marketing retail strategy May 31, 2018

Marketing at the moment is all about the funnel. It’s become such a buzzword, that you could be forgiven for feeling like marketers can go and shove their funnel… (maybe that’s just me!)

 Anyway. The Purchase Funnel isn’t a new concept. It’s been around for 120 years. However, with the internet opening up the potential market for our business wider than ever before (basically most of the world), the idea of the marketing funnel has become more important than ever before.

So what is a funnel and how is it relevant for brick and mortar stores?

A marketing funnel works by taking all people and narrowing them down to smaller and smaller groups, one stage at a time, until you end up with a purchasing customer, or more importantly in modern marketing an purchasing dream customer. 

Each stage of the funnel is designed to attract your dream customers (customers who not only fit your demographic, but who are likely to buy, buy big and buy regularly), whilst repelling those people who aren’t a good fit for your brand. Most brick and mortar shop’s funnels start with making a prospect aware of your brand, getting them interested in your brand, making them desire your brand, before finally taking action towards your brand, either by visiting your store/website or making a purchase.

The problem is with funnel based marketing, is that it can seem counter intuitive. In order to attract we must repel. And why would we want to do that? Surely we want to get as many people as possible into our shop, let’s face it money is money and a sale is a sale, right?

However, in reality this approach can lead to the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve.

 All of the following list are things that can seem positive, but that cost you money, either in the form of wasted expenditure, our own (or our staff’s) time, or almost most devastatingly, an opportunity cost (i.e. a missed opportunity for a great sale to a dream customer, because we were busy doing something else). Therefore all of the following should be considered seriously when approaching the marketing strategy for your shop:

  • Advertising aimed at as many people as possible, even if they have no chance of being your dream customer
  • High footfall of non-dream customers into your shop
  • Attracting people who don’t ‘get it’ into your space (people who are likely to have a lot of questions, opinions, and take up valuable time and effort with very little if any result for your business)
  • One off, low value purchasers (unless of course this is your business model, e.g. certain types of tourist shop)

When we invest time and energy into marketing our shop, it should be in an attempt to attract our dream customers, to give us the opportunity to woo them with our offer, product and experience, and to ensure that they go away and tell all of their friends, as well as coming back again and again.

Top tips for making funnel marketing successful for a retail store: 


Know who your dream customer is, what they need and what they want.



Create marketing messages (either paid advertising, social media or simply your website or shop front) that will attract your dream client, and repel people who aren’t well suited to your brand (don’t try and be everything to everyone).



Make sure your sales space is designed for your dream customer, take them on the journey they want to go on, show them what they need and want to see, and give them every opportunity to fall in love with your brand.



Think about retail brands that you love, that you don’t just use because you need to, but you enjoy visiting and going back to time and time again, that you recommend to your friends. What is it that has that effect? Think of the look and feel of the brand, the space, the experience and the messaging, how can you take those lessons into your business?



Finally, never be tempted to appeal to everyone. Stay strong in your conviction to attract the best possible clients for your business, and you will reap the rewards.


If you're ready to elevate yourself and your retail business, bring in more customers, connect and become part of something bigger, you can find out about The Independent Retailers Association Here


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