With a little creativity, the same retail marketing ideas big chains use at the point of sale during the checkout process can be applied by boutique retailers as well.

3 Point of Sale Marketing Lessons Boutique Retailers Can Steal from Big Competitors

Coming up with fresh marketing ideas to draw consumer attention away from the ads of large retail store competitors can be a challenge for small retailers. These scaled-down retail marketing ideas come straight from the marketing playbooks of the big players in retail, and can help your local small business compete better.

Practical Ecommerce reported on the checkout process of ten leading online retailers. With a little creativity, studying the way large retail chains increase revenues at the point of sale can be applied by boutique retailers as well.

These three retail marketing ideas that can help local, independent retail stores grow their business by encouraging shoppers to spend more at each visit, registering and following up with customers and by facilitating deeper, more loyal relationships between consumers and independent retail stores.

3 Big Chain Retail Marketing Ideas Scaled for Small Boutiques

Boutique Retail Marketing Idea #1: Keep People Shopping

Retail e-commerce sites often give shoppers multiple opportunities to resume shopping rather than check out (when they place an item in the cart, when they view their cart, before finalizing checkout, etc.) Boutique retail merchants can help keep people shopping, longer, by:

  • Making sure they have a larger bag or cart than they need
  • Relieving shoppers of items they are hand-carrying by offering to hold them at the checkout area (which may also reinforce the inclination to buy the item, rather than thinking about it or putting it back)
  • Placing items which shoppers need to try on into a dressing room so they can find additional items to try
  • Offering to store other bags while they shop (shopping bags, heavy coats, umbrellas or other encumbrances they may have arrived with)

Boutique Retail Marketing Idea #2: Register Customers and Follow Up

Try to collect at least one piece of customer contact information at the point of sale with every transaction, beginning with email address and mobile phone number. Let customers know at the point of sale that if they provide you with an email address and/or mobile phone number, you will follow up by sending them a special offer, a special thank you reward, an invitation to future sale events or to join your loyalty program – and then DO IT!

Boutique Retail Marketing Idea #3: Talk Rewards

Some e-commerce sites not only add shopper’s item to their cart, they also tell them how far away in purchases they are from earning additional rewards (like free shipping).

As a boutique retail merchant, you have the ability to create a truly unique loyalty and referral reward program for your customers. Your plan could include points, dollars or other measures by which they reach the next level of rewards, and you could also get creative and partner with other local retailers for cross-promotional rewards and offers – something big retail rivals wouldn’t take the time to do.

Use text and email marketing to send a monthly update to all customers who participate in your rewards program about their status and suggest ways that they could move to the next level. Hold loyalty rewards member-only events once or twice a year as a “thank you” and the means to introduce new items or blow through old inventory.

For customers who have registered with you for updates but are not members of your rewards program, send email and text message marketing highlighting the benefits of joining your program and what rewards they might have already earned – but missed out on – based on past shopping at your boutique.


Got loyalty? If your point of sale solution isn’t helping bring customers back, it might be time to upgrade. We have credit card processing solutions and POS equipment that can help facilitate point of sale loyalty marketing with each and every transaction. Reach out for a free, no-obligation quote to find out more:

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Many retail business owners claim customer service sets their business apart but don’t have the numbers to prove it. If 3 out of 4 consumers will really pay more for good customer service, it’s time we defined what that looks like.

3 out of 4 Shoppers Willing to Pay More for a Good Customer Experience

An ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) study found that 73 percent of consumers said they are encouraged to spend more money than they had originally planned when they receive good customer service or have a good customer experience. But what makes a customer experience “good?”

Implementing the right CX (customer experience) strategy could improve your business’s growth and profitability, but it might not be as easy as you think. 50 percent of shoppers said their customer service expectations are higher now than they were just three years ago. Here’s what they said they wanted, according to Retail Touch Points.

5 Takeaways for a Good Customer Experience

62% of shoppers want to interact with friendly, knowledgeable employees

People skills, soft skills, emotional IQ – call it whatever you want, but any employees who deal directly with customers should be positive, approachable, friendly and have sufficient training to be able to easily answer common customer questions. This means resisting the temptation to rush the employee onboarding and orientation training, and reinvesting in employee training on an on-going basis.

59% of shoppers want to be able to easily find what they’re looking for

Standard thinking for brick-and-mortar retailers is to put the most-purchased items at points farther away, and putting popular items far from one another, so that customers must pass by less-popular products to get to the ones they are looking for. But is that what’s best for customer experience?

Consumers are voting with their devices, with many now opting for ecommerce shopping or order online and pick up, even for often-purchased commodities like groceries. If it’s important for you to have customers come into your business and browse, is there something you can offer in return for shoppers willing to forego convenience?

And it’s not just about location. When shoppers are comparing two or more options, it’s also important for them to feel confident that they found the right product, the best option for their needs. A combination of well-informed staff, good in-store signage, clear explanation of features and benefits, and similar types of information will give your customer more confidence in their buying decision.

59% of shoppers want the checkout process to be fast and easy

Convenience, convenience, convenience! When you compare the process of going to any brick-and-mortar retail store to shopping online, there’s no comparison when it comes to ease of shopping and checkout. Where the brick-and-mortar retail has the advantage is the immediate gratification of ownership. Eliminating barriers in the purchasing process by making it easy for shoppers to check out and deploying a fast credit card processing solution streamlines the customer experience.

Likewise, offering a variety of payment processing options such as scanners customers can take with them, having customer credit cards on file for payments or quick pickups, offering customers the ability to checkout online while shopping in-store and ensuring adequate staffing and POS equipment at the point of sale can all contribute to a faster, easy-to-navigate checkout that lets the customer personalize the way they pay.

57% of shoppers would pay more for a particular item if they knew they would receive strong service

Strong service is what turns commodities into must-haves. it’s what helps to sell big ticket items where competition is fierce. If you want to know the difference, go car shopping. See how different the experience is at your local entry-level vehicle dealer than it is at your local luxury car dealership. Both automobiles will get you from point A to point B, but you’re only going to want to go back to one of them!

90% of shoppers say they are vocal about their retail customer experiences

Today, a retailer could go from anonymous to infamous in a matter of minutes. Deconstructing the customer experience in order to eliminate pain points and add in positive touches gives your customers reasons to recommend your business to their friends, loved ones and co-workers.

Why pay more for credit card processing?

Not only do we offer fast, efficient credit card processing solutions, we also offer free local setup, installation and support in many regions. If it’s been a while since you evaluated your merchant services card processor, customer rewards and other loyalty marketing or your payment processing POS equipment, we would be happy to give you a free, no-obligation quote to compare against your current plan or help you better-understand merchant services fees.

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Loyalty marketing might result in repeat sales but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are creating lasting brand loyalty. Find out which 4 Ps of customer loyalty might be the real reasons why a small business owners claim that our customers love us might in fact be true.

Our Customers Love Us, Our Customers Love Us Not

Your customers might love the products you sell or the results they receive because they purchase your services, but this doesn’t mean they love your business or feel personally connected to your brand.

Even loyalty rewards programs, though desired by a large number of consumers, do not necessarily indicate real brand loyalty. A study done by Vanessa DiMauro and Don Bulmer with The Society For New Communications Research to find out how consumers form impressions about brands found that while quality and pricing of products and services laid the foundation for loyalty, the next three factors rounding out the top five were a brand’s customer care program, what friends or loved ones said about the brand and real customer reviews and ratings on social media. A brand’s actual reward program was very influential to only 18 percent of study respondents.

In fact, it’s possible for customers to have negative feelings about your brand or business even if they regularly purchase services and products from your organization. For instance, you could have a local monopoly, they could be locked in to a contract, or your business might be extending pricing that is compelling enough for them to put up with what they don’t like about your business – just long enough to get what they want from you.

That’s a sobering thought; or it should be. It’s possible that many business owners confuse repeat sales for customer affection, misinterpreting customer behavior that – if they looked beyond the surface – would reveal dissatisfaction and problems that could be addressed in order to make the brand one that customers would love just as much as they love the products or services they purchase from them.

Our Customers Love Us (But How Can We Tell for Sure?)

Most professionals are familiar with the concept of “buying signals” which are actions that prospects commonly take when they are entering the buying cycle, moving from stage to stage within the cycle or when they are ready to seal the deal. Just as there are signs that indicate someone is ready to buy, there are signs that indicate a customer feels loyal to a brand, beyond the products or services it sells:

  • Their patronage continues despite changes in pricing or product mix
  • They frequently open and read your brand emails
  • They follow and even interact with your brand on social channels
  • They refer colleagues, friends or loved ones to your business
  • They leave reviews about your business online
  • They complete customer satisfaction surveys at the point of sale
  • They ask questions and offer meaningful suggestions

Any one of these actions could be a sign of genuine customer love for your brand on their own; but it’s not uncommon to find that engaged customers will send a few or several of these signals. The question is, if products and services aren’t enough to garner customer affection for a brand on their own, what is? The “Four Ps of Marketing” are product, price, place and promotions so we came up with four more words that start with the letter P which lay the foundation for the type of loyalty that transcends the four Ps of marketing, turning customers into loyal brand patrons whose love for a brand can stand the tests of time.

Loyalty Marketing: 4 Ps Explain Why Our Customers Love Us

1. Passion

When a business’s employees are passionate about the work they do and the customers they serve, it shows up in a customer experience that cannot be replicated by competitors.

2. Personalities

The same business owners that say “our customers love us” often claim that their employees – not their products or services – set them apart. For better or worse, a brand’s ambassadors do set the business apart, and business owners that understand this appreciate the importance of each and every hiring decision they make.

3. Purpose

When doing business with you makes people feel that they are part of something special, and part of something that makes the world better in some way, it can move them to the next stage in the customer lifecycle, taking them from casual customer to loyal supporter.

4. Pleasures

Every customer touch point represents an opportunity for a brand to differentiate itself in a meaningful way from competitors. The better a customer feels about doing business with your brand, the more likely they are to identify with your brand personally beyond the products or services they purchase.

You might also like: Which Loyalty Perks Do Customers Really Want