Strategic Retail Marketing And Promotions
As a consultant for a Wellington-based entrepreneur, I have decided to set up an online retail curation site on curated artisanal products. I will be preparing a tactical plan that outline the retail concept, the target market, tenant mix, and promotion strategy.
Just like fashion styles, the vocabulary of retail is constantly changing. While some consider the term “curated retail” to be a new concept, the fact is, curation has existed for a long time. The terms refers to the concept that retailers deploy a strategy to minimize the number of choices a customer must make along with ensuring that the product lines they carry are unique and highly desirable to their target shopper. And, retail experts believe curated retail is here to stay. According to Craig Patterson, editor-in-chief of Retail Insider, “Curated retail involves a narrower product focus, which may lead to personalization and increased brand relevancy.”
Patterson agrees, the idea of curated retail is not new, but, more recently feels we are seeing a higher focus on it, “Because consumers demand curated and personalized offerings and competition is so great, and offerings so broad, retailers are seeing opportunity to sell ‘better’ with ‘less’,” he said. Several smaller retailers have used curating as a marketing strategy to differentiate their businesses alongside the big names of Kanye West and big retailers like Nordstrom who are doing curated pop-up shops.
“Curated retail is defined as having a deep point of view—even if it means we can’t be all things to all people,” said Jen Lee Koss, a Canadian retailer and co-founder of BRIKA, an online and brick-and-mortar retailer of artisan crafts. BRIKA was co-founded by Koss and Kena Paranjape who saw a need to focus on talented artisans and designers who according to Koss, “Are being lost in the noise and desire a true platform to bring their well-crafted goods to a wider audience.” The duo recognized that there is a core customer who is inherently creative and craves unique special goods. Their business model began as an online site and has evolved to physical retail.
The co-founders hand-select artisans and makers from all over North America for their uniqueness and commitment to quality, ethical business and building a purposeful contribution within their community. These artisans benefit from having an easy platform in which to sell their goods online. Their model requires no inventory as each of the maker ship directly from their studios. BRIKA launched at the end of 2012 with five artisans and today they have over 400 within their curated community. More recently, Koss and Paranjape have opened permanent stores and pop-up shops in the Toronto area. The BRIKA online business has benefited by having physical stores.
“We most certainly see a correlation between our stores and an increase in online sales in the same geography,” Koss said. BRIKA has also sold merchandise through Hudson Bay and Holt Renfrew department stores. Koss wants to see this distribution platform grow. She explained that the combination of an online presence and physical stores enables them to reach a wider audience. As such, they will be opening more brick-and-mortar locations worldwide. Koss said, “We envision a day where we are in every primary and secondary city, in the most special neighborhoods and weaving crafts into the local fabric.” One achievement that the BRIKA team is most proud of was opening their first stand-alone location. “We had always envisioned an offline presence, and when we finally found the perfect space, we executed on it quickly and cheaply. Seeing our footprint grow allows our artisans and designers to become bigger and more successful.
BRIKA shares some similarities with Etsy; including some of their makers utilize both online platforms. BRIKA claims they are more highly selective than Etsy. Interestingly, both companies have ventured into having real storefront exposure. Esty is now a public company based in Brooklyn, New York. It was founded in 2005 and today has over 1.7 million active sellers and has international offices too.
One of the most important aspects of a promotion strategy is to identify your target market. Who's going to buy your curated artisanal products? Are the curated artisanal products specifically designed for males or females like some grooming products? Or, are they meant for either gender like soft drinks and smartphones? What about age? Are the curated artisanal products intended for use by a specific age group? Will they be readily affordable by the average consumer, or will they be priced high to attract wealthy customers? Identifying your target market will allow you to tailor your promotion strategy specifically to deliver your message to the right people at the right time. Both males and females will be served.
Tenant mix is ‘a combination of factors, including the proportion of space or number of units occupied by different retail/service types, as well as the relative placement of tenants in the centre’. And a ‘good tenant mix’ is a variety of stores which work together to enhance the centre’s performance and operate successfully as individual businesses. Further, ‘Tenant mix refers to the combination of business establishments occupying space in a shopping centre to form an assemblage that produces optimum sales, rents, service to the community and financiability of the shopping centre venture’. These descriptions of tenant mix all stress the underlying objective of maximizing shopping centre profitability, and are therefore investor-oriented. Only the third mentions the key to maximizing profitability, which is maximization of sales, through provision of the optimum service to the community. The concept of tenant mix design therefore involves provision of a range of merchandise and services, carefully chosen to appeal to the catchment shopping population. These services may include restaurants and other food outlets, and increasingly also include leisure facilities such as cinemas.
Comparison goods as being purchased at irregular intervals, for long term use, with suitability, quality, price and style being important factors in their selection. The group is epitomised by fashion and footwear, jewellery, and the more expensive household equipment and furniture.The reason for the increase in sales when comparison goods retailers’ cluster close together is their attraction to shoppers wanting to compare similar goods before making a purchase. The importance of comparison shopping as a motivation for visiting shopping centres, which has long been forwarded as one of the primary reasons for designing and managing tenant mix.
“Two compatible businesses located in close proximity will show an increase in business volume directly proportionate to the incidence of total customer interchange between them, inversely proportionate to the ratio of the business volume of the larger store to that of the smaller store and directly proportionate to the sum of the ratios of purposeful purchasing to total purchasing in each of the two stores”. The concept of comparison shopping used in tenant mix management therefore has to include not only the selection of tenants, but their relative locations within the centre.
Convenience goods are described as purchased regularly, so that convenience of location, selection and buying are important. The group includes food, newspapers and drinks, and is typically sold from local corner and parade shops, supermarkets and unit shops, some of which are situated in shopping centres top.
Product promotion is one of the necessities for getting your brand in front of the public and attracting new customers. There are numerous ways to promote a product or service. Some companies use more than one method, while others may use different methods for different marketing purposes (Rolbina, Kalenskaya, Novenkova & Ukpere, 2016). Regardless of your company's product or service, a strong set of promotional strategies can help position your company in a favorable light with not only current customers but new ones as well.
Components of a Promotion Strategy
When we talk about promotion, we're talking about influencing consumers. Of course, you want to inform the public about purple widgets, and you want them to understand why you have the best purple widgets on the planet, but you also want to persuade people to buy them. And, you want to build lasting relationships that will keep them coming back for more. That's the goal of a successful marketing promotion strategy. Devising the right promotion strategy is a complex process. There's so much to consider! Let's take a look at some examples of the types of activities that you'll need to work through in order to promote your product.
To begin, you'll need to describe your company's unique selling proposition. What is it about your purple widgets that sets them apart from the competition? What message are you going to send to consumers to persuade them to buy your widgets? You have to have a clear picture of exactly what you're selling as the basis for your promotion strategy.
After you've established why consumers should buy your widgets, you'll need to determine which basic marketing strategy will work best for your product. Will you use a push strategy, where you push the product onto the customers with high profile advertising or direct selling? Or, perhaps you'll use a pull strategy, like the luxury car maker Rolls-Royce, where you build a prestigious brand so that customers seek you out. There is no single 'right' strategy for every situation. You need to tailor your plan to your product.
Another important consideration in crafting your promotion strategy is your budget. In some cases, you may have the latitude to determine how much money you'll invest in promotion. In other cases, you may have to work within a budget dictated by other people in the organization (Ramanathan, Ramanathan, Subramanian, Subramanian, Parrott & Parrott, 2017). Regardless of which situation you have, it's important to know at the outset how much money you'll be able to invest in promotion so that you can plan accordingly and get the most bang for your buck (Garg & Steyn, 2014).
Social media websites such as Facebook and Google+ offer companies a way to promote products and services in a more relaxed environment. This is direct marketing at its best. Social networks connect with a world of potential customers that can view your company from a different perspective. Rather than seeing your company as "trying to sell" something, the social network can see a company that is in touch with people on a more personal level (Lusch, Serpkenci & Orvis, 2015). This can help lessen the divide between the company and the buyer, which in turn presents a more appealing and familiar image of the company (Varley, 2014).
Mail Order Marketing
Customers who come into your business are not to be overlooked. These customers have already decided to purchase your product. What can be helpful is getting personal information from these customers. Offer a free product or service in exchange for the information. These are customers who are already familiar with your company and represent the target audience you want to market your new products to (Zentes, Morschett & Schramm-Klein, 2017).
Product giveaways and allowing potential customers to sample a product are methods used often by companies to introduce new food and household products. Many of these companies sponsor in-store promotions, giving away product samples to entice the buying public into trying new products (Chen, 2015).
Point-of-Sale Promotion and End-Cap Marketing
Point-of-sale and end-cap marketing are ways of selling product and promoting items in stores. The idea behind this promotional strategy is convenience and impulse. The end cap, which sits at the end of aisles in grocery stores, features products a store wants to promote or move quickly (Desai, Purohit & Zhou, 2016). This product is positioned so it is easily accessible to the customer. Point-of-sale is a way to promote new products or products a store needs to move. These items are placed near the checkout in the store and are often purchased by consumers on impulse as they wait to be checked out.
Customer Appreciation Events
An in-store customer appreciation event with free refreshments and door prizes will draw customers into the store. Emphasis on the appreciation part of the event, with no purchase of anything necessary, is an effective way to draw not only current customers but also potential customers through the door. Pizza, hot dogs and soda are inexpensive food items that can be used to make the event more attractive. Setting up convenient product displays before the launch of the event will ensure the products you want to promote are highly visible when the customers arrive.
After-Sale Customer Surveys
Contacting customers by telephone or through the mail after a sale is a promotional strategy that puts the importance of customer satisfaction first while leaving the door open for a promotional opportunity. Skilled salespeople make survey calls to customers to gather information that can later be used for marketing by asking questions relating to the way the customers feel about the products and services purchased (Bhaduri & Fogarty, 2016). This serves the dual purpose of promoting your company as one that cares what the customer thinks and one that is always striving to provide the best service and product.
Bhaduri, S. N., & Fogarty, D. (2016). Strategic Retail Marketing Using DGP-Based Models. In Advanced Business Analytics (pp. 57-70). Springer Singapore.
Chen, C. C. (2015). Research on Fashion Retail Tenant Mix of Shopping Center in Preparatory Period-A Case Study of U Town in Xizhi.
Desai, P. S., Purohit, D., & Zhou, B. (2016). The strategic role of exchange promotions. Marketing Science, 35(1), 93-112.
Garg, A. K., & Steyn, S. (2014). The Ideal Tenant Mix and Shopping Centre Size for the Proposed Thatchfield Convenience Centre. International Journal of Business and Management, 10(1), 243.
Lusch, R. F., Serpkenci, R. R., & Orvis, B. T. (2015). Determinants of retail store performance: a partial examination of selected elements of retailer conduct. In Proceedings of the 1995 World Marketing Congress (pp. 495-504). Springer, Cham.
Ramanathan, U., Ramanathan, U., Subramanian, N., Subramanian, N., Parrott, G., & Parrott, G. (2017). Role of social media in retail network operations and marketing to enhance customer satisfaction. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 37(1), 105-123.
Rolbina, E. S., Kalenskaya, N. V., Novenkova, A. Z., & Ukpere, W. I. (2016). Marketing foundation for retail and office center’s tenant mix.
Varley, R. (2014). Retail product management: buying and merchandising. Routledge.
Zentes, J., Morschett, D., & Schramm-Klein, H. (2017). Marketing Communication. In Strategic Retail Management (pp. 307-326). Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden.