Myroslav Protsan

Retail marketing

What Is Retail Marketing? Definition, Examples & Best Practices

Statistics show that an average adult spends nearly 7 hours daily on phones connected to the internet. That’s about 209 hours every month — enough time for you to sell a new idea to them. With a proper retail marketing strategy, you only need a few minutes to convince your audience to buy from you.

But to do this, you need to understand your audience, know their needs and interests, and how you can step in to satisfy these needs, win their attention, and generate leads. All these are possible if you properly understand retail marketing strategies and how to implement them. Thankfully, this guide will unravel all you need to know about retail marketing, its types and roles, how to build successful campaigns, and the best tools and practices to use. Let’s get into it!

What Is Retail Marketing

Retail marketing combines the best elements of two popular commerce terms: retailing and marketing. Retailing involves selling products and services to consumers, while marketing raises awareness and positions the brand as the go-to for these consumers. Combined, the definition of retail marketing is simply the promotion and sale of goods or services to end users through various viable channels.

While this may look straightforward, most people often ascribe wrong meanings and expectations to retail marketing. Here are three things that retail marketing is NOT:

  • Retail marketing is not just advertising: While advertising is an integral part of retail marketing, it’s not its entirety. Beyond advertising, you need strategic planning, pricing strategies, product delivery channels, and customer relationship management, among others.
  • Retail marketing is not static: Customers' behaviors are dynamic, and hence, this industry is ever-evolving. So, what worked two years ago may not give you the same result today. That’s why you must ensure your team stays updated with trends and invests heavily in prevailing knowledge and personal development.
  • Retail marketing is not just sales: While this may be your endpoint, you must understand that the only way to make your new buyers become repeat customers is to maintain a quality, healthy, and communicative relationship with them. Without this, you will experience poor customer retention rates and have low customer lifetime value (CLV).

The Role of Retail Marketing

The following are some of the roles of retail marketing and the motivations behind it:

Attracting New Customers

Getting and converting new clients takes a lot of work. Not only that, but the ROI may not be convincing in the early stages of your campaign, considering the marketing cost. Meanwhile, over time, the results become worthwhile.

For context, the average customer acquisition cost ranges between $83 and $1,143, depending on the industry. However, on the positive side, your retail marketing can give you as much as 2,200% — 3,600% ROI, depending on the strategy you incorporate, including leveraging mobile commerce platforms to reach a broader audience.

Build Customer Loyalty

As a retailer, much of your profits will come from returning and loyal customers. In fact, a 5% increase in customer loyalty can generate as much as 25% profit for your e-commerce brand. Now, imagine how much profit you could generate by doubling that figure.

Retail marketing is your go-to blueprint for building loyal customers. The more you dive into it, the more retail marketing ideas and techniques you conceive that would attract and retain customers, such as price regulation, customer loyalty programs, and discounts.

Execute Promotional Campaigns

One of the major roles of retail marketing is that it provides an avenue for you to execute promotional campaigns and increase sales. This involves offering discounts and promos, running ads via multiple digital channels, presenting referral programs, and using the right retail marketing automation tool to attract new customers.

Increase Revenue

The ultimate goal of retail marketing campaigns is to increase your revenue generation. You can boldly say your retail marketing strategies have paid off when you achieve this. Judging by the stats on customer acquisition and marketing ROI we shared earlier, we can say emphatically that a well-executed retail marketing strategy will increase net profit and your platform’s user experience.

Enhance Brand Visibility and Awareness

Awareness is an integral part of a buyer’s journey. The more consistent you are with your retail marketing campaign, the more people get to know your brand. When you show up enough in the faces, they will be forced to listen to what you’ve got to say and probably commit a few minutes to research your brand’s competence.

Main Types of Retail Marketing

Let’s see the three main types of retail marketing: in-store, traditional, and digital marketing.

Traditional Marketing 

Traditional marketing refers to any marketing or promotional strategy that uses offline media. These typically involve traditional advertising methods, like newspaper ads, billboards, catalogs, flyers, posters, or even referrals. Since this marketing strategy happens offline, marketers or retail stores place the promotional material at strategic points where the target audience can easily see and interact with it.

Digital Marketing

This is the direct opposite of traditional marketing because it uses strictly online channels to promote and market brands, products, and services for sale. As one of the many marketing strategies for retail stores, digital marketing uses internet search engines, blog posts, and social media to reach a target audience and draw attention to a brand, product, or service.

In-store Marketing

This is one of the retail marketing types that target shoppers or e-commerce store visitors. It aims to improve their shopping experience and entice them to continue buying from an e-commerce or retail store. In-store marketing also blends traditional marketing strategies with digital marketing strategies. Common techniques of in-store marketing include display ads or banners, product recommendations, point-of-sale and quick payments, product demonstrations, free trials, jingles and events, etc.

How to Build Retail Marketing Strategy: 10 Best Practices

While several ways exist to build successful marketing strategies for retail stores, these proven, actionable steps can give incredible results.

1. Understand Your Target Audience

Without knowing your target audience, you’d be in the dark about who should be buying from you, their needs and problems your product might solve, and what they could be searching for that you may have. In turn, this will affect your conversion and retention rate, especially if your campaign meets the wrong audience.

You should prepare your buyer personas to identify and define who your real prospects are and their buying behaviors. Then, fine-tune your retail marketing strategy so they can find and buy from you when they come across your product.

2. Segment Your Audience

If you command various product lines or wish to target prospects from different backgrounds, segmenting your audience during the identification stage is necessary. Customer segmentation in retail marketing breaks prospects into groups based on their needs and buyer personas.

Creation of a segment in Yespo CDP

Doing this could help you identify missing links in customer acquisition strategy and give you a competitive advantage. As a result, you’d reach more people interested in different things, make more sales, and possibly retain more customers as you recommend more relevant products to them.

3. Create a Unique Value Proposition

After identifying and segmenting your target audience, now is the time to tell your story through content creation. The goal is to use storytelling to present your brand as the ideal brand. But, this is not an ordinary story, told for the sake of it. It must show that you have found a solution to the user’s problem, making this your unique value proposition.

4. Implement Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel marketing helps you reach prospects irrespective of their buyer’s journey stage. Such a strategy involves uniting different channels in one system, including social media, SMS, email marketing, mobile push notifications, web push notifications, etc.

Employing this marketing technique improves your digital customer engagement experience and increases your conversion rate. In fact, many consumers may stop patronizing a business’ online store if they get a bad omnichannel experience.

5. Utilize Data Analytics

When used correctly, data analytics can be a massive boost to marketing for retail businesses. Now, data analytics is used to analyze huge sets of data and look for unique patterns and other information that can influence the decision-making process. In digital marketing, data analytics is a powerful tool that can help businesses understand customer preferences and behaviors and determine whether their marketing efforts are working.

An example of RFM analysis in Yespo CDP

6. Personalize Marketing Communications

Customers want to feel appreciated and recognized, and one way to achieve this is by sending personalized messages. It’s as simple as mentioning their first names in messages and showing them only products they’ve shown interest in. Personalization can influence potential buyers to purchase more products or items from your online store. 

adidas “Happy Birthday” email

7. Build an Online Presence

Running a successful business does not stop at building a standard brick-and-mortar store. You need to go the extra mile to make a formidable online presence. An online presence simply means having a visible online identity. It’s the fastest way to gain visibility, improve customer engagement, and get more patronage.

Would you like to level up your marketing?

Creating social media is the easiest way to start your digital presence journey. You can go a step further by building a website for your brand, creating a Google Business profile, and running local search and social media ads. Other great strategies include influencer promotion, giveaways, affiliate marketing, referrals, and ads.

8. Invest in Local SEO

Local SEO in marketing means working on your business's online presence to make it easy for potential customers to find you in local search results. This can be through customer reviews displayed on your website or carefully optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) page listing. The overall goal is to draw local buyers to your business, which is perfect for companies that provide services in their local area.

9. Take Advantage of Mobile Apps

Using mobile apps is one of the best ways to draw customers to your brand or service. It makes personalized marketing easier through in-app messages, push notifications, and more. Finally, having a dedicated mobile app also makes it easy to gather user data and use it to develop stronger marketing campaigns.

10. Leverage Social Media Influencers

Social media has now become an undeniable part of our modern lives, with many people depending on trends to decide where to eat or shop. This is where social media influencers come in handy, as they often have many dedicated followers who trust their recommendations. So, as part of your digital marketing strategy, you can hire social media influencers with a large following base and influence in your niche and get them to speak positively about your brand.

Great Examples of Retail Marketing

Let’s see some retail marketing examples of brands that successfully implemented it and how it impacted them.


In 2015, TOMS, the fashion brand, took its marketing to a whole new level when it launched the One for One campaign. For every sale made, the company provided a shoe for a child in need and allowed customers to view the impact of their contributions through VR headsets.

The campaign was a huge success, driving engagement on various social media platforms and leading to a record 100 million sales. Since then, multiple companies have been inspired and have replicated the concept in their marketing efforts.


Knowing it suffers stiff competition in the furniture market, IKEA has found many ways to be creative with its marketing. This popular furniture brand, known for its unique storytelling and community marketing style, once ran a competition for customers with 100 winners. Each of them then enjoyed visiting an IKEA outlet and choosing a mattress based on the recommendations of a dedicated IKEA customer service team.


In 2019, Rothy’s launched a unique “Vote It Back” campaign, asking customers to vote for a sold-out shoe they wanted to buy again. This campaign received 110,000 votes and helped the brand drive customer engagement and more sales when the voted shoe went live on their website.

The brand’s unique strategy is to avoid waste by producing limited products based on customer behaviors/demands. Through the “Vote It Back” campaign, customers felt like they were in the boardroom where decisions were made, which encouraged them to buy more — a win for the brand!


Vans launched a digital campaign in early 2023 aimed at celebrating the individuality of creatives. The 57-year-old brand teamed up with global creatives and athletes, like Beatrice Domond, DJ Arthur Bray, and Salome Agbaroji, highlighting their journey and tapping into their influence and supporter base.

Launch Personalized Retail Marketing Campaigns with Yespo

Many business-to-customer brands find it hard to understand their target customers because they lack the data to follow up with their audience and optimize their retail marketing campaigns. Without this data, you cannot make the most out of your marketing efforts. Fortunately, Yespo provides this requisite marketing intelligence and data to stay ahead of the game.

With Yespo, you can monitor your campaign performance, spot missing links in your omnichannel marketing campaigns, and manage your campaign. Breaking it down, here is how Yespo tools help in elevating your retail marketing campaign:

  • Omnichannel Campaigns: You can automate, personalize, and optimize your retail marketing, reach the right audience, and boost your campaigns in 8 channels, such as email, pushes, SMS, App Inbox, etc.
  • Customer and Marketing Segmentation: Experimenting with broad customer data can be challenging. But with the Yespo, you can segment or break down your target audience or customers into smaller and manageable groups for an effective and scalable retail marketing campaign.
  • Personalization: You can use gathered clients’ data to create personalized product recommendations. Built with AI algorithms, they can be displayed on a website, in an app, or in newsletters.

Personalized product recommendations

  • Mobile Marketing: Our mobile marketing automation tools are vast and evolving for personalized retail marketing content and reminders through in-app messaging and mobile push notifications.
  • Product Globalization Using Multilingual Campaigns: While localization is great for niche marketing, our multilingual campaign tool provides you with the platform to reach a bigger audience. This tool allows you to launch your retail marketing campaign in multiple languages.
  • Widgets: This Yespo omnichannel tool helps with lead generation and customer retention. It can be used to effectively cross-sell or upsell and personalize your communication seamlessly.

Try Yespo today to harness the power of smart data and elevate your marketing campaigns!


Retail marketing is about reaching customers using an omnichannel framework so that you can keep them going no matter where they are in the sales funnel. As a B2C business, you need to implement proper retail marketing strategies to edge your competitors in the e-commerce space.

Hopefully, this article has shown you the basics of retail marketing and how it has helped some businesses worldwide. Importantly, keep in mind that retail marketing is a long-term investment, and the earlier stages may be rocky. However, developing and sticking to your strategy will guarantee returns on investment over time.

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Myroslav Protsan

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