Retail marketing is the process that makes a product directly accessible to customers. The customer is king. That should be the first and most important part of your retail marketing strategy.

Many people feel that what retail covers is merely the product reaching the shelves at the respective store. But that is not true. It also involves pricing, visibility, and product values. It is also greatly aided by sales campaigns and promotional activities.

There are four major guiding principles of retail marketing –

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Place
  4. Promotion

Principle One – PRODUCT

Having a product to market is the first step to creating a successful retail marketing strategy. But more than just a product, you need a unique value proposition or USP of your product. This is what makes you stand out in the sea of competitors, and makes it a key element of the principles of marketing. According to Forbes, 95% of new products fail in the market. This can easily be chalked up to new products not being compelling enough in terms of utility or emotional value.

There are many ways to differentiate your product besides slashing prices:

  • Know your audience; if you’re making a product for millennials, but your packaging caters to an older audience, you won’t find success
  • Make your packaging personalised, and let it be a part of the user experience
  • Have a sustainable plan to keep building conversations around your product even after its launch

Principle Two – PRICE

A variety of brands sell the same products at different prices, credited to their overhead expenses, brand positioning, demand for the product, competitor landscape, and market conditions. You must keep all of these aspects in mind to optimise retail merchandising.

There are two common pricing methods that brands follow:

  1. Cost-plus Pricing: In this method, marketers consider the overall cost incurred in production per unit, and add a markup price to it. This is usually done for products that are not influenced by market conditions, like essential services and credit card fees. However, since the method does not take into account your competitor’s prices or the demand or value of the product in the market, it is not very reliable for pricing in the long run.
  2. Value-based Pricing: This appeals more to the sentiments of your customers when they interact with your product. It takes into consideration the value of your product in the market, which is widely adopted by the fashion and niche markets that include designer brands and labels.

Principle Three – PLACE

You can have the best product in the market, but if your customers don’t know how or where to find you, it doesn’t help you. Using the right distribution channels and delivery lines are useful when your product is available in a multi-brand store.

For store-based retailers, it is important to publicise and announce your location and offerings both online and offline if you wish to spread awareness about your product or service.

Principle Four – PROMOTION

Retail promotion is what will create interest, curiosity and a desire to purchase in your customer. This principle of retail services marketing is mainly about communication, providing incentive, leveraging customer triggers and taking them the last mile to complete their purchase. There are multiple ways to do this.

  1. In-store Merchandising: This refers to the way products are displayed within the store to make your product stand out. For example, placing your prmercoduct at the eye level of the customer is more likely to get you more visibility than if placed on the bottom shelf or the top.
    Another way to give your product an edge is by using in-store displays. This makes you more memorable for the customer than other brands.
  2. Face-to-face Marketing: A real human touch that still survives in today’s digital world of marketing is face-to-face marketing. It allows you to use executives to push a product’s values, tell the consumer more about that product, and give a more personalised experience.
  3. Sales Promotions: The main function of promotions is to quell any doubts customers may have about your products. For example, if they are worried about the taste or experience, you give them a free sample. If they are regular customers, you reward their loyalty with exclusive offers and discounts.

In the end, a more inclusive customer experience and a deeper understanding of their needs are what separate your brand from all the others.