Additionally, there can be an option to opt into email marketing from your brand, which will aid in digital marketing campaigns.
Free wifi increases customer experience, as well as increasing customer dwell time. When people are able to take their time, enjoying whatever material is on their phone, they will spend more time in your store, and increasing dwell time is correlated to increases in the amount that customers purchase from your store.
Moreover, free wifi can make waiting times much less painful. If they have a good internet connection on their phones, they will be a lot less impatient to get help from store staff, which is a serious problem, especially during a store’s busy hours.
Moreover, it will reduce perceived waiting time when in the checkout line. All of this serves to improve the customer experience and make people want to return to your store when they need to make a purchase.
2. Use digital signage to inform customers about deals and promotions
Digital signage is the use of digital displays, such as televisions, LED walls, and tablets, in conjunction with a digital signage solution, to display eye-catching digital content.
Digital signage is an incredibly powerful tool for your in-store marketing campaign because it is incredibly versatile. With digital signage, you can display images, text, animations, social media feeds, digital menu boards, calls to action, apps, and much more.
With digital signage, you can easily make sure that customers see your deals and promotions. Moreover, you can highlight and upsell products specific products that you are trying to sell. With eye-catching images or animations, you can make these products much more appealing than would be achievable with a traditional static sign, which would need to be redesigned and reprinted every time you wanted to highlight a new product.
Why not use digital signage to effectively convey a call-to-action for a specific deal or product? Digital signage can also be used to inform customers about your brand. This type of information can have an incredibly wide scope and will often depend on the type of business that you are running.
Some examples could include company mission statements or information about where your products are sourced from. The opportunities for the type of information you can include in your digital signage playlists are truly endless.
3. Share Audio Messages with Shoppers
Overhead messaging is a powerful in-store marketing tool to use to talk about upcoming events and promotion opportunities. You can create quick ten-second sound bites that you play in-between songs encouraging people to try a new product or sign up for a service.
The nature of audio means everyone will be aware of the information, even if they’re not looking at your store’s signage or talking to one of your employees.
4. Host Store Events
Hosting events inside your store is a great way to draw customers into your store and increase dwell time. The events can also be related to your business. These can include classes, tastings, meet-and-greets, and much more.
When people attend an event at your store, it is quite probable that they will leave your store with some of your goods or appointments for your services. It is also a great way to make potential customers fond of your store, helping to create loyal customers that can be counted on to buy your products time and time again.
In addition to bringing traffic in and resulting in sales, events are also a great way to generate buzz on social media and nurture relationships with attendees. You can connect your brand to both your community and a cause by hosting a charitable event that includes a donation.
This is a powerful way to give back, while also reinforcing a positive reputation for your store. Showing that you care about doing good can impact how customers see you and your business.
5. Boost In-Store Brand Engagement
Encourage customers to check-in and share to increase in-store brand engagement.
For example, retailers can ask shoppers to follow their social media channels, reach out to customers for surveys (set up a few interactive touchscreens by the exit or ask an employee to survey people before they leave), offer discounts for customer reviews or for checking out your business on social media and host a giveaway contest for a chance to win a seasonal product bundle.
This will show that you’re listening while also offering coupons to keep customers coming back to your business.
6. Referral Programs
Referral programs are an incredibly effective retail marketing strategy. Creating incentives for customers to refer their friends can bring in high-value traffic and encourage repeat purchases from both. A popular way to do this is to offer a coupon for customers and their friends if they successfully refer someone. You can promote your referral and loyalty programs both online and in-store.
7. Adopt New Technology to Offer a Personalized Customer Experience
Nowadays, as part of in-store marketing strategies, digital technology collects and uses consumer data, to contribute to the development of personalized solutions.
Beacons placed at store entrances connect to customers’ phones, to ethically collect data, such as name, email, birthday, location, city, brand affinities, social network influence, and demographics, as well as to send offers, deals, and coupons, under the form of push notifications.
RFID tags help consumers identify objects and get information regarding price, collection, available sizes, colors, composition, manufacturing process etc. When used in combination with other technologies, such as magnetic stripes, smart cards etc., they allow automatic identification and data capture, enabling the use of alternative checkout processes and creating, for example, cashier-less stores.
In such an environment, where in-store marketing uses deeply technologized solutions, some would say that traditional human customer relations are no longer needed, but the truth is quite the opposite. People bring added value to the shopping experience and help drive emotion and loyalty towards brands.
The only thing that needs to be done is to ensure that employees have clear roles, where they may bring added value, and those customer representatives are trained to behave in accordance with the brand’s personality and values, as well as its in-store marketing strategy.
8. Line Your Checkout Space with Displays
Place shelves or free-standing displays around your register to showcase small, inexpensive products. Doing this will keep your customers shopping as they wait in line and will promote impulse buys.
When stocking your shelves with impulse items, use products like snacks, small accessories, or other little items that customers can add to their purchase without much thought. Another strategy is to display odds and ends that customers might have forgotten—like batteries, lighters, and nail clippers. This can greatly increase sales at both a business or your small business.
9. Create a Sampling Area
Another way that you can boost customer engagement and drive sales around your point of sale (POS) is by creating a sampling or demo station. Whether you are sampling a new snack or showing shoppers how to use a featured product, a sampling area is a great way to introduce customers to new products and boost your sales.
To begin, you can either create your own samples and station or contact your supplier for sample inventory and displays. Most of the time, suppliers don’t mind sending them out for free, and they will often include a temporary sampling station for you to use. Otherwise, a small folding table with some signage should do the trick.
Set up your sampling in an area closest to the checkout counter, but be sure that it doesn’t get overcrowded or disrupt the queue. This will allow you to capitalize on customers about to make a purchase, drive impulse buys, and maintain order in your checkout area.
10. Cross Merchandise Complementary Products
When customers are in the checkout line or are preparing to pay, use POS marketing to cross merchandise complementary products. Cross merchandising can save customers time, make their shopping experience easier and more convenient, remind them of need, spark ideas, and drive your sales.
For example, a grocery store might place pasta and pasta sauce at an endcap by the register so customers can easily add both products to their cart at the end of their shopping trip. Or, a boutique might display scarves and hats near its POS so customers can grab all their cold-weather essentials in one place. Placing items that are commonly sold together near your POS is a great strategy for upselling.
Choosing the Best In-Store Marketing for Your Store
Needless to say, many of the in-store marketing techniques that we have described in this article will work great for some and not as great for others. The key is to figure out what types of in-store marketing strategies will work best for your store’s in-store marketing campaign.
This will mean that you must determine who your clientele are and cater to their interests and needs. One great way of doing this is to ask customers to answer surveys. Since a lot of customers won’t want to take a survey for free, it can be beneficial to offer coupons in return for taking surveys.
Once you get a good number of surveys filled out, you will have a much better idea of the type of environment that your customers are looking for. In-store marketing can be hugely beneficial to your business’s bottom line, but it must be applied correctly and in accordance with your brand image, personality, and goals.