The footwear business is a $48 billion industry, according to the National Shoe Retailers Association, with 29,360 shoe stores in business as of 2012. Whether you manufacture footwear or sell shoes at a retail outlet, you need marketing techniques that help customers learn about and want to buy your product. Few brands really resonate with footwear buyers, says Deloitte. That makes finding the right marketing techniques an even more important requirement for turning your shoe business into a profitable venture.


Building a brand is key to the long-term success of your company. This requires looking at competing shoe businesses and finding ways to stand out from them. For instance, if you open a sports shoe store, consider carrying just a few types of shoes, such as running, hiking and walking shoes, to become know as the local store for joggers and outdoor exercise enthusiasts. If you’re a shoe manufacturer, look for types of shoes the market is lacks, such as eco-friendly footwear, specific types of sports shoes, wide-width shoes or affordably priced, trendy women’s shoes.


Selling more shoes requires a mix of digital and traditional channel sales strategies. This means developing an ecommerce website in addition to your brick-and-mortar shoe store. This allows you sell your shoes any time of the day, not just when your store is open. In addition, some target markets, such as Generation Y shoppers, rely on the Internet to conduct research about products they want to buy. They’re likely to shop around online for the shoes they want before heading to your store to buy a pair.


Making it easier for customers to find the exact shoe they want makes footwear customization a technique worth reviewing. Customized shoes appeal to several different target markets, including people with big or wide foot sizes that make shoes hard to find, or people who like owning a unique pair of shoes. Plus, once 3-D printing becomes widespread, offering customization may give your company an edge in the shoe industry.

Social Networking

Encouraging customers to spread the word about your shoes makes social networking a beneficial marketing technique. Use Facebook, Twitter and a blog to interact with people are interested in purchasing your shoes. Provide meaningful posts, such as on how to choose comfortable shoes, what the differences are in different types of sports shoes and how people’s feet change over time. Talk about the unique aspects of the shoes you sell to use your social media sites to help build your brand.