Retail Marketing Solutions for Today’s Consumers

If you’re still flipping a sign to share your store hours, it’s’ time to flip the script. Today’s consumers aren’t driving by to see what time you open; they’re logging on 24/7 and expect you to deliver — literally.

As buyers' expectations and needs continue to evolve, retailer marketing strategies need to evolve with them. 

Retailers used to be able to rely on a fairly predictable customer journey that included browsing, researching, and eventually purchasing. Today, the retail space has changed dramatically and in a very short period of time. What used to work may no longer be relevant. At Incite Creative, we work with our retail clients to map out the new customer journey and create marketing strategies that meet them where they are today.

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How to Market Retail Products & Services

Since the start of the pandemic, retail companies have had to get creative with their offerings and re-learn their customers. Retailers have needed to reconsider or add new digital channels of distribution, hybrid shopping experiences, and do whatever is necessary to meet new customer expectations. From restaurants, clothing, and jewelry stores as well as the local pharmacy experience, the times have changed. Has your marketing strategy changed with them?

Before 2020, consumers were already enjoying the benefits of convenience. Let’s take Amazon, for instance. If you needed a great gift idea for your niece or nephew delivered out of state before it became a belated birthday, you’d look no further. And we would all enjoy a Friday night or game day pizza delivery from time to time too. Just call up or go online and order.

But who would have thought that in 2020 we’d be buying toilet paper, face masks, and hand sanitizer in bulk and having it delivered to our door? And that 5-star restaurant you used to reserve weeks in advance for special occasions — would now offer curbside pick-up and at-home delivery service?

Services like DoorDash and Uber Eats became a lifeline for businesses during the pandemic. Even high-end restaurants that turned to take out to survive during the pandemic still say they might keep it as a supplement to fine dining. 

Why? Because consumers aren’t letting go of their newfound fondness for getting food delivered to their front doors. In a recent JD Power survey, 71 percent of consumers said they would continue to order delivery as much more than they had during the pandemic.

In a time when understanding the customer’s wants and needs are essential ingredients for brand survival, we help set our clients up for success.

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Our retail clients have included:

 

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Types of Retail Businesses that Are Rehauling Their Retail Marketing Strategy

It’s not just the food and soft goods retailers that have pivoted their distribution strategy.

Hardlines like automobiles started turning their attention to e-commerce too, with more dealers moving some or all of their sales processes online as the pandemic got many consumers who previously wouldn’t have bought a car online to change their tune. In addition, the used-car market has gone crazy over the past year, as social distancing and a global computer chip shortage have upended the auto industry. Yet, Shift, Vroom Inc., and Carvana Corp., the largest used-car web dealerships, are thriving. 

 

Even art retailers have had a makeover. With the influx of self-isolation, there has been an increase in demand for various arts-and-crafts activities. In addition, parents searched for activities to entertain children at home and needed to keep stress levels in check.

If you're ready to shift your marketing strategy to better align with what today’s consumers need from your brand, Incite Creative can help.

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Not All Retailers are So Lucky

Sadly, we have all seen some of our favorite shops close their doors. Even if they survived the height of the pandemic, the “Great Resignation” is now impacting retailers.

 

In August 2021, 721,000 retail workers gave notice. Reasons for the mass departures include widespread reflection on life priorities over the past 18 months, better job options given a tight labor market, challenges finding childcare, and concerns over personal safety.

It's always been a tough industry, but now more than ever, retail companies have to get creative with their offerings and re-learn their customers and employees. Owners need to perfect digital channels, streamline hybrid shopping experiences, make returns more effortless than ever, and rise to the challenge of meeting new customer expectations. Retailers also need to ensure employees are mentally and physically safe and maintain a consistently healthy culture whether their employees are in-store or working remotely.

All of the above combines to create an excellent opportunity for retailers that want to stand apart and disrupt the status quo. Our marketing team knows how to position, promote, and grow businesses open to fresh perspectives, strategically sound advice, and creative solutions.

From local mom-and-pop ice cream shops to regional auto dealerships and international home goods stores, Incite Creative can help get you where you want to go!

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