The overall objective of retail marketing is creating and developing services and products that meet the specific needs of customers and offering these products at competitive, reasonable prices that will still yield profits. Businesses must realize that, in retail, the customer lies at the center of any organization's marketing efforts, determining the overall success of the product or service.
Understand Your Customer
It is imperative that you understand your target customer. If you primarily sell children’s clothing, you should be targeting females in their 20s and 30s. Your business should take the time to know these women: what reaches them, what makes them tick, what they truly need out of your product. Your understanding of your target customer will allow you to communicate better with them, identify their market potential, customize product offers to them according to various market segments and consider their needs during product changes and updates.
A primary goal of retail marketing is understanding the connections between the customer’s lifestyle and spending characteristics and why he chooses one product over another. Using this knowledge, businesses can develop their products with a competitive advantage. This requires research and time as you delve into questions of brand loyalty, quality of product and pricing.
Improve Direct Marketing
Businesses must test to ensure that they are sending the appropriate message to the appropriate households. They also must send this message at the appropriate time using the appropriate media. Your communications must be spot-on, selling the benefits of your product or service in such a way that a prospect becomes a paying customer.
Increase Customer Loyalty
To increase customer loyalty, businesses must develop relationships with customers, continually selling the value of the product in their situation. Never over or under sell; instead, operate with integrity. Matching competitors’ prices, developing special rewards for loyal customers -- such as a frequent purchase card with discounts, priority service or personalized offers -- and referral programs are effective avenues to increasing customer loyalty.
Make the Product Known
If you know your target customers, understand their needs and have developed the perfect product, you have to get the word out. Using your knowledge of your customers, you must communicate using the right channel. Using the example of children’s clothing, you should advertise your business in parenting and family magazines, on channels featuring children’s programming and in or near toy and book stores.
Kristie Lorette started writing professionally in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and multinational business from Florida State University and a Master of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University. Her work has appeared online at Bill Savings, Money Smart Life and Mortgage Loan.