8 Internet Marketing Ideas for Small Retail Businesses

8 Internet Marketing Ideas for Small Retail Businesses
  • Online marketing strategies vary depending on your specific niche. If you're a retail shop owner then your focus should be on online presence and customer relationships. 
  • Post, track, analyze, repeat - this is the main tactic for retail shop online marketing. 
  • Internet marketing ideas you could use include collaborating with local businesses, talking to your customers via blogs and being active with covering major events/holidays - these are just 3 out of 8 ideas that we have for you. 

Online promotion is a crucial aspect of increasing sales. If you own a retail shop and want to know how you can market it online then you're on the right path.

I'm sharing 8 online marketing ideas for retail businesses that will positively impact your online reputation. 

1. Relevant Product Advertisements

Always be diligent and disciplined with your sales and advertisements, always keep them up to date, keep them relevant and make sure that the products you are selling are in stock and are relevant for your business and not just some cheap products you picked up somewhere. People who shop regularly know what they want and will see right through such pitches. Selling relevant products and advertising clearly will give the customers the information you want them to know about your products and within your advertisements.

2. Covering Major Holidays/Events

Be on the ball with sales ideas and pitches for key public holidays or events such as Back to School, depending on your business and its products. This provides more opportunities to have a sale, promote a certain product if it’s relevant for that particular event or holiday, opportunity to clear some stock, or even just to have a chance at more sales due to people always hunting for a bargain and those frugal shoppers. It also gives the notion that you’re always giving the customer a chance to save a bit of money; you are having sales more often that will create a buzz for people as another selling point for your business or product.

“I love that place, there’s always a sale, that place is always a good chance to pick up a good deal”

3. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one where you find a product from a small start-up, fresh source that has little to no visibility online, a start-up or a newish business that sells products that align with your business so that you can then build a relationship with them to add their products to your shop or open up a new product line, for a set price or commission on each sale that you make.

Getting into a business relationship like this can help both yourself and the creator for as little as the cost of the product. Building relationships like this can then help both the business, the creator and your online website as you add more products for a lower cost, you are helping another business and have the potential to add more visitors to your store or website because of the new products. It can be a relatively low cost if you do correct research on sourcing out those products that align with your business.

An example of affiliate marketing working for a small business or retailer is the global giant Amazon. A business will link its products for sale on or to Amazon and Amazon get a cut of their products, making Amazon money and the retailer money for their product, and helping the retailer market and sell its products on a platform with a major chunk of the global online shopping market.

4. Providing a Blog on Your Website (Basic Content Marketing for SEO)

A way to attract new customers and build trust and in your potential and current customers can be as simple as writing a simple blog post on your website. By providing your customers, with tips and information on your products or area of business/expertise this showcases your knowledge, it tells the customer that you know your stuff, you’re a source of information and demonstrates you know about your business and products.

An example of this is a blog post that can demonstrate the best ways to use your product or tips showcasing the best things about your product. This can attract new readers, which can then turn into potential clients and open up new markets for you.

5. Following Up and Constant Open Communication

As a business owner, it is a paramount aim to provide constant and open communication with current and potential clients. This is a great way to build trust and make the consumer feel like you value them and that you honestly care about their inquiries and issues. Follow up to any inquiries to products, respond appropriately to positive and negative reviews. These steps show anyone who reviews your website, your products, or your store that you are honest open and are willing to help out consumers with anything they might need.

6. CRM relationship building and word of mouth

Customer-relationship management (CRM) is seen as the key to growing profitable and long-term relationships with consumers that can help to improve a company's competitive advantage. Loyalty should be a key goal of any business, the more customers to gain, you want to keep those customers always coming back to you. The goal is to lower customer defection and unhappiness and increased satisfaction and customer retention.

A key goal of customer-relationship management is to efficiently and effectively increase the acquisition and retention of customers by selectively building and maintaining mutually satisfying relationships with them.

A study conducted by the University of Helsinki’s Applied Science department over two years showed that loyal customers would increase their purchases over time, going from the consumer seeing the transactions between them and a business go from multiple single interactions to one on-going interaction, like a friendship. What can be extrapolated from this is that the better you treat a customer, the less they see you as a business and the more human and warm you are to them, the more they'll purchase over time.

Word of mouth can easily build up and or destroy a business, so making sure every interaction with a customer positive or negative is tended to in a professional manner and is helpful to the consumer, thus spreading the word of the business and how they handle their customers

7. Opportunities for Free Marketing and Publicity

Social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are great ways to hit new target markets, to showcase your products visually and have the opportunity to distribute material and product information for free. They have global reach and visibility and it’s simple to set up and a great way to open you up to new customers.

Flyers and community bulletin boards, local gyms usually have community bulletin boards for local businesses, same as schools and universities, a great way for free and cheap marketing opportunities at little or no cost. Have your website and blog mentioned on the fliers for an increased chance of traffic and exposure to your products and blog online.

Partner with a local business to provide their competition with a gift for more promotion and spread advertisements. It is a chance to create a relationship with local business and thus more opportunities to sell products. Furthermore, it's a chance to be visible in new and untapped local markets.

8. Be Diligent in Tracking Your Advertisements and Campaigns

If you’ve spent any money on advertising you want to be able to keep track and make sure it’s going to where it needs to go and that it is helping you gain new customers or more sales, Return on Investment (ROI) is paramount for any business, but even more critical when budgets and cash flow might be tight for small and start-up businesses.

Make sure that you have reasonable and attainable goals for your advertisements and that your sales expenditure is being used as efficiently as possible.

Once your campaign is finished, use that data to then see what worked and what didn’t, what people liked, what they didn’t and what resonated with them, all that data is important and it can help you shape your future campaigns.

Harry Sanders

Founder at StudioHawk

I am the founder and director of StudioHawk, a Google Marketing Specialist SEO company who specialises in helping businesses to drive the best possible organic search engine traffic. https://www.studiohawk.com.au/