You’ve opened your retail store. The grand opening was a success. Tons of new customers, sales, press, and social media posts surrounded the event.
But now that the initial excitement has died down, so have foot traffic and sales numbers.
How do you keep the momentum going?
Brick-and-mortar marketing can keep the conversation going about your store, attract customers, and promote your products. Below, we’ll dive into what it is, why it’s important, and ways you can use it to promote your store.
What is brick and mortar marketing?
Brick and mortar marketing (also called retail marketing) is when a retailer uses marketing strategies and tactics to promote their store, attract foot traffic, and drive sales. Though traditionally, the term mostly referred to in-person exchanges, brick and mortar marketing can happen both online and offline — and the most successful retailers use a combination of both.
Marketing has come a long way over the years, especially with the advent of the internet. While billboards and print ads still have their place, they’re complemented and sometimes even replaced by advanced targeting made possible with digital marketing — or “bricks and clicks.”
As more and more retailers sell online in addition to at their storefronts, an omnichannel approach to your retail marketing strategy is becoming more critical.
The value in brick and mortar marketing
Brick and mortar marketing fuels both customer acquisition and retention. It can put your brand in front of new customers, increase awareness, create a community, differentiate your brand from competitors, and attract foot traffic. With existing customers, you can forge and nurture relationships that lead to brand advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing in the long run.
As mentioned earlier, the most successful retailers use digital and offline channels simultaneously via an omnichannel approach. More than 90% of retailers have an omnichannel strategy or plan to invest in one soon, and 87% agree that it’s critical or very important to success.
10 brick and mortar marketing ideas to promote your store
Provide great customer service
Though this should go without saying, we can’t understate how important it is that you work to provide a seamless, positive, and memorable in-store experience. One that accurately represents your brand and puts your customers first.
Consumers share negative and positive experiences equally, so you want to make sure they’re saying the right things about you. “Small independent retailers can compete with the giants by providing great customer service, or an imaginative experience,” says Carlos Castelán, managing director of The Navio Group. “Customers crave unique, creative, and memorable in-store experiences.”
He points to a few examples of retailers doing this right:
- “Our Generation dolls created an event within Target stores to “pierce” the dolls’ ears and host “Adopt a Pup” events where kids bring their dolls to the store and receive a free six-inch plush dog to adopt and pose for photos with friends. This is a very smart way to encourage in-store traffic word of mouth marketing, provide additional value to customers, and all while adding a big opportunity for purchases of additional products.
- Restoration Hardware has created massive showrooms with unique experiences meant to draw people to the store with cafés that serve espresso drinks and wine as well as snacks for customers to enjoy their shopping experience.
- Stew Leonard’s, the Northeast supermarket chain, offers dozens of in-store customer experiences, including costumed cows walking the aisles, a small farm for the children, in-store dining, free samples, and culinary classes.”
Signage and displays
Though it’s an old-school tactic, you don’t want to overlook the importance of your store’s signage and accompanying visual displays. From the banner on your storefront to the wayfinding signs throughout your store — and everything in between — each of these is a chance to make an impression and tie into your larger brick-and-mortar marketing strategy.
Things to keep in mind:
- Consistency is key, both visually and with your voice.
- Stand out from your surroundings. Draw extra attention to your storefront and to the sales promotion ideas you want to prioritize.
- Be helpful, especially for pricing and product information, and wayfinding signage.
To be fair, “local marketing” is kind of vague. And that’s because there are many ways to go about making your presence known in your local neighborhood.
- Claim your local listings, including Google My Business, Facebook, Bing, Yelp, and any other profiles. Add captivating descriptions, photos, business hours, addresses, and other pertinent information to attract visitors to your store.
- Get involved in your community. Join your local Chamber of Commerce and other networking groups, partner with complimentary local businesses, sponsor or host events, and sell at local markets and festivals.
- Leverage word-of-mouth marketing. Incentivize referrals with discounts, free gifts, or other promos to help spread the word.
- Run locally-targeted digital ads with Google Ads or paid social ads. Choose local zip codes and parameters to get in front of your community.
- Run ads in the local paper, print publications, and online hubs.
We touched on social media ads above, but you can do more on social than the pay-to-play tactics. Castelán recommends retailers use social media to show off the stellar customer experience they deliver.
“By promoting in-store customer experience on social media, shoppers will not visit your store and buy, but will tell others via word-of-mouth or take your message viral with online praises and mentions.” – Carlos Castelán, managing director of The Navio Group
“Retailers that market their strong customer experience on social media and promote a shopping experience that doubles as a medium of entertainment will attract and win shoppers and boost sales,” Castelán says. “Market the shopping experience more than just buying a product, but think about the experience that accompanies visiting a store like in-store demos or events that showcase products and entertain shoppers.”
A wonderful example of retail doing this well is Cositas, a furniture and gift shop in the UK. Cositas’ Instagram feed has a healthy mix of posts, including pictures merchandise, event photos, and more.
In some posts, storeowner Emma Bustamante steps in front of the camera to demonstrate how some of her products work.