If you own or operate a grocery store, then you know that competition is fierce. Large supermarkets and big-box stores constantly try to steal your customers and undersell you on price. According to a recent survey, about 60% of independent grocery store owners say that the biggest challenge they face is competition from larger stores. So, how do you stay competitive and grow your business? The answer is smart marketing.
Unfortunately, marketing is not a one-size-fits-all thing. What works for one business might not work for other. The key is experimenting and finding what works best for your business. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of five proven marketing tips that will help you grow your grocery store business.
1. Focus on Local Customers
Big businesses may have the advantage of national advertising campaigns, but they can’t compete with the personal touch that local companies can provide. Make sure your marketing efforts focus on reaching people who live and work near your store. Use local print and online publications to place ads and coupon offers. And don’t forget about good old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing.
Local restaurants can be some of your most loyal customers, so cultivate relationships with them. Offer discounts to restaurant owners and managers to encourage them to send business your way. Keep an email list of restaurant owners and send them weekly or monthly specials they can share with their customers.
2. Offer Incentives and Rewards
People love getting a good deal, so offer incentives and rewards to encourage them to shop at your store. Offer loyalty cards that discount future purchases or run promotional sales with deep discounts on selected items. You could also partner with local businesses to offer joint discounts and coupons. For example, offer a percentage off a customer’s total purchase if they present a valid restaurant receipt from a nearby eatery.
Some grocery stores offer gas rewards programs, which give customers a discount on gas for every certain amount they spend in the store. This is a great way to encourage customers to do all their shopping in one place. You could also partner with a local car wash or oil change business to offer discounts to customers who present a receipt from your store.
3. Hold Events and Promotions
Events and promotions are a great way to bring people into your store and build excitement around your brand. Partner with local organizations or charities to hold in-store events that benefit the community. Or hold in-store demos or cook-offs featuring products sold in your store.
But don’t stop there. Make sure you promote your events and promotions through all your marketing channels, including social media, email, and print ads. And be sure to create attractive visuals that will catch people’s attention. You could even offer a prize for the best Instagram photo taken at one of your events.
4. Get Active on Social Media
Social media is a powerful marketing tool that every business should utilize. If you’re not already active on social media, now is the time to start! Create profiles on popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and start interacting with potential customers. Share photos, blog posts, special offers—anything that will help get people interested in shopping at your store.
Just make sure you’re being strategic about it—posting randomly will not bring people through your doors! Plan out a content calendar so you always have fresh, relevant content to share with your followers. And don’t forget to use hashtags! Hashtags are a great way to reach new audiences and get more eyes on your posts.
5. Partner with Delivery Services
In today’s fast-paced society, convenience is key—which also applies to grocery shopping! More and more people are turning to food delivery services because they don’t have the time (or energy) to go to the store themselves. If you haven’t already done so, partner with delivery services like UberEats or DoorDash so customers can order groceries from your store without having to leave their homes.
This is especially important for reaching millennial shoppers who value convenience above all else. Plus, it’s a great way to increase sales during off-peak hours when foot traffic is low. You could even offer discounts for customers who order delivery during these times. Some stores offer a flat delivery fee, while others charge a percentage of the total order.
Growing a grocery store business takes time, effort, and, most importantly, innovative marketing. By following these five proven tips, you’ll be attracting new customers, boosting sales, and expanding your business. Always remember to keep your customers’ needs in mind, and you’ll be on your way to success.