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5 Top Tips: Managing Instore Marketing During Covid-19

As consumers start to return to their favourite retailers, the first priority is making sure that everyone feels safe with carefully implemented and managed Covid-19 health and safety measures. And next? Reminding them that instore shopping experiences can be enjoyable, even in these uncertain times.

The Covid-19 pandemic has completely changed how stores operate and how the average consumer shops. Social distancing measures and one-way traffic systems, coupled with shoppers wanting to spend less time browsing, means the quality and clarity of everything from staff communications to instore marketing campaigns is now more important than ever.

As a retailer, possibly working with reduced marketing budgets, you’ll need to be selective and inventive with how you manage your displays and promote your products.

Here are our five top tips to get the most from your instore marketing:

1. Make the most of your windows

To maintain a distance from others, and to weigh up the safety of any location, shoppers are scrutinising and evaluating their surroundings more thoroughly. As consumers, we’re conditioned to pay more attention to signage and we’re often prepared to wait outside. Make sure you use these new behaviours to your advantage.

When you’ve mastered clear health and safety messages, there is room for some great visual marketing to entice shoppers in, and to keep those that are queueing engaged. Although footfall is reduced, some retailers have already found that once people actually step foot in store, overall spend is higher.

Don’t have window space to capture the attention of passing and waiting shoppers in some stores? Use A-boards, lollipops and interactive floor stickers to share information, highlight offers or even just provide an interesting distraction. All of these things will help create a more enjoyable “new-normal” shopping experience.

A survey by Marketing Week found that 43% of marketeers have made use of innovations in marketing messaging and branding that they might use post-outbreak.

2. Make offers clear at a glance

With restricted numbers allowed in each store, along with fears of an increased risk of the virus in enclosed spaces, shoppers may feel pressured to speed through aisles, pick up what they need and head for the till more quickly.

Any instore offers need to consider this fast moving, possibly one-way traffic. Typography needs to be legible at a distance, the message straightforward and the products included clearly signposted and grouped together.

“Today only” and “limited time ” offers can supercharge sales but make sure your shop floor teams have the capacity to install and remove them as required. Timed-out or confusing promotions can quickly result in disgruntled customers. They’re much less likely to walk through a store if they’ve missed a promotion, no matter how good it is!

3. Think quality over quantity

Now might be the time to strip back your promotions. You’ll want to focus your attention on what’s most important. With increased aisle widths and less display space, every pound spent on marketing materials needs to have more of an impact.

A combination of stock left overs and consumer demand may drive your offers to maximise sales. Invest in making those the showstoppers and the ones that capture your customer’s attention.

Buying habits and trends are changing quickly so you may want to look at solutions to help you to be more reactive and nimble with store promotions. Limiting the quantity of offers doesn’t mean they need to be longstanding. And, with so much uncertainty, it’s a good time to embrace trial and error.

4. Get rid of any guesswork for store staff

No matter how well you update your store staff about Covid-19 procedures, they may still be nervous. Every day they are faced with navigating their evolving roles as rapidly as they can. When it comes to campaigns in stores, always provide clear instructions on how to implement them with minimal disruption.

Great promotions are a good incentive for return visits but any confusion felt by shoppers can result in missed sales and poor experiences. And, without the right communications or time to execute new campaigns effectively, shop floor staff can feel stressed and demotivated.

Our recent survey with store managers found that while most had received frequent updates from head office about how to operate in Covid-19, some shop floor teams still reported them being “occasional”, or “non-existent”.

If Covid has highlighted gaps in how you communicate with your store teams, now is the time to fix them. Two-way dialogue, with clear execution guidance, is vital for the foreseeable future.

5. Keep sharing your story

Instore marketing that resonates with the values of your customers helps to create an emotional connection. Use your visual displays to tell stories and to communicate important information about your brand, as well as trying to sell products.

It’s a great time to share ways in which you’re operating fairly and ethically in these challenging times. And to give consumers confidence that the money they spend is going to a company that cares during Covid-19.

You can further your connection with customers by being much more targeted with your instore marketing. The pandemic has affected every area differently, and being able to reflect this in your messaging shows understanding, and relevance, at a community level. Recent research has found that almost half of consumers say they are more likely to spend money at a shop that supports local charities.

Monitor, Adapt, Repeat.

These new trading conditions are incredibly tough but there is the opportunity to drive more efficient and resilient processes. There’s also the potential to build new relationships with consumers, particularly in towns and villages with increased remote workers.

Now is the time to get the foundations of the store environment right. To cut costs, create leaner workflows and ensure greater returns from your instore marketing investments.

If you’re looking to improve your instore marketing processes, drop us an email: hello@colateral.io

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