Let's Talk Free Marketing Tools for Retail Stores
You know that saying “You gotta’ pay to play?” Well, we don’t believe that statement is entirely true — there are plenty of resources out there that can help get you into the market and boost your sales, at little or no cost. We aren’t paid by the companies below to sell you on this, we’ve just seen how it’s changed the game for our business and want you to experience the same. When you partner with Canvast, we’re here to help you sell because your success is our success.
What are some free marketing tools available to me?
Here are some free marketing tools that retail stores can use to help boost your sales and get your name out there!
Social Media Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn are great ways to reach potential customers and promote your products. We like to think of social media platforms as virtual business cards. They give someone a quick snapshot of who you are, what you offer, and the kind of community you’re a part of, so take advantage of it and grab someone’s attention! Organic growth can be complicated, but your social media serves as so much more than a number of followers - it helps validate you as a real, existing business.
Google My Business: It allows retail stores to manage their online presence on Google and make it easier for customers to find them through Google Maps. You have the ability also to sell products and share offers to entice people to visit your website or visit your store. This service is entirely free.
- Yelp: getting good store photos and business descriptions here will help you be more searchable when people are looking for where to go and build trust in choosing your store to visit. You can also offer a small discount to your customers and ask them to go leave you a review. Reviews are a powerful way to build trust in your community.
- Email Marketing: Retail stores can use email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Klaviyo to send newsletters, promotions, and other marketing messages to customers. Some of these programs have a free account option if you’re just getting started - to make sure it's something you like and want to continue with! SO stretch your wings and try it out. Ensure you collect your customers' emails when they visit your store and website.
The exact percentage of sales increase when you begin using email marketing will vary depending on various factors such as the size of your audience, the relevance of your content, the frequency of your emails, and the conversion rate of your campaign. However, on average, businesses have seen an increase in sales ranging from 20-30% after implementing an effective email marketing strategy.
- Don’t have an in-house graphic designer? Don’t have the budget for one? These professionals ARE incredibly valuable, but Canva can help you *look* professional while keeping you on budget and on a dime (there’s even a free version). Canva is a graphic design tool that allows retail stores to create professional-looking marketing materials such as flyers, posters, and social media graphics.
Social Media Management Platforms: A social media management platform that helps retail stores schedule, publish, and analyze their social media posts. Don’t have time to post every day? Find social media overwhelming? There's an app for that. You can pre-make your social media posts and schedule them and their captions ahead of time with programs like Hootsuite and Later. Most of these platforms support several platforms, from Instagram to Tiktok, Linked In, and Facebook.
Consumer Surveys: SurveyMonkey — is a tool that retail stores can use to conduct customer surveys and gather feedback on products and services. Are you curious about what your customers think or would like to see more of? These platforms allow you to tap into your consumer's opinions to help provide their wants and needs.
- Collaborations with other local businesses: where do your customers shop when they aren’t in your store? Think of who’s around you that you can partner with on a shared discount or giveaway for store awareness. Are there any local hotels or gift shops near you that would let you hang some flyers to let their guests know where to go for the best CBD in town?
It's important to note that the success of using one platform is not solely dependent on the number of sales, but also on other metrics such as increased brand awareness, engagement, and customer loyalty. To maximize each platform's impact, segment your audience, personalize your content, and consistently measure and analyze your results to optimize your strategy.
How does engaging with my community help sales?
Engaging your community not only brings customers to your store or platform, it validates your business and lets your community know that you’re here to stay — and see the community grow as a whole! There are some simple free ways (and not free ways) how to engage and help create a name in your neighborhood and beyond!
Retail stores can engage with their local community in various ways, including:
Sponsoring local events: Retail stores can sponsor or participate in local events, such as festivals, charity runs, or community fairs. The cost of this level of engagement can range depending on the amount of exposure your business will receive.
Hosting in-store events: Retail stores can host in-store events, such as product demonstrations, workshops, or tastings to bring customers into the store and engage with them. Canvast thinks the hands-on approach with your customers has a much more lasting impact, in making them life long customers when you give them a great experience. This gives you an opportunity to highlight your key brands while allowing your customers to give them a try and get hooked - as well as learn something new!
Donating to local charities: Retail stores can support local charities and non-profit organizations through donations, sponsorships, or volunteering opportunities. Consider giving a % of a timeframe’s income to a charity of your choosing - to raise awareness in your community and become engaged. Example — giving 10% of all sales to a favorite charity.
Partnering with local businesses: Retail stores can collaborate with other local businesses to co-promote each other and create a sense of community. This is great for social media and an in-store event, especially if your products complement eachother. This could be a fun excuse to throw a party and find a way to introduce yourselves to an additional community you wouldn’t otherwise be tapping into.
Supporting local causes: Retail stores can show their commitment to the community by supporting local causes, such as environmental initiatives or education programs. Think: Planting trees for earth day, adopting the road your business is on to ensure your neighborhood is kept up and clean.
- Building relationships with customers: Retail stores can build strong relationships by offering personalized service, hosting customer appreciation events, or participating in customer loyalty programs. If you treat your loyal customers like family — they’ll keep coming back. Offering programs like points per purchase can help build customer retention and could possibly assist in increasing their order total or rate. You better believe we like visiting the coffee shop we get points at. Who doesn’t love a free coffee when you’ve gained enough points?
We recommend that you pick 3-5 initiatives rather than focusing on one. The summation of multiple efforts will pay off greatly if you haven’t begun to apply these tools to your business. It’s hard to see one specific marketing tool tip the scale, but with the right recipe you can drive more and more traffic daily. If you ever have any questions on how to work with us to boost your sales, reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’re here to see you succeed.