A majority of business owners believe that the best way to boost their business bottom line is by focusing on top line growth. So, they spend a lot of time running campaigns to boost foot/in-store traffic, brand mentions, and trying to increase sales. What they may not be aware of is that business bottom line is more about controlling costs than getting more sales. When optimizing a marketing campaign to boost the bottom line, businesses shouldn’t spend more trying to acquire new prospects. In fact, they should do the opposite; spend less on getting new prospects while focusing on getting the most out of existing customers.  The following are common marketing strategies businesses can turn to when looking to grow their bottom line:

Differentiate the Business to Boost your Bottom Line

Differentiation essentially means making a business or brand stand out among the crowd. This is usually achieved by offering unique features, benefits, and/or services. The goal of competitive differentiation is to have the consumer perceive a brand’s offering as being superior compared to other offers on the table.
There are a few ways to differentiate a business. The first one is simple; identifying and capitalizing on one’s strengths. Here, the business pinpoints where its strengths lie, whether it’s customer service, storytelling, low prices, or product quality. Once a particular strength has been identified, the management can apply different strategies to capitalize on it, for example, through excellent customer service that extends to social media channels.  The second option is to offer quality and preach about it until customers take notice. The remaining options are to make the business a members-only club (where customers purchase membership to gain value, discount, and/or loyalty points), or to invest in employees to create a positive and admired company culture.

Get Better Pricing from Wholesalers

If a competitor is selling certain items at a cheaper price, chances are that those competitors get very good deals from their wholesalers. They are getting lower wholesale prices meaning they can afford to price their offers low without incurring a loss. Fortunately, everyone can try to negotiate better wholesale deals. Again, there are four ways to go about this. First, retailers should consider ordering in bulk. Look at the wholesale price of each item then multiply that figure by 1,000. If the item is wholesaled at $3 per piece, a bulk order means ordering as much as $3,000 of it.

Secondly, it’s important to build a relationship with suppliers. This can be done by calling the supplier and discussing about products that have come in or those that are on the way. A retailer might also want to discuss his or her goals and how the suppler can help them achieve those goals.  Third, retailers should try to find overseas suppliers. Asian-based suppliers, in particular, tend to have very low wholesale rates. Lastly, getting closer to the source of materials might also help. When situated close to the manufacturer, a retailer wouldn’t need to involve the middleman, leading to cost savings.

Look for co-op Opportunities

For those who’ve been doing business long enough, another avenue to explore is co-op opportunities. There are two approaches here; co-op advertising and co-op branding. Of course, you can pursue both. Co-op advertising is a form of advertising where a retailer promotes a specific brand of merchandise that the store carries. For instance, a clothes seller can promote a designer brand of clothing. Since the advertisements would sell more of that brand of clothing, the manufacturer might be willing to contribute part of the advertisement costs. In some cases, a manufacture might even be willing to design the ads and provide a spot in the ad for the store name and contact information. Co-op branding works almost the same way. For example, a soft drink company can partner with a sweetener manufacturer. Or, a pizza shop could team up with a local video game app in a manner that the two give out each other’s coupons. When a consumer orders pizza, they get a game rental coupon; if they rent a movie, they get $2 off their pizza order. This way, everyone benefits, including the customer.

Keep an Eye on the Competition

Knowing what competitors are up to is part of strategic planning. It helps retailers to uncover existing competitive advantages and disadvantages in the market. It also allows them to develop strategies that could prove competitively advantageous in the future. And, perhaps most importantly, using competitor information, retailers are able to predict how others might respond to a new pricing or product strategy. Some of the things a company might want to know about the competition include; who the competitors are, who among them pose the biggest challenge, what kind of challenge they pose, what strategies they apply, and their strengths and weaknesses. There are several channels that can be used to access competitor information. These include but are not limited to annual reports, presentations, press releases, websites, blogs, newspapers/magazine articles, speeches, and price lists.

Mass Customization

Finally, mass customization can also prove quite effective in boosting business bottom line. Mass customization is the practice of making widespread changes to a business’ products and services to satisfy different consumer segments. There are four approaches to mass customization; transparent, collaborative, adaptive, and cosmetic. By customizing products/services on a large scale, businesses are able to deliver exactly what the consumer wants without adding unnecessary complexities. Consumers are naturally inclined to buy from such companies that solve their problems without requiring after-purchase adjustments. For example, consumers would be happier to buy a pair of pants that doesn’t need to be hemmed after purchase. Being able to offer customized offerings that are of high value to their consumers not only allows businesses to retain existing customers, it is also a proven way of attracting new customers. Businesses that stay up-to-date on consumer preferences and apply these preferences in product offers easily stay ahead of the competition.

Summary

When applied correctly, each of these strategies can have a significant and lasting impact on retail business bottom line.

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