Small businesses rely on widespread recognition and quality advertising to stay afloat. Though a percentage of locals know about your business, you will need targeted campaigns and thorough marketing strategies to reach a wider audience. To help you get started, here are some of the best marketing ideas for small grocery stores.
Marketing Outside Your Store
Marketing is not a monolithic tool that you use in only one location. You must advertise your business in your store as well as outside of it. Between public posters, roadside billboards, and online websites, there are plenty of places outside your physical store to entice new customers.
Utilize Social Media
Social media is a free and simple platform to advertise your business. Most large organizations and businesses operate and manage their social media profiles to attract and engage consumers. Utilize online platforms frequented by your target demographics and find ways to bring them in. Consider using your profile to follow, post, and otherwise engage local people, organizations, and businesses. The more people you interact with online, the broader your scope will become.
Utilizing social media does not just mean creating a profile. You must consistently update, publish, and comment online. As a small grocer, you want people to know about your daily and weekly promotions, so be sure to post them online. Without persistent interaction, you will lose your stake in the digital world. If you have the resources or time, consider finding a staff member to manage your social media presence or outsource these tasks to a trusted digital marketing agency.
Create a Character
Many popular grocery stores have a character or avatar they include in their promotions and signage to help increase people’s awareness of their brand. Whether you create a small figure or a detailed sketch, a business mascot will help ingrain your brand in the mind of the public. Organizations from schools to governments utilize symbols and characters to present their image, so follow suit with a unique spin for your grocery store. You can choose a food item or a fun creature but you must include it in all your programming so people will learn to associate it with your company.
Try writing out a list of meaningful symbols and ideas related to your business. If you have artistic talents, sketch out a few of them in your free time. Once you have some thoughts you are satisfied with, show them around and gauge public approval. You can even have a local contest where people choose their favorite mascot. With your winning design in hand, digitize it so you can include it on all your designs and posters both in your store and around town. You may need the help of a graphic designer to do this, so allot time and resources to bring the drawing to life.
Collaborate with Other Small Businesses
Small businesses must band together in order to survive the financial ups and downs. Small business organizations work with all local entrepreneurs to deliver a collaborative and supportive environment between non-competitors. This cooperation could include marketing cross-pollination or mutual promotion. You can set each other’s business cards at your registers and feature each other’s products in your stores. You can also work together to create coupon deals and gift packages with products from both your stores while splitting the profits. Depending on the level of trust and mutuality, you can even consider financially supporting each other up to a certain dollar amount in times of trouble or need.
Small business collaboration will boost your brand recognition, which is one of the largest aims of any marketing strategy. For example, as a grocer, you will have a different customer demographic than the auto repair shop across the street. But if you both market each other’s services to your customers, you can increase the variety of people coming through your doors. Collaboration also deepens your connection to the local community. By merging your social capital with another small business, you become a greater entity in the public eye.
Marketing in Your Store
Your store is space that you rent or own, so make the most of it. There are countless ways you can maximize your usage of the space around you. Here are a few in-store marketing ideas for your small grocery store.
Install Freezer and Cooler Signage
The shelves and coolers where you store and present your products are not there for organization purposes alone—these are also prime marketing spaces. Consider your freezers and coolers. The cooled boxes with glass doors are the perfect opportunity for you to market various promotions and products. Install a door sign holder like ours here at The Global Display Solution and tell your consumers about your great deals.
Use Floor Stickers
Floor stickers may sound like a cheesy or random marketing idea, but they are quite effective. Most businesses only have wall signs or hang signs from their ceilings. So, when customers see a floor sticker, they take note. You can communicate important information or advertise special products with these stickers and direct consumers throughout your store. As a grocer, you have aisles of food that people must navigate. If you want to give them directions to certain food groups, you can guide them with floor stickers.
Set Up Loyalty Rewards
Loyalty programs are one of the easiest ways to earn returning customers. As a grocer, you want people to visit your store on a regular basis for their groceries. Since food is a daily necessity, people will shop with you every week. Earn their business and show your appreciation with a rewards program. Work within your budget, but offer decent cashback deals or insider access for customer loyalty. You can easily manage these programs with punch cards or a point-of-sale system.
Use these marketing ideas for small grocery stores to transform your operations today. Try out one or all these ideas and see what works best for you. If you need new or improved signage, reach out to our team at The Global Display Solution to find the right products for your store.