How to market a new retail business

Published: 18/06/2021

Marketing your retail business is one of the most important things you’ll do as a business owner, after all, it’s what ultimately brings customers through your door and any business owner knows the more of those you can get the better.

But, before we take you through our six winning strategies for marketing your business, let us first say a big congratulations! Starting your own business and turning your vision into a reality is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, but we don’t need to tell you it can be challenging too, so now you’ve reached this point you deserve an almighty pat on the back.

Here at takepayments, our goal is to help small businesses succeed, and with that in mind, we’ve put together six ways to market your new retail business that’ll help you on your way to success.

Website

Whether you intend to sell online or not, your business website is a super important element of running your business. Why? Because 63% of physical purchases begin online.

Consumers like to scour the market, see what’s on offer, get an idea of how much they should expect to pay, and so on, well before they head out to make a purchase, so if your website catches their eye you’ll be marketing yourself from the get-go.

At the very least your website needs to be appealing to the eye, and by that we mean:

  • Plenty of whitespace on each page with a sprinkling of bolder colours (use these sparingly so you don’t leave consumers with a headache).
  • No big blocks of text - break it up with bullet points and use headings and subheadings throughout.
  • A consistent brand image on every page.
  • Simple navigation
  • Quick load speed

Top tip: Make sure your website is HTTPS - if it’s not you’ll be shown as ‘not secure’ in Google results and this could do serious damage to your marketing efforts. 

The following information should also be easily accessible:

  • Who you are
  • Where customers can find you
  • What you sell
  • Your contact information.

Once you’ve nailed the basics check out our guide ‘8 ways to improve your website’ packed full of the latest online trends you can incorporate into your website to really keep it on its A-game.

SEO

To really ramp up your online marketing efforts you need to consider SEO (search engine optimisation) - it’s how you ensure you’re found in search engine results and it super important considering Google alone hosts 70,000 searches per second. 

Essentially, SEO involves optimising the content on your website to boost its ranking in search engine results - content refers to text, images, layout, and more, and done right is one of the most powerful and cost-effective online marketing tools at your disposal. 

There’s a lot to read up on when it comes to SEO but we’ve got you covered in these two tell-all guides:

Local SEO

Part and parcel of SEO - and especially pertinent to bricks and mortar retail businesses - is local SEO, it offers all the same benefits as above but is specifically aimed at local searches making it a potential goldmine for businesses wanting to pull in nearby consumers. 

Given that 80% of consumers use search to find local information, local SEO shouldn’t be overlooked by retailers - you can find everything you need to know about nailing yours here.

Social media

In the UK alone there are a whopping 45 million active social media users, so the potential to reach a significantly wider audience with your marketing efforts is up for grabs on the big platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

On social media, you’ve got the opportunity to engage with your customers more, show the personality of your business, as well as highlight the great products you’ve got on offer through alluring visuals and competitions.

Top tip: check out our guides to running Facebook and Instagram competitions. 

For new retail business owners juggling 101 responsibilities already, it’s a good idea to pick one or two of the big platforms and focus your time on nailing your presence on them rather than trying to spread yourself too thinly across all the channels - it’s all about quality over quantity.

Creating a rock-solid social media strategy will also remove some of the hassle, plus it’ll help you hit your marketing goals more efficiently. 

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to social media, including:

  • Which platforms to use
  • What content to share
  • How often to post
  • What time of day to post
  • How to get more followers
  • Whether to pay for ads
  • And so on.

Don’t sweat it though, we’ve got your back here too with the following guides:

Word of mouth

Word of mouth marketing is one of the most fruitful methods on offer - consumers value the opinions of their friends, family, peers, and even complete strangers much more than they believe business advertising.

But how do you get your customers to spread the word about how fantastic your business is? Firstly by giving them the best customer experience they’ve ever had - being knowledgable about your products, helpful but not pushy, demonstrating how much you value them, and offering a variety of payment methods are all great places to start.

Word of mouth can come in a digital format too in the form of reviews - 97% of consumers check reviews for local businesses and 90% admit a positive review would influence their buying decision, so it’s a great marketing tactic to actively seek out such reviews.

Could you offer a small discount or freebie in exchange for a review to get the ball rolling? It doesn’t need to cost you much and could do your marketing efforts the world of good.  

Top tip: don’t forget to show off your good reviews on your website!

Partner up

If there are other businesses within your area whose products or services perfectly complement yours then start building a relationship with them as soon as possible and eventually engage in referral marketing.

The idea here is you both advertise for each other to your existing customer base, giving both parties access to essentially double the number of customers.

For example, if you sell wedding dresses you might partner up with a local florist or venue dresser and recommend one another to clients. 

It shouldn’t be a hard sell to persuade another business to participate as the benefits are mutual, so do your homework to find prospective candidates and reach out pronto - but remember, you need to be confident their business is worth recommending. If you put their name forward to your customers and they turn out to be awful it’ll reflect badly on you too.

Publications

Last but not least is the more traditional marketing route - publishing an advert in a local paper, magazine, or directory.

While society is making the shift to online for certain things, there’s still a huge demand for printed publications that are viewed as trusted sources of information. Newspapers alone boast a daily readership of 40 million, pretty impressive right?

The moral of the story is don’t overlook print when it comes to your marketing efforts:

  • Get in touch with your local publisher or newsdesk and enquire about running an advert, and
  • Check if there are any local directories or guides which oftentimes actively recommend local businesses.

Don’t forget there are also online directories, dedicated blogs, and news sites for most industries, so if you want to be doubly sure you don’t miss any potential target customers, reach out and try and get an advert published on these too. 

We wish you every success in your new venture as a retail business owner and don’t forget you’ll find heaps of useful resources over on our jam-packed blog, created especially for small businesses.

And if you need a helping hand setting up your payment systems our friendly experts are only ever a phone call away!

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce

Copywriter

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