Retail is the sale of goods or services to customers through a series of transactions. It typically involves selling products or services in small quantities to individuals but can also include sales to businesses.
Many would confuse retail as synonymous with e-commerce. Though minor similarities exist between the two types of businesses, the main difference is the face-to-face interaction offered by retail stores. The latter is a great advantage. However, the digitized alternatives eCommerce is offering are taking over traditional stores.
As the business and shopping landscape continues to evolve, it's more important than ever for retail businesses to stand out from the competition.
If you own a retail store, it's high time you think of creative ways to market your business. Adopting digital marketing techniques from e-commerce would be of great benefit.
The difference between retail and e-commerce
The first similarity is that retail and e-commerce businesses sell products or services to customers. They both have inventories of goods that they need to move to generate revenue. In addition, both types of businesses need to attract and retain customers.
There are, however, several key differences between retail and e-commerce businesses. The most obvious difference is that retail businesses sell their products in physical stores, while e-commerce businesses sell their products online. Retail businesses have to deal with the overhead costs of maintaining a physical storefront, while e-commerce businesses do not.
Another key difference is that retail businesses typically sell products in small quantities to individuals, while e-commerce businesses can sell products in large quantities to individuals and other businesses. This difference is crucial because it affects how each business needs to price its goods and handle shipping and logistics.
Finally, retail businesses typically have a more limited selection of products than e-commerce businesses. This is because retail businesses need to be able to store their products in their stores physically, and they can only carry so much inventory. E-commerce businesses, on the other hand, can store an unlimited amount of inventory in their warehouses and only need to list their products on their website.
Why retail businesses need to stand out
Nowadays, customers have become more conscious and selective of where they shop. With the rise of e-commerce, retail businesses need to find ways to stand out if they want to stay afloat.
There are several reasons for this:
E-commerce offers a wider variety of products and services.
Customers can compare prices easily and quickly.
Delivery times have gotten shorter.
Online reviews are readily available.
Social media make it easy for customers to share their experiences, good or bad.
For retail businesses to stay relevant, they need to find ways to stand out from the competition. This can be done by offering a unique shopping experience, providing excellent customer service, or having a robust digital presence.
Five creative ways to market your retail business
The retail industry is under pressure as consumers move online for shopping. They are increasingly turning to the internet to research products and make purchase decisions.
In today's digital age, retail businesses must create a solid online presence and offer a unique shopping experience to stay relevant.
By doing these things, they'll be able to stand out from the competition and attract more customers.
Next are five ways to market your retail business by combining offline and online activities to catch up with e-commerce.
Host in-store events
A physical store can be exciting. It can offer a fun and exclusive experience. You can host in-store events and promote them through local publications and online channels. An opening ceremony, for example, can be a perfect hook to bring in potential customers and introduce them to your services. Special occasions parties that offer discounts and competitions usually attract attention as well.
Sponsor a local event or charity and promote your business through their channels
Sponsoring local events will put your products under the spotlight. Sports events, for example, can be an excellent choice to sponsor. They attract huge audiences, and fans follow their favorite teams' blindly.
Use SMS marketing
It is one way to keep customers engaged: just because you own a physical store doesn't mean you don't need to stay in touch with your customers. SMS marketing offers one quick way to reach customers with special offers announcements, discounts, follow-ups on back-in-store products, and more.
Create a social media profile for your retail business
Social media offers great exposure and reach. A consumer trends survey found that 71% of Gen Zers discover products on social media but still prefer to make a purchase in-store. Create at least one profile on your customers' favorite channel and post engaging content regularly. You can keep your followers engaged with high-quality multimedia content even if you don't offer delivery services. Social media is also one way to share shopping experiences and ratings. You can achieve visibility in front of a media-obsessed audience and keep them intrigued to visit your store.
Use WhatsApp to hook and nurture leads
The WhatsApp business app might be a good fit for your business. It offers more options than SMS and has a significant open rate. SMS has become fraught with spam messages and is losing momentum. Besides, promotional messages are likely to be automatically blocked on smartphones. Whatsapp is the new favorite conversational channel. The business app might help answer a few repeated questions, but the WhatsApp Business Platform offers more beneficial features. You can leverage its potential to build and nurture loyal customer relationships. Add a QR code to your packages, or ask your visitors to sign up for your service on WhatsApp. Acquiring a significant and qualified customer database will come in handy when sending marketing messages for new products. You can share GBS locations to your physical stores and direct customers to the closest store. This channel will upgrade your customer service and personalize it online or in-store.
You can contact BusinessChat to find out more about the features offered by this new conversational giant. We can help market your retail business, stand out from the competition, and wrestle with alternative e-commerce stores.