More and more shops and downtown businesses are experiencing problems with attendance and turnover. Internet competition and the development of peripheral commercial areas partly explain this phenomenon. But this should not obscure the root cause of these difficulties, namely the lack of a real marketing strategy.
Small non-franchised businesses are particularly concerned: few of them are able to express their strategy clearly.
However, to develop a marketing strategy for a shop is not necessarily very complicated: it will require 5 good questions. Here they are!
First question: What is your target?
Developing a marketing strategy for a shop involves asking yourself a first essential question: what is your target?
A good marketing strategy involves being precise. Let’s be clear, you will not be able to target everyone; it would be too expensive and inefficient to multiply targets. It is best to focus on a small customer segment, whose potential you will have measured through a satisfaction survey or market study.
Take a step back and ask yourself:
Which consumer groups are buying from you?
Which customer segment seems the most promising?
What are the characteristics and habits of these client groups? What are they interested in? Which magazines do they read? What are their favorite hobbies? What do they like to find at home?
Get to know the “lifestyle” of your target. This will help you rethink your decor, your offer, your way of communicating and give you ideas in terms of events to organize in your establishment.
Second question: How will you be known to your target?
You have identified your target, and that’s already a lot. This may have led you to make changes to your offer and your merchandising and that’s fine.
Now, it will be necessary to attract a maximum of representatives of your target within your shop. This will require a little imagination and a lot of logic: you will indeed have to choose means of communication consistent with the expectations and habits of your target:
- Communication by the sign?
2. Communication flyer/display?
3. Event communication?
4. Media communication? radio, newspapers?
5. Digital communication?
6. Street marketing?
Third question: Who are your competitors?
The question of the competitors and their strategy is very important to arrive at an optimal commercial positioning. Rest assured, having competitors is not a problem in itself, it’s even a sign that the market is dynamic.
You have to distinguish the direct (well visible) competitors who offer the same products as you and the indirect competitors. These groups include businesses or businesses that tend to diversify, that is to say, to move away from their core business to compete on your land.
Indirect competitors are clearly the most dangerous because they are less visible; they often have a substantial marketing budget and play on the best possible customer experience.
Take the time to think about and investigate these two types of competition. See our article on the study of competition.
Fourth question: How to distinguish oneself from the competition?
This question is simple, yet most traders fail to answer it clearly. Saying “we have a better service than others” is not enough. It is even the sign of a serious strategic weakness.
It is by knowing what distinguishes it from the competition that a trade can be defined:
1.Is it through the offer? (exclusives, products not found elsewhere, a certain level of range …)
2.Is it the price?
3.Is it through the service? (reception, advice, follow-up, after-sales service …)
4.Is it the quality?
5.Is it the unique nature of the customer experience?
6.Is it by the frame, the image, the merchandising, the location?
7.Is it a combination of many of these elements?
Fifth question: What is your competitive advantage?
Answering this question will give you the key to the marketing strategy for your shop. If you can articulate your competitive advantage in a clear sentence, then your business strategy is well defined.
If all this seems too abstract to you or if you are not clear with your marketing strategy, do not hesitate to contact our partner and specialist of local commerce by the concept, which will guide you!
You can read more : 9 Different Creative & Effective Ways to Get More Customers