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Retail Marketing 101: The 4 P's
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Product, Price, Place, Promotion
The 4 P's of marketing
Marketing is much more than just advertising. Most marketing books will refer to 4 areas of marketing: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion.
Product. The selection and quality of product. Are you going to sell an extensive selection of a few categories, or are you going to have a small selection of many categories. Are you going to have high or low quality.
Price. What type of markup are you going to use. Are some items going to have a different markup.
Place. Where are you going to sell your products. Brick and mortar store, mail order, web, or some combination. Large, high traffic location; or an inexpensive location. All new fixtures, or get by with used.
Promotion. What type advertising and promotions will you use. What will be your advertising budget. How much customer service will you provide. Providing customer service is not free. Providing good customer service is expensive.
Your Job, as the owner, is to decide on the mix of the 4 P's. The mix you decide on will define what your store is. Set reasonable goals. Remember, it isn't possible to do everything.
Do not compete head to head, especially with a much bigger competitor. You will loose every time. Even if you do 'win', the victory will have been expensive.
Do not fight customer expectations. When a retail customer goes to a discount box store they do not expect good customer service, so they are not disappointed when the sales person does not know anything about the product. In fact, the customer is almost pleased because their expectation was proven true. When same customer visits a small specialty store they will be expecting a helpful, knowledgeable sales person; and they will disappointed if the service is only average. I know, it is unfair; but that is the way it is.
Sell what sells. Stock you store with items that your customers want to buy, not just items you like personally. This is the difference between having a hobby and having a business.
Do not stand in the way when someone wants to give you money. There is a market for high quality products and good service. As small business owners, we tend focus too much on the price of an item. For a lot of people, price is secondary. They want a high quality product and good service, and they are happy to pay extra for it.
Your local library will have an entire section of books devoted to small business.
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