The retail industry is full of competition, and when you’re running a retail franchise, you’ll only be able to fall back on the brand’s existing reputation and name so far. Your individual store will need to make a name for itself in the local area and with local customers, too. To do this, you’ll need to learn how to market your business effectively.
Marketing is important to every franchise, and even more so in the retail industry, where department stores alone account for a whopping market size of £16.6 billion [IBISWorld]. If your heart is set on investing in this competitive, dynamic industry, the following five tips for marketing your retail franchise effectively will help you on your way and allow you to successfully make a career change with a retail franchise.
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Marketing a retail franchise successfully is easy with these 5 marketing tips
As you might know, there are many different kinds of retail business out there. Signorini Tartufi, for instance, specialises in the production and sale of unique truffle products, while at the other end of the spectrum, Ecigwizard is the UK’s largest offline and online retailer of e-cigarettes. There are some things that will change depending on the type of product you sell. These marketing tips, however, will apply across the board if you’re running a retail franchise, and will help you to advertise your business ...
1. Build and maintain a strong digital presence
If you’re a technophobe, bad news: It’s time to get your head around all things digital marketing, because in 2021, it’s the biggest portion of the marketing pie. It’s time to build a well-designed, professional website (if this isn’t included in your franchise package) and make sure it’s as SEO-friendly as it can be. It’s also time to get on social media and build your presence in that sphere, with 68% of consumers in agreement that social media enables them to connect with and more readily interact with companies [Sproutsocial]. When you join social media, you’ll find that:
- It’s easier to connect with customers
- There’s always room to shout about your products, services and offers
- You’re contactable if a customer service issue arises
- You can utilise a free marketing channel to reach a new audience of potential customers
Set tangible goals that you can measure your progress towards when you’re implementing digital marketing strategies, and make sure you fully understand the audience you’re attempting to reach - their preferences, their wants, their pain points, so on. Plan the content you’re producing in advance, whether for your website or your socials, to ensure that it’s all consistent and cohesive, showing your business in the best possible light. Finally, keep researching the latest strategies and best practices for things like SEO, as online things can change very quickly.
2. Connect with your local community
One of the most cost-effective ways to establish and market your franchise is by connecting with your local community and benefiting from the resultant buzz and word-of-mouth. It’s easy to underestimate the value of word-of-mouth business, but research demonstrates that word-of-mouth drives $6 trillion in annual global spending and is responsible for 13% of all sales [SEMrush]. It’s even more effective, as a way of generating business, than a paid ad. Connect with your community and kickstart this process by:
- Hosting events in your store
- Joining local business organisations and networks
- Participating in local events as a representative of your franchise
- Listing your business’s name in local directories
- Offering rewards/discounts/incentives to locals and repeat customers (often the same thing)
3. Create a rewards programme based on referrals
Which marketing or sales tactic do you think has the highest ROI? Inbound marketing? Email campaigns? PPC ads? The truth is this: there’s a standout winner that can’t be touched by any other method. That winner is referrals. Referral sales require almost no financial investment, but they bring in very valuable warm leads.
- Steli Efti, Forbes
78% of B2B marketers say that referral programmes generate good or excellent leads, with 54% agreeing that they have a lower cost-per-lead than other channels [Social Media Today]. A referral occurs when a customer recommends you to a potential customer, generating a lead on your behalf.
By creating a rewards programme based on referrals (you could, for instance, offer both parties 50% off a purchase), you incentivise your customers to give recommendations. Other options include offering a free gift for each referral, or offering a money-off voucher to be claimed after a certain number of referrals.
>> Read more:
- What is the Marketing Fee and Why is it Necessary?
- Developing an effective franchise marketing plan
- Try Out These 8 Outside-the-Box Marketing Ideas to Grow Your Business and Engage Your Customers
- 10 Tips for Building Truly Effective Social Media Marketing Campaigns
- Franchising 101: 8 Essential Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business
- Franchising 101: 6 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty Through Marketing
4. Market your brand all the way to the cash register with in-store merchandising
Marketing doesn’t need to stop in its tracks the minute someone enters your shop. A person browsing isn’t quite a customer yet, and good marketing in-store cultivates a welcoming atmosphere that warms people to your brand and makes them more likely to make a purchase. Make your franchise shine with in-store merchandising by:
- Dressing up your windows with beautiful, memorable displays
- Creating innovative and interesting product displays
- Making even small things like signage as nice as they can be
- Hosting and decorating for events (which, as mentioned above, will also help you to connect with your community)
5. Utilise the support of your franchisor and marketing experts within the franchise network
Your final marketing tip: Don’t struggle when you don’t need to. If you’ve ever wondered what the biggest advantage of franchising over running your own business that you’ve built from scratch is, you might have considered the lowered level of financial risk, or the chance to benefit from an existing brand name. Though these things are great, the best thing of all is the level of support and guidance available to you at all times!
In return for your investment, you’ll be fully assisted as a franchisee, and your success will become the success of your franchisor. This means that if you’re ever struggling with a marketing situation, or finding it difficult to gain traction in this area, you can turn to your franchisor for help. Larger networks will even have dedicated marketing experts on hand to offer you this support, or will provide it automatically as standard.
Start running your own business in the retail industry today
Hopefully, you now feel more confident than ever in your decision to start a retail franchise, and more certain of your path towards success. If you’re still unsure of the retail niche you’d like to dive into, stay on Point Franchise to browse a huge range of retail franchise investment opportunities, from Endura Roses all the way to Zip Yard.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©