Retail Marketing Tips for Small Businesses in 2021

In order to stay relevant, all businesses need marketing. Without marketing, potential customers will not know what you are offering and thus you’ll not make sales. In a nutshell, Retail Marketing Tips introduces new customers to your brand and driving them from awareness to being interested, in pulling the trigger and buying your product.

Retail marketing is all about expanding your reach, connecting with customers, nurturing relationships and establishing your unique selling proposition (USP). It helps you differentiate yourself from your competition, and it’s what helps you to attract customers and grow your business.

Marketing isn’t just a luxury for large businesses with big budgets; it’s a necessity and it can be done on a budget. 

There are numerous marketing options to help any business of any size to reach their audience, even if you have a tight budget or you don’t have a ton of experience in marketing. We are going to share 11 Retail Marketing Tips to enable you grow your business.

What is retail marketing?

Retail marketing is simply marketing to promote your retail store. Marketing can be either Paid or free (low cost). In essence, marketing can encompass both in-person and online strategies

In many cases, businesses benefit from using a combination of retail marketing strategies at once (known as a “marketing mix”) to reach more people at a time. The 4 P’s of the marketing mix are Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

Your marketing campaigns should all take the 4 P’s into consideration.

11 retail marketing tips to use in-store and online

When you’re considering what exactly you want your marketing mix to be and how you want to reach your audience, it’s good to look at a number of different options to see what would work best for you.

There are two main types of retail marketing strategies to consider: in-store retail marketing and online retail store marketing.

In-store retail marketing

In-store retail marketing focuses exclusively on leveraging the customer’s in-store experience to promote brand and product awareness and to hopefully drive sales immediately. Some of these strategies will also seek to actually drive traffic into the store, too.

There are seven iron-clad in-store retail marketing strategies you should think about using if you have a brick-and-mortar retail store.

  1. In-store merchandising
  2. Window displays
  3. Outside displays
  4. Staff
  5. Partnerships and collaborations
  6. In-store events

In-store merchandising

In-store visual merchandising includes everything from storefront displays and product displays. The idea is to display your products in a way that draws attention to them.

This can include any of the following:

  • Signs promoting buy-one-get-one deals
  • Putting your fastest-selling items on a mannequin in the center of the store
  • Point-of-purchase displays that encourage users to add on last-minute “impulse purchases” as they’re standing at the register

Window displays

Window displays are a great way to capture people’s attention as they’re walking or driving by your retail store, hopefully drawing them in. You can show off some of your best-selling merchandise and represent your brand in an exciting, creative way.

When creating window displays, make sure to use lighting, color, and mood to your benefit.

Window Displays for Retail Marketing TipsOutside displays

Outside displays are similar to window displays. The entire focus is on capturing foot traffic as they’re walking past your store, letting them know that you’re open, and sharing what you have available.

This is a great place to mention any specials or ongoing promotions that you have. These are typically relatively low cost to create, especially if you’ve got standard evergreen options or are using a chalkboard display that can be changed up regularly.


Your staff should all be well trained in advanced sales techniques and know the entire inventory well. If they do, they’ll be able to do the selling for you, guiding customers to products that they’re looking for and even pointing out a few that they weren’t.

Well-trained staff will be able to identify potential add-on purchases, leveraging cross-selling and upselling to boost the overall purchase value. They’ll be excited about your brand and your products, so your customers will be, too.

Partnerships and collaborations

Establishing partnerships with other local businesses is an excellent way to expand your reach and connect with new audience members.

This can take a number of different forms.

You can have your product sold in local stores. If you sold dog care products like shampoo or clippers, you might be able to see if a local veterinary office wanted to sell these.

You can create contests together with a partner brand, where each of you contributes to the cash prize. In-store events featuring the other can also work well.

In-store events

In-store events can do wonders when it comes to bringing more foot traffic into the store. A coffee shop could have a book signing, a studio gym could have a healthy cooking class, and art stores could host knitting, painting, or sewing classes. There are plenty of in-store event ideas that you can take advantage of.

In addition to bringing traffic in and resulting in sales, in-store events are also a great way to generate buzz on social media and nurture relationships with attendees.

Online retail marketing strategies

While in-store marketing is so important to improve the customer experience and create more purchasing opportunities, online retail marketing tips and strategies are essential, too. Online marketing allows you to expand your reach significantly because you’re able to get your store found online by more potential customers

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Pinterest
  4. Email marketing
  5. Influencer marketing

Online Retail Marketing Tips


Facebook should be a go-to platform for all retail and eCommerce businesses. You can share frequent updates with your customers, promote your products, create on-platform events, and use features like live broadcasting to make meaningful connections.


Instagram is one of the most powerful social platforms today, offering exceptional reach and high user engagement rates. Users are particularly excited to connect with brands on Instagram, and actively seek out their favorite brands and new products to purchase.

Make sure you’re using relevant hashtags like #bridalearrings, and that you’re using Shopping features whenever possible to tag products and increase in-app purchases.


If you have an eCommerce component to your retail business, you want Pinterest to be part of your retail marketing strategy. The majority of pinners actually use the site to research buying decisions and will purchase products they discover on the site.Using the Promoted Pins system can help you create targeted campaigns for users who are both searching for similar products and who are browsing but fit your target demographics.

You can also work on creating content-focused pins with tutorials showing how to use a product. Sephora has a great example of this here:

Email marketing

Email marketing will help you nurture leads and keep leads and customers alike engaged. You can send segmented campaigns based on your customers’ past purchases and current behaviors like abandoned carts or views of a specific product page.

Influencer marketing

Influencers have massive reach with engaged, loyal audiences on their respective channels (even if they only have 10,000 followers). Their followers trust them, and if they recommend a product, users are likely to consider and purchase if it’s something they feel they could benefit from.

Influencer marketing offers an enormous amount of potential.

In Conclusion

Retail marketing can be complex and time-consuming, but starting out with the right retail strategies for your campaigns can make a huge difference. When you’re choosing a retail marketing strategy that works for your brand, you’ll be able to invest your budget wisely into in-store and online promotions that work well for you.0

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