Retailers of all sizes are building effective marketing strategies by leveraging social media and new point of sale technologies. Let’s examine four successful strategies that can be applied to retail businesses large and small.
Getting creative with special offers
One New York City massage studio differentiates itself in the city’s hypercompetitive market by smartly leveraging social media. The business gives $5 discounts to clients who “check in” on specific social media platforms. In the first two weeks of the effort, the business lost $50 of one-time income — but booked massages it wouldn’t have otherwise and gained at least one regular customer.
Furthermore, the business strengthened rapport with customers by offering “first come, first serve” discounts to clients who keep up with its Facebook page.
Another example is a brewery that does an especially good job using the photo-sharing network Instagram for photo contests. The beer-maker puts out a call for photos with one of its products, asking customers to add a particular hashtag. The idea is to get beer drinkers thinking about the business’s products. One recent contest asked consumers to photograph the company’s unfiltered wheat beer and use a specific hashtag. The winner scored a $25 gift card and a chance at a free trip.
Building a solid loyalty program
Moving up the scale in time and money investment, some retailers have cracked the code on loyalty programs. While most retailers have at least a rudimentary loyalty program, business experts say success is all about execution.
José Alvarez, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, singled out one popular retailer for particular praise. By incorporating software tools that allow employees to track customers’ measurements, color preferences and more, the retailer can better tailor its rewards programs to appeal to what consumers want most.
One potential challenge with loyalty programs is tracking contacts with customers, whether in-store at the point of sale system, or online. Full-service payment providers offer integration of loyalty programs directly at the POS or online.
Applying targeted marketing
Finally, let’s take a look at another retailer whose marketing strategy can be applied to any business.
Working with IBM, one well-known retailer is gathering data to build a “360-degree view” of its customer-base. The details the retailer collects allow it to execute effective, timely, targeted promotions.
A quality ecommere service provider can assist with establishing a retailer’s online presence, backed by a POS system that streamlines in-store and online sales, and offers valuable customer data.
Ultimately, your winning marketing strategy will depend upon your product offering, your audience, the resources you invest in and the business partnerships you make. Retailers of any size can leverage social media, loyalty programs and POS software, and tap into the expertise of a quality service provider – all within their budget guidelines - to achieve powerful marketing results.