As you look forward to the new year, you’re probably getting ready to set new marketing budgets and build new advertising strategies. When you sit down to make these plans, make sure you don’t forget an important piece of your marketing strategy for the new year -- in-store marketing.
In-store marketing isn’t a brand new concept. But it is a tactic that is becoming more widely embraced by retailers, healthcare systems, restaurants, and other brick-and-mortar businesses.
As more and more businesses embrace in-store marketing tactics, you can no longer sit back and wait for the right time to start a strategy of your own. Don’t let another year go by without adding in-store marketing elements to your business.
Embrace in-store marketing and start planning now with these tips for bringing this marketing strategy to your business in the new year.
Identify In-Store Marketing Opportunities
The first step in embracing in-store marketing is identifying top opportunities for this tactic. Look for ways that in-store marketing can immediately benefit your business, and define the top goals you’d like to accomplish through this new tactic.
When you know what you want to do, it will be easier to identify what you need to do to reach your goals.
To start taking inventory of your business, look at what Balance Small Business calls the “Four C’s.” The four C’s are: command attention, connect with the shoppers, convey information, and close the sale.
Identify opportunities in these areas by asking yourself the following questions.
How can you command attention? What can you add to your business location that would force customers to take notice and pay attention to what you want to share with them? What do your customers want, need, and like? How can you give that to them in order to get their attention?
How can you connect with shoppers? How can you get customers to directly engage with your brand once they come through the door? Think beyond just getting them to buy. What else can help them build a lasting connection with your brand?
How can you convey information? What information do your customers need? What questions do customers regularly ask your team? How can you answer these FAQs in an effective, efficient way?
How can you close the sale? What does your customer need to push them from being a casual shopper or prospect into a buyer? What final steps do they need to take before they buy?
Keep these questions and the answers you uncover in your mind as you explore options for in-store marketing.
In-Store Marketing Options
Now that you know what problems you want to solve or what to look for as you consider your options, start to review the different types of in-store marketing.
Digital signage is one of the most powerful options for in-store marketing because it is incredibly versatile. It can be used in many ways and offer a variety of benefits.
Digital signage is often used as:
Each of these options provides brands with the ability to share videos, animations, and graphics. The content can engage, entertain, or inform depending on what goals are most important.
Digital signage can lead to up-sells and cross-sells, make customer wait time feel shorter, improve customer experiences, collect customer contact data, and even reduce strain on human resources -- making it an extremely powerful in-store marketing tool.
Additional Reading: 10 Things You Probably Don't Know Digital Signage Can Do
WiFi marketing is a tactic wherein your business offers free WiFi to your customers to improve their experience as well as create marketing opportunities for your brand.
Giving this free service to customers makes them feel better about your brand. You give them something they want and need for free. But, it does so much more than that.
When you offer free customer WiFi, you can:
Collect customer contact information when users log in to your system
Send custom email or text marketing campaigns to customers once you collect their information
Connect your database to Facebook to learn about the demographics of your customers
Display custom splash pages once customers log in
Set up geofences that send push notifications to existing customers when they are near your store location
Create heat maps that show where customers spend time and how they move around your store
Free in-store WiFi may seem like a customer engagement tool, but it’s actually a powerful marketing tool that many businesses just don’t know how to leverage yet. Get ahead of those brands and embrace in-store marketing through this tactic in the new year.
Additional Reading: 7 Things That Turn Free Customer WiFi Into a Secret, Ninja Marketing Tool
Overhead Music & Messaging
Overhead music and messaging plays in the background but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an important in-store marketing element. Many businesses overlook this marketing tool and don’t realize how powerful it can be.
Music and messaging that air in your business can impact customers in a variety of ways.
Music can change the way customers think and act. It can improve their mood and lead them to make purchases of certain products. It also helps customers understand who your brand is which leads to lasting brand recognition and loyalty.
Overhead messaging also helps reinforce your brand as you can share branded messages and promotions with customers while they are in your store. This type of in-store marketing is effective because you’re able to directly connect with customers who are already highly engaged with your brand.
Embrace all parts of in-store marketing by using both overhead music and marketing to reach shoppers, diners, and visitors while they’re at your location.
Additional Reading: Find The Best Background Music for Your Store
Embrace In-Store Marketing This Year
As you go into the new year, don’t just create a plan that is a copy of what you did last year. Look into new options, and consider adding in-store marketing strategies to your upcoming plans.
In-store marketing is a powerful way to connect with engaged customers, build brand loyalty, drive up-sells and cross-sells, and promote your products and services to your interested prospects.
Embrace in-store marketing and start planning today by downloading our free ebook: The Ultimate Guide to In-Store Marketing.
The free guide dives deeper into why in-store marketing is so powerful and how you can use our proven strategies and new technology to develop your plan. Download it now.