3 Effective Guerilla Marketing Tactics for Retailers


Many new retailers today struggle to generate enough hype and build steam for their retail stores in a fiercely competitive market. In order to generate both physical and online traffic for a retail outfit, retailers need to put a strong focus on marketing.

Good marketing techniques can make or break a retail business. Unfortunately, small independent stores don’t have enough in their budgets to allocate to big marketing strategies from an agency.

This means retailers often need to think outside the box and come up with unconventional or cost-effective solutions for marketing their business. This article will explore a few launching points for retailers to find new customers with guerilla marketing tactics.

Have a strong online presence

Many small retailers don’t take the power of online marketing as seriously as they should. They set up a Facebook page or website but aren’t consistent with their content marketing efforts, resulting in a sense among online users that their business isn’t active.

First, if you’re retail business doesn’t yet have an online shop, you should know that 71% of North American consumers prefer e-commerce for retail services. The importance of having an online store cannot be overstated: it’s basically necessary for survival in today’s digital world.

Once you’ve got an online shop set up, you can get a lot of mileage at no cost from creating a blog, having a good content strategy, promoting your business on other blogs and being consistent while standing out on social media.

When it comes to social media, it is best to focus on one or two platforms at a time. Test out some different platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and analyze which lead to the most conversions. Stick with those going forward.

The giving spirit

One of the best and most time-tested strategies for small retailers is to give stuff away for free. This may seem counter-productive at first but can actually work wonders to promote your company.

Giving away free samples around your area will put your products directly into the hands of consumers. This is a good thing.

When your marketing budget is non-existent, the word of mouth that comes from giving out some samples will do wonders to attract new customers. Psychologically, people often feel the need to repay the favor when they are given something for free.

Wondering what to give out? T-shirts are a good bet, as these will often end up becoming walking promotional material when people wear them. Stickers are also good since they tend to show up almost everywhere when you hand them out.

Think local

A major mistake new retailers often make when they start out is that they focus their marketing efforts too broadly. It’s important for retail stores to have their roots firmly planted before extending their reach to different areas.

Smart new retail businesses think on a local level, both offline and online. Promote your business at community events, partner up with other small businesses to give cross-promotional offers, reach out to local media for a business spotlight and sign up to relevant local directories online (Google My Business is a good place to start).

Here’s another great idea:

  • Set up a local event at your retail store and offer small appetizers and drinks.
  • Create an account on Snapchat and pay $5 to upload a custom filter of your logo that people can access when they are in your location.
  • Let them know at the door.
  • Sit back and enjoy the free promotion while everyone sends Snaps with your logo to their friends and family.

Final thoughts

As a new retailer, having a good online presence, promoting through giving and concentrating on local marketing will give you a significant boost at almost no cost. Guerilla marketing is all about being creative and spending the least amount of money possible for the greatest possible return.

A few more tactics you might want to consider: study your competition on review sites, create a business card, implement creative window designs, improve your SEO techniques and come up with limited-time promotions.