Last Updated on May 31, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck
It has been a very tough year for brick-and-mortar retail stores. The growing trend of online shopping, the global pandemic, and the historic over-extended square footage of retail chains have been devastating. As a result, many businesses need retail operational and marketing ideas to boost sales to compete with the online shopping landscape.
While there is no magical solution to the growth of online shopping, there are specific strategies that small businesses can implement to help absorb some of the damage and energize their sales momentum. Here’s what you need to know about retail operational and marketing ideas to boost sales.
Marketing Strategies for Retail Stores
Here are the facts: in 2020, 40 major retailers filed for Chapter 11 protection, and 11,157 stores closed during the year, setting new annual records. In just one year, we’ve seen the closing of 149 million sq. ft. of leasable chain store retail footage. The impact of the pandemic on smaller retailers is immeasurable and severe.
Many small businesses are struggling to come up with out-of-the-box solutions to dwindling sales, but you have a few options at your disposal. Here are some essential retail operational and marketing ideas to boost sales you can implement if your business has been suffering:
- Start a delivery service. Many businesses can benefit from offering delivery—it’s not limited to restaurants. Game shops, bookstores, and boutiques can all implement local delivery options.
- Consider BOPIS (buy online, pick up in-store). If delivery isn’t an option for you, you can still cash in on the online shopping boom by allowing your customers to buy online, then come into the store to pick up their items or stop by for curbside delivery.
- Communicate how safe your store is to shop. Customers are wary about shopping in person but are more likely to stop by if you let them know what you’re doing to keep them safe. For example, advertise your cleaning policy and any restrictions on occupancy or mask-wearing restrictions to put them at ease.
- Invest in improving your signing, cleanliness, lighting, and merchandise displays. Shopping in person can deliver an experience that e-commerce can’t hope to compete with. In addition, if you make your store a welcoming place, your loyal customers will want to come in.
- Speed up your transaction time and your service levels. A great customer experience is appealing, considering the hassle of online returns, refunds, and exchanges. Some of the best retail operational and marketing ideas to boost sales revolve around improving customer service and transaction efficiency.
- Dial up your social media frequency and quality. Social media is one of the essential marketing tools in your arsenal. Post about your products and professionally engage with your potential customers.
- Take advantage of the weakness of e-commerce. Customers like the social components and discovery attributes of shopping in a store. Take advantage of your ability to showcase products and offer product knowledge.
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