A retail marketing strategy refers to how a store and its products sell goods to its target customers. Each type of retail business has to make decisions about all the details of its marketing mix. A marketing mix consists of the product, price, place, promotion and packaging. Internet marketing strategies and those for stores that people shop at in person must be developed to meet the needs of potential customers. A retail marketing strategy is first outlined in a business plan.
A business plan contains information about the intention and goals of the company. It's created before a business opens. Business plans include research about who the company's potential customers are as well as what their needs and wants are. A retail marketing strategy should be a part of the business plan. It should include decisions about the marketing mix approach, such as how customers will get the products.
For instance, a furniture company may choose a large warehouse, while a jewelry manufacturer may decide to sell only over the Internet. Other businesses may select a combination of a brick and mortar store for in person customer purchases plus a website for customer online shopping. All retail marketing decisions should consider the target customer as well as the company's profit. For example, having an etail website rather than a retail store may save on overhead costs, but it won't be a profitable choice if the target customer isn't likely to shop online.
Common retail marketing strategies involve how products and stores are positioned and differentiated. A differentiation strategy focuses on products that can stand out from the others competing for the attention and dollars of the target market. For example, a furniture store may offer hand-made products or other items very different from what competing stores are offering. Of course, the product shouldn't only be different, it has to be something that targeted customers want and need. Retail market differentiation must set stores and products apart in order to create strong branding.
Branding is the identity of a product or service. Retail products and services in the same industry can differ widely from each other. For example, low-cost hair cutting services are branded and differentiated from upscale salons by their "no frills" store design. Expensive hair salons, on the other hand, are usually very detailed and fashionable in their store's look. As part of it's retail marketing strategy, an upscale salon may be positioned to potential customers as trendy, while the low-cost basic hair cutting establishment's market positioning could be promoted as budget-friendly.