Retail marketing ideas so easy you can even do it

retail marketing ideas

Retail marketing ideas are all about attracting customers. And the good thing is, whether your customers love to shop or hate it, its a necessity they have to fulfill!

That is why your job is to make their shopping experience hassle-free. Here are the best retail marketing ideas that are guaranteed to be effective, yet cost-friendly: 

#1. Create a customer profile

customer profile

If you want to save money, the first step is narrowing down your target market. A well researched, small market segment will produce more productive results.

To create a customer profile, study your most loyal customers and list down 5 of the most common traits based on the following characteristics:

Dynamic customer profile

The next step is to compile your results and make a standard customer profile based on the most repeated characteristics. 

This customer profile will be the basis for your marketing strategy and knowing what type of customers to target. It will help you do the following:

  • Geotargeting

As the name suggests, geotargeting refers to targeting customers based on their location. If you’re a local food business, you will geotarget customers within a certain area of a city. 

However, if you have an online retail store you can even target customers nationwide! Technology has reduced many of the physical distances and thus, made geotargeting more efficient. 

  • Imagery 

Your customers will help define the type of imagery that you incorporate into your products.

Suppose you own a local retail shop in the heart of NYC. Your customers are mainly tourists that want to buy souvenirs. What will you print on your products? The statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge and other famous spots that tourists love to visit: 

souvenir product

In fact, a good retail marketing idea that will help you provide a unique offering is customized picture printing services. This way, tourists can get souvenirs like T-shirts and mugs made according to their personal preferences. 

The point is, your customer profile will help you cater to your target audience effectively. 

#2. Run Google Shopping campaigns

Google receives 3.8 million searches per minute and many of these are shoppers, whether they are searching for a shop location, contact number, timings or good stores to find a particular product. 

As a marketer, this is where you need to focus. Investing in a Google shopping campaign will allow you to sell your product directly through the search engine, which is must faster and convenient: 

Google Shopping campaign

Source: Search Engine Land

These shopping ads dominate search ads because they use visuals which are more eye-catching for the customer. However, to ensure that your shopping campaign is effective, take note of the following: 

  • Organise your products 

Make sure your best selling items are on top to maximize sales, and group together products of similar value so that navigation is easier for the customer. 

  • Use high-quality images 

Since you’re depending on visuals, your image quality will be a crucial factor in determining whether customers click on your product or not. 

Use images with little to no grain, fine detail and a plain background so that customers focus on the product. Google’s guidelines also advise using images with higher than 250×250 pixels and an https or encoded URL. 

Make sure you optimize high-quality images (you can use TinyJPG) otherwise, they will slow down your website and lead to the loss of potential customers.  

  • Include promotions and product reviews 

In such fierce competition, you need to give customers a reason to choose your brand. Where 84% of millennials don’t trust advertising, 91% trust online reviews so give them what they want! 

To get your reviews visible on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), you need at least 50 reviews from one of Google’s third-party approved apps. 

Moreover, you’ll have to get your promotions approved by Google in order for them to appear on SERPs.  

#3. Make the most of sales

In the retail industry, this is what your customers always want to see: 

sale image

However, for marketers, this is a very tricky area. 

You want to portray your brand’s sales as a rare opportunity that customers need to take advantage of, instead of overusing the idea of sales so that customers only shop with you when discounts are available. 

The best ways to take advantage of sales are: 

  • Spontaneous sales: Your customers love nothing more than surprises. Discounts will appeal to them more if they don’t see it coming 
  • Timing: You need to create awareness about your sale so that customers can take full advantage. Since marketing channels like SMS have open rates as high as 98%, you can use them to inform customers even at the last minute   
  • Wordings: Perhaps the most crucial part of your strategy is how you phrase your promotion. Here’s an example: 
retail marketing text message

This message creates a sense of urgency, as well as adopts the ‘You’ attitude i.e. making the customer feel that they NEED the sale. If they don’t come, their favorite clothes will be bought by other customers; thus, effectively motivating them to shop. 

#4. Focus on your window displays

window display

Source: Shopify

Ever heard of the phrase, ‘Your first impression is the last impression?’ 

Well, that applies to retail as well. If your customers like what they see in your window display, only then will they be tempted to enter your store. 

Here are the steps you need to follow if you want to utilize your window display to the fullest: 

  • Change your window display every month, and during the holiday season, every week if you can!
  • Put your best sellers out in the window display 
  • Take advantage of seasonal peaks and holidays to create a theme:
create a theme

Tiffany & Co. created this exquisite Great Gatsby themed window display back in 2013 which turned a lot of heads and went viral online. 

Even if you own a small retail store, a little bit of creativity can go a long way. 

#5. Invest in your employees

retain your top selling employees

Source: TinyPulse

Your employees can be your biggest asset. If you train them right, you could bring in a lot more revenue. 

For example, if you own a mid-sized retail store, your employees need to smile at customers in order to persuade them to purchase a product. 

However, if you own a high-end retail store like Burberry, being friendly to all store visitors is the wrong approach! 

Customers who purchase from there expect exclusivity, so you need to focus on them and give them all your attention. 

If your employees are happy, they will make sure your customers are too, so invest in them. 

Let’s take the example of Starbucks. The global coffeehouse spends more on its employees’ health than it does on coffee beans! 

You can follow this example and offer your employees fringe benefits such as health insurance, bonuses, retirement plans, club memberships etc. 

Similarly, the Australian coffee house Gloria Jeans trains its staff to recognize regular customers and chat with them so that they know they are appreciated for their loyalty to the brand. 

#6. Maximize revenue from discounts & coupons 

Even when you’re offering discounts, if you think smartly, you can sell more products. Here are some tactics that you can put into play: 

  • Instead of offering a discount on individual products, offer the second product at a lower price for the purchase of one product
  • Use sales and discounts as an incentive for customers to download your app, make a purchase on your website or join your email and SMS campaigns (this works great for companies with a newly launched e-commerce services) 
retail marketing SMS campaign

Source: MessageMedia

  • Offer higher discounts on defected or old products and less discount on newer items. This way, customers will most likely perceive that the value for the price is fair and buy more products (It will also help you attract new customers and retain them) 

#7. Make sure you conduct follow-ups

This is crucial because it will help you determine what your customers want, and give them that. 

The Chinese retail giant Miniso is the perfect example to follow. It makes everything from perfumes to air fresheners and crockery: 

Miniso store

Source: LinkedIn

Recently, it found out that customers were looking for umbrellas with a button for opening it. However, the brand did not have this convenience feature in its product but by collecting this feedback, it introduced new umbrellas; thus, giving the customers what they wanted. 

By doing this, not only will your customers feel valued about having a say in your products, but you will also ensure that they do not leave your brand for others that offer better products.

#8. Be resourceful for your customers

It’s not always about who can sell the most, it’s all about creating customer relationships. One way to do that is to be resourceful and help out your customers in different areas: 

  • Facebook group

You’ll often notice that people with the same interests often have a Facebook group where they can connect with people who share the same interest – be it foodies, tech-savvy people, gamers or any other category. 

As a retail business, if you create a Facebook group, not only will customers look towards your brand for resourceful information but you will also be able to create both product and brand awareness. 

This strategy definitely worked for the blogger turned billionaire, Huda Kattan

beauty lover - the official Facebook group
  • Website blog 

Blogging has numerous advantages – the best of them being high SEO for your website. Again, it provides your customers and other visitors resourceful information that will help you create a name for your brand within the community. 

  • Pinterest

Pinterest is where your customers look for inspiration. If your brand is giving them that, they will think of it as the best, so make sure you have a Pinterest account.

  • YouTube Channel 

These days, selling a product is not enough. Going the extra mile is what will help you retain your customers. 

Suppose you sell high-end street fashion. You can set up a YouTube channel and make creative videos teaching your followers the different ways they can style a scarf, or how to re-use old clothes. 

This way, you’ll become the go-to for people who want to look fashionable; thus, also increasing the chances that they purchase from your brand. 


The retail industry is all about adapting to the needs of customers, and these retail marketing ideas will help you do just that. 

Since customers in the retail market have so many options to choose from when buying the same product, they can easily get distracted. 

Your goal should be to retain as many customers as possible whilst maximizing sales.