The bureau of statistics reported that retail sales fell 0.5 percent between February and March. It doesn't sound much, but for the retailers who have brought this average down, it is huge.
The biggest falls were in department store sales which were down 3%. Don't let anyone tell you anything different. Times are tough and you can either swallow in this sentiment or you can learn how to stand out from the crowd. Think Zara. They are a very successful retailer, but they continually stand out from the crowd. Why? They have a distinct point of differentiation. Every 2 weeks, they have fashion forward garments instore, ready for the avid fashionista to purchase.
Whilst stores with big overheads and wages bills are feeling the pinch, the same can not be said for online retailers. Finally, everyone has cotton-on to the fact that online retailing is convenient, cheap and is very easy to do. Of course, those online retailers who have too many clicks of the button before a purchase, aren't doing so well, but for those who have made the online experience, easy and convenient with a few surprises like good packaging, free gift with purchase or loyalty rewards, it's all uphill from here.
As marketers, the best we can do is support our retailers by ensuring that we give them more than we have ever before. Think about how our retail clients can stand out from the crowd and how they can market on multiple levels at a low cost. Keeping the investment in marketing down is imperative.
Using platforms like Groupon to market companies products and services, could also mean the point of difference to their sales results. Think McDonalds, "Would you like some fries with that". This approach to bringing people into businesses and giving them an opportunity to purchase an add-on sale, may be just what your retail clients need.
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Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.
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