6 Marketing Tips for Consumer Technology Retailers
In recent years, annual revenues for consumer electronics have exploded to more than $200 billion. This has been fueled by the overwhelming popularity of tablets, smartphones, and mobile devices, in addition to standbys such as TVs, cameras, and desktop computers. With so much money streaming in, there’s no shortage of retailers eager to capitalize on this booming industry that seems to have no ceiling in sight. Yet, while there is still ample room to turn a healthy profit, it’s those who take an active, thoughtful, and progressive approach to marketing that stand the best chance to succeed.
If you have designs on staking your claim in the industry or are searching for ways to increase revenues for your store, consider these six rock-solid marketing tips for consumer technology retailers.
1. Cultivate a Compelling Brand Image
Whether operating a brick-and-mortar location or strictly e-commerce, too many small- to medium-sized consumer technology retailers fail to fully develop their brand before opening doors and spending on advertising. Just like the products you put on your shelves, for many consumers the words, images, and colors on the packaging play just as big of a role in inspiring consumer confidence as the specifications, ratings, and reviews of the product itself.
A solid marketing foundation starts with cultivating a brand image complete with a memorable and meaningful name, eye-catching logo, and snappy slogan that give shoppers something they can sink their teeth into. By making a study of your targeted best customers and the type of visuals that speaks to their sensibilities as tech consumers, you can cultivate a brand image they find compelling to buy into.
2. Develop an Effective Marketing Message
Technology consumers are always looking for the best price, but there are other factors that go into their purchasing decisions – especially when it comes to premium products, where there’s typically little room for markdowns. Businesses capable of developing successful advertising strategies do well to define their space within the market, letting consumers know exactly what makes it different or better than the competition.
Whether you specialize in superior customer service, lower-cost solutions, convenience, product knowledge, or the ability to locate hard-to-find products, you need to put your finger on the best attributes that make your brand worthy. Then, condense that big idea into focused messaging and a unified brand voice.
3. Build Your Online Presence
It is no small revelation to modern marketers that consumers are increasingly savvy with using the Internet to not only shop for and purchase products, but also to check deals, access ratings and reviews, and compare prices. Along with engaging in a blend of SEO, SEM, PPC, and mobile ad delivery to make sure your store is on consumer radars, electronics retailers must take the appropriate steps to ensure they can be found in all the right places.
The more outlets customers can view the products you sell and confirm your identity as a trusted source with a strong reputation, the higher rate of traffic and conversions. Therefore, it is essential that you have powerful web presences complete with social media profiles, local and mobile directory listings, product features on popular blogs, and reviews by trusted industry sources. Furthermore, you must submit a product feed to comparison websites and search engines.
4. Collect Emails
Studies show that not only is email the way a majority of consumers wish to receive permission-based marketing communications, but that it’s also (when done right) the most cost-effective channel yielding the highest return on investment. Consumer technology retailers can benefit greatly by taking a comprehensive approach to get as many current and potential customers as possible to opt-in to receive emailed marketing materials, deals, and promotions.
Besides making it easy to sign up when visiting your store and asking for emails during points of transaction and customer service, create a piece of content such as a newsletter, sales circular, or grand prize sweepstakes that contain value your targeted consumer will consider a compelling incentive to subscribe. With a large and growing base of highly qualified leads in your back pocket, you can reach out with personalized email marketing communications designed to maximize lead opportunities, increase revenues, inspire repeat customers, and generate referrals.
5. Get Social
With more than a billion people tuning in to social media every day, it just makes good sense for consumer technology retailers to have a social media marketing presence on the major channels such as Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. It is not only an inexpensive and effective way to build a following you can reach out to with announcements and promotions, but also a dynamic way to strengthen your consumer base by concentrating on building more tangible business relationships.
While running sweepstakes or targeted Facebook ads can help increase exposure, generate traffic, and, it’s hoped, give sales a boost, placing yourself at the center of a niche community interested in sharing and learning about retail electronics can be an invaluable asset to your multichannel marketing campaign. By educating the public, offering insight and advice, and directly interacting with people who are actively shopping for technology products, you gain the ability to win consumer loyalty, establish authority, and increase exposure to a pervasive consumer audience.
6. Set Sights on Mobile
The fact that mobile devices have surpassed PCs in online retail means both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores need to get in the game. Retailers large and small are pushing innovation to discovering new ways to deliver timely location-based mobile ads via in-app placement, banners, emails or social media, in addition to utilizing the mobile online landscape to increase in-store customer engagement, personalize shopping experiences, and influence purchasing decisions.
From making sure your website is optimized for smartphones and tablets, to ensure that your listings are showing up in mobile and local search results, to developing an app that makes it easy for consumers to shop your products while on-the-go, it is crucial that you fully embrace mobile marketing. Mobile marketing is the future – and the future is now.
In order to carve a lucrative place in the booming consumer electronics industry, it’s crucial to get up to speed with successful marketing in the digital age. By cultivating an effective brand voice and image, establishing a prominent online presence, and utilizing a multichannel email, social media, and mobile approach, consumer technology retailers can reach their target audience and achieve the type of engagement that drives their business to its goals.
What additional marketing tips can you suggest?
Tim Verdin is a marketer and entrepreneur who shares insights related to e-commerce, social media marketing, and technology.