20 Retail Marketing Strategies You Shouldn’t Overlook

12 Retail Marketing Strategies You Haven't Heard Of

Excellent retail marketing strategies make a big difference to small businesses. According to Statista, retail American ecommerce will grow steadily through to 2023. Getting retail marketing right is important.

Here are 20 retail marketing strategies you might not have heard of.

Retail Marketing Strategies You Can Use

1. Try A Custom Phone Number

Ellen Sluder is the VP of Marketing at RingBoost.  She says using more traditional methods works great.

“Getting a custom phone number is a great way for retail businesses to stand out and connect better with customers.”

It’s a good way to make your mark in a digital world.

Retail Marketing Strategies

2. Use Augmented Reality

Depending on the industry you’re in, augmented reality is one of the big trends this year. If you sell furniture or home improvements, these apps can place 3D models right in front of your clients.

3. Keep Signage Simple

There are other great retail marketing strategies that can help your small business stand out. Signage works for brick and mortar retailers looking to compete. Don’t get fancy. Clean crisp fonts grab attention.

4. Leverage Gift Cards

Stacy Caprio is the Founder of Growth Marketing.

“Send customers a $5 or $10 off gift card in the mail for a retail store that has products for $20 and up. This is a great way to make customers feel special,” she writes.

5. Focus on Curbside Appeal

Nifty store front displays are important for good retail marketing. So is what’s out in front of those store windows. Keeping the curb tidy and clean impresses folks. So does a sandwich board with the right message.

6. Offer to Host Events

Lexie Smith, Founder, THEPRBAR Inc. supplied three excellent retail marketing strategies.

“For example, host one of your next local chamber of commerce mixers,” she writes. “During the event, offer an exclusive discount for attendees.”

Retail Marketing Strategies

7. Collaborate with Other Businesses on a Pop Up

Get together with a complementary brand to put on a pop up event.  These are temporary by nature. And you need to look for a unique space to make them work.

8. Join a Local or Online Discount Directory

Caprio explains how to make the most out of this kind of

“If something hyper-local doesn’t exist, test out a site such as Groupon to pull in a new crowd.”

9. Consider Cross-Media Marketing

“This can be as simple as adding QR codes to your catalogs or postcards,” writes Chris Biscuiti  from Minuteman Press. “Or you can create a hashtag and include it on your marketing materials to create more awareness and engagement.”

10. Create a Unique Review Reward Program

Nikola Baldikov, the Digital Marketing Manager at Brosix, offers an interesting spin on that old standby, reward program.

“We’ve recently had great success creating a client reward program when they share their opinion of our product on review websites,” he writes.” Our thinking is that potential customers are looking for reliable information directly from users.”

11. Leverage Local Lingo

A conversational tone sells. You’ll engage even more people when you throw in some of the local lingo. Here’s a dialect quiz to get you started.

12. Don’t Forget Omnichannel Retail Marketing Strategies

Finally, don’t forget that brick and mortar retail is alive and kicking. It’s a big part of the omnichannel trend whereby customers compare online and shop in physical locations.

Retail Marketing Strategies

13. Leverage Emotional Storytelling in Your Marketing

Emotional storytelling can be a powerful tool in retail marketing. Share stories that resonate with your customers’ values and experiences. This could include showcasing your brand’s journey, customer success stories, or how your products have positively impacted people’s lives. Emotional connections often lead to brand loyalty and advocacy.

14. Use Experiential Marketing to Create Memorable Experiences

Experiential marketing involves creating immersive, hands-on experiences that engage customers directly. Host events or experiences in-store that allow customers to interact with your products in a unique way, such as live product demonstrations, DIY workshops, or virtual reality experiences.

15. Develop a Community Outreach Program

Engage with your local community through outreach programs. Partner with community organizations, sponsor local events, or host charity drives in your store. This not only enhances your brand’s local presence but also builds goodwill among community members.

16. Optimize for Local SEO

Invest in local search engine optimization (SEO) to ensure your store appears in local searches. This includes optimizing your Google My Business listing, getting listed in local directories, and using location-based keywords in your online content.

17. Implement a Subscription Service

Introduce a subscription model for your products, especially if you sell consumables or items that require regular replacement. This creates a steady revenue stream and fosters customer loyalty by providing convenience and exclusive benefits.

18. Personalize the Shopping Experience

Utilize data analytics to offer personalized shopping experiences. This could include personalized product recommendations, tailored email marketing, or custom offers based on past purchases and browsing behavior.

19. Conduct Interactive Online Surveys

Engage your customers through interactive online surveys to gather feedback and insights. Offer incentives for participation and use the data to improve your products, services, and overall customer experience.

20. Host Flash Sales and Time-Sensitive Offers

Create urgency and drive traffic to your store by hosting flash sales or time-sensitive offers. Promote these through your social media channels, email marketing, and in-store signage to maximize reach and participation.

Retail Marketing Strategies

Expanding Your Retail Marketing Toolkit: Unconventional Strategies for Success

In the ever-evolving landscape of retail marketing, staying ahead of the curve is crucial for small businesses seeking growth and customer engagement. While many traditional methods remain effective, it’s essential to explore unique and unconventional strategies to set your retail business apart. Here are innovative retail marketing approaches to consider:

  • Harness User-Generated Content (UGC): Encourage your customers to create content for your brand. User-generated photos, videos, and reviews showcase real experiences and build authenticity. Share UGC on your social media, website, and marketing materials to establish trust and community.
  • Interactive Quizzes and Polls: Create engaging quizzes and polls that align with your products or industry. Interactive content not only captures attention but also provides valuable insights into customer preferences and trends.
  • Virtual Try-Ons: If applicable to your products, implement virtual try-on experiences. This technology allows customers to visualize products on themselves before making a purchase, enhancing the online shopping experience.
  • Limited-Edition Drops: Create a sense of urgency and exclusivity by offering limited-edition products or collections. This approach encourages customers to act quickly and fosters a sense of excitement around your brand.
  • Micro-Influencer Collaborations: Partner with micro-influencers whose niche aligns with your brand. Micro-influencers have dedicated, engaged followers and can provide authentic recommendations that resonate with their audience.
  • Chatbot Assistance: Integrate AI-powered chatbots on your website and social media platforms. Chatbots provide immediate responses to customer inquiries, enhancing user experience and streamlining communication.
  • Reverse Showrooming: Embrace the concept of reverse showrooming, where customers research online and then visit your physical store for an in-person experience. Create an inviting store environment that complements your online presence.
  • Voice Search Optimization: As voice search becomes more prevalent, optimize your online content for voice search queries. Tailor your keywords and phrases to match conversational language.
  • Sustainable Practices: Highlight your commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. Green initiatives and eco-friendly packaging resonate with conscious consumers and set your brand apart.
  • Surprise and Delight Campaigns: Initiate surprise and delight campaigns by randomly selecting customers to receive unexpected rewards, discounts, or gifts. This fosters loyalty and positive brand sentiment.
  • Live Streaming: Engage with your audience through live streaming sessions on platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Showcase product demonstrations, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and Q&A sessions to connect on a personal level.
  • Gamification: Incorporate elements of gamification into your marketing strategy. Create interactive challenges, contests, or rewards programs that encourage customers to actively participate and engage with your brand.
User-Generated Content (UGC)Encourage customers to create authentic content like photos, videos, and reviews. Sharing UGC builds trust and community, enhancing brand credibility.
Interactive Quizzes and PollsCreate engaging quizzes and polls related to your products or industry. Interactive content captures attention and provides insights into customer preferences and trends.
Virtual Try-OnsImplement virtual try-on experiences if applicable to your products. This technology lets customers visualize products before purchase, enhancing the online shopping experience.
Limited-Edition DropsOffer limited-edition products or collections for exclusivity and urgency. This approach encourages quick action and excitement around your brand.
Micro-Influencer CollaborationsPartner with micro-influencers whose niche aligns with your brand. Micro-influencers have engaged followers and can provide authentic recommendations that resonate with their audience.
Chatbot AssistanceIntegrate AI-powered chatbots on platforms for immediate customer responses. Chatbots enhance user experience and streamline communication.
Reverse ShowroomingEncourage online research followed by in-person visits. Enhance physical store environments to complement online presence.
Voice Search OptimizationOptimize online content for voice search queries as voice search grows. Adapt keywords and phrases to match conversational language.
Sustainable PracticesHighlight ethical and sustainable practices. Embrace green initiatives and eco-friendly packaging to appeal to conscious consumers.
Surprise and Delight CampaignsInitiate surprise campaigns for randomly selected customers with rewards or gifts. This fosters loyalty and positive brand sentiment.
Live StreamingEngage audiences through live streaming on platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Showcase demos, behind-the-scenes content, and Q&A sessions to connect personally with customers.
GamificationIncorporate gamification elements like challenges, contests, or rewards programs. Encourage active customer participation and engagement.


In a competitive retail landscape, thinking outside the box and embracing unconventional strategies can be the key to capturing attention, fostering engagement, and driving sales. Incorporating these innovative approaches into your marketing toolkit allows you to create a dynamic and memorable brand experience for your customers. As retail continues to evolve, staying open to experimentation and adaptation positions your business for sustainable growth and lasting success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are unconventional retail marketing strategies?

Unconventional retail marketing strategies are innovative and unique approaches that go beyond traditional methods to engage customers, enhance brand visibility, and drive sales. These strategies leverage creativity, technology, and consumer trends to set a business apart in a competitive market.

Why should I consider unconventional retail marketing strategies?

In a rapidly evolving retail landscape, standing out from the competition is essential. Unconventional strategies help you capture attention, foster customer loyalty, and create memorable experiences. They enable your business to adapt to changing consumer behaviors and preferences, contributing to long-term success.

How can user-generated content (UGC) benefit my retail business?

Encouraging customers to create content for your brand builds authenticity and trust. UGC, such as photos, videos, and reviews, offers real-life perspectives that resonate with potential customers. Sharing UGC on various platforms establishes a sense of community and promotes brand loyalty.

What is reverse showrooming and how does it work?

Reverse showrooming involves customers researching products online and then visiting a physical store to make a purchase. By creating an inviting and engaging in-store environment, you enhance the customer’s experience, allowing them to interact with products before buying. This strategy bridges the gap between online and offline shopping.

How can I optimize my online content for voice search queries?

As voice search becomes more prevalent, tailoring your online content to match conversational language is crucial. Adapt your keywords and phrases to mirror how people speak naturally. This optimization enhances your chances of appearing in voice search results, increasing your brand’s visibility.

What are surprise and delight campaigns in retail marketing?

Surprise and delight campaigns involve surprising randomly selected customers with unexpected rewards, discounts, or gifts. This strategy creates a positive emotional connection with your brand, fostering customer loyalty and enhancing brand sentiment.

How can gamification be incorporated into retail marketing?

Gamification involves integrating game-like elements into your marketing strategy. Create interactive challenges, contests, or rewards programs that encourage customer participation and engagement. Gamification enhances customer interaction with your brand and promotes a sense of fun and excitement.

What’s the significance of live streaming in retail marketing?

Live streaming allows you to connect with your audience in real time. Platforms like Instagram or Facebook enable you to showcase product demonstrations, offer behind-the-scenes glimpses, and conduct Q&A sessions. Live streaming creates a personal connection, driving engagement and building brand authenticity.

How do I leverage micro-influencer collaborations for my retail business?

Micro-influencers have engaged and dedicated followers within specific niches. Partnering with micro-influencers who align with your brand allows you to tap into their authentic recommendations, resonating with their audience. This strategy expands your reach and builds credibility.

What’s the role of sustainability in unconventional retail marketing?

Highlighting your commitment to sustainability and ethical practices appeals to conscious consumers. Green initiatives and eco-friendly packaging resonate with environmentally-conscious customers, setting your brand apart and fostering a positive brand image.

How can I incorporate voice search optimization into my retail marketing?

Voice search optimization involves adapting your online content to match the conversational language used in voice searches. By incorporating natural phrases and keywords, you increase the likelihood of your brand appearing in voice search results, enhancing visibility and accessibility.

What’s the takeaway from these unconventional retail marketing strategies?

Embracing unconventional strategies allows your retail business to adapt to changing trends and consumer behaviors. By thinking creatively and leveraging innovative methods, you create a dynamic brand experience that captures attention, fosters engagement, and drives growth in an evolving retail landscape.


Image: Depositphotos.com

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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. He is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. His print credentials include employment with various Toronto area newspapers and three works of fiction: The Apple Lady (2004), Creekwater (2006) and Sophistry By Degrees (2008) published by Stonegarden Press In California.