Retail marketing is an essential component of an overall marketing strategy. It supports the use of external marketing campaign efforts including advertising, events and promotions. Retail advertising tactics include in-store signage, copies of newspaper sales circulars, coupons, demonstrations and in-aisle promotions and displays.

Effectively executed, retail marketing serves to close the sale once shoppers come inside the store. Incentives and navigational devices are strategically used to sell specially advertised products and cross-sell additional products and services.

Role of Media in Retail Promotion

Retail advertising is used inside of stores to support national, regional and local advertising. For example, if a national manufacturer for detergent is conducting a television commercial campaign offering consumers 20% off for a limited time, the role of retail communication in this form is to provide support via signage and displays inside of stores to remind present shoppers.

Use of Category Sales

Manufacturers and distributors for products sold in stores are categorized by the type of product they offer to retail customers. Products sold in grocery stores are defined in terms of categories for food, beverage, laundry, snacks and other categories. Department stores are categorized in terms of clothing, furnishings, décor, perfume and more.

The top sellers within each respective category compete to become the category leader. By becoming the category leader, the manufacturer gains authority and credibility to recommend an increase of how much space they can obtain for the products and brands carried inside of the store.

Cross-Selling and Up-Selling

Retail marketing also includes strategies and tactics to cross-sell and up-sell products and merchandise to increase overall expenditures by each shopper. During the summer barbecue season a grocery store might combine and cross-sell a promotion that gives shoppers 50% off on the purchase of fire-lighting fluid with the purchase of a 10-lb. bag of charcoal. The up-sell strategy could be to give the fire-lighting fluid free with the purchase of a 20-lb. bag of charcoal.

Impact of Shopper Navigation

Aisle and category signage and other devices to direct shoppers to locate products is a role of retail marketing whose importance should never be underestimated. A busy shopper needs clear directional signage to get to the right store aisle to purchase what she wants.

Shopper marketing experts estimate that a shopper can spend less than four seconds making a decision on what to purchase on a retail shelf. Providing proper navigation to the appropriate aisles and store shelves helps guide customers to products and generate merchandise sales.

Focus on Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is the term used to describe information captured about shoppers. The information is used to develop databases that can be mined to target consumers based on their geography, product preferences, expenditures and more. CRM is an application that savvy retail marketers use to develop retail advertising, promotions and events by offering products and services that align with the tastes and preferences of their customers and shoppers.