Are You Winning or Losing the Retail Marketing Game?

Elan Style, Scottsdale Arizona

Elan Style

Does your current retail marketing plan turn customers into loyal, repeat buyers, while providing you with a steady stream of new prospective customers? If not, it’s time for you to give it a major overhaul.

Your marketing plan is an integral part of your local business’ success, and creative, out-of-the-box marketing ideas are best to grab the attention of your consumers.

We spoke with local business owner of clothing store Elan Style, Lisa Colaw, about her tips for creating a retail marketing plan that not only fits the needs of her consumers, but stands out amongst all the competition.

Lisa’s retail marketing tips:

  • Use holidays to your advantage. Whether it’s festively decorating your storefront window or offering special seasonal sales, the holidays can be a powerhouse of profit for you.
  • Cash in on your creativity. Want to get customers into your retail location? Host an in-store or off-site event! Freebies like food, beverages, and product giveaways are sure-fire ways to get a great turnout and are a break from the marketing norm.
  • Profit off your passion. You know you’re good at what you do, so make sure you show it. Offer your expertise by writing blog posts (guess blogging is great too) and posting tips on social media. By doing this, you’ll become a thought leader in your industry and gain a great following.

Local Business, Elan Style, Scottsdale ArizonaCheck out Lisa’s business success story below for more retail marketing (and a little fashion!) advice:

Business: Elan Style
Business owner: Lisa Colaw
Business focus: Women’s contemporary clothing
Business type: Retail
Location: Scottsdale Quarter
Number of employees: 3

Scott’s Local Business Corner: Lisa, can you start by telling us about your business, Elan Style?

Lisa Colaw: Elan Style offers a sophisticated mix of contemporary clothing and accessories for every budget and just about every age. I originally opened the store in November of 2007 at Southbridge. But I moved the store in 2011 to its current location at the Scottsdale Quarter. The store is a flirty, girly little gem and is a great place to shop and socialize.

SLBC: You also do all the buying for your store. How do you find the fashions?

Lisa: I buy the majority of clothing for the store at west coast shows in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, California. I attend these shows more than four times a year to carefully choose items that are both fashionable and affordable.

SLBC: Are in-store events, like Fashion’s Night Out, an event you had in September, a big part of your retail marketing plan?

Lisa: In-store events (such as Fashion’s Night Out) are a welcome addition to Elan’s retail marketing plan. Besides this event, we also host trunk shows, store anniversary parties, concierge events, and seasonal sales events.

SLBC: How do you advertise your in-store events?

Lisa: These events are advertised by Facebook and email marketing primarily, as well as word of mouth.

SLBC: Your storefront window is always decorated according to the seasons. Have you found this to help boost your walk-in traffic?

Lisa: The front window of Elan always changes on a month-to-month basis. We view the window as a unique opportunity both to highlight our clothing as well as draw people into the store.

SLBC: Is there a retail marketing technique that has worked best for you?

Lisa: The best retail marketing technique that has worked for us has been all of them! Meaning, the combination of magazine ads, our Facebook page, e-blasts, and product pulls for magazines means that the public gets a constant flow of information as well as pictorial of the store and that means greater saturation of the market.

Bonus tip: Not every marketing tactic will work for every business. First determine who your target audience is and then devise a retail marketing plan that best fits their personality and behavior. Most importantly, never stop switching things up and experimenting to keep your marketing plan fresh and relevant.

SLBC: Do you have any upcoming events you’d like to tell us about?

Lisa: Elan will be hosting a Concierge Night in January. We are still working on the date. As well, every year we do an anniversary party in April and that date is also TBA.

SLBC: What’s the best fashion tip can you give to our readers looking to update their winter wardrobe?

Lisa: If a person is looking to update their winter wardrobe, the best way is to add in a new great jacket, colorful or patterned scarf, and boots. Jackets (especially longer versions to the knee) are incredibly versatile and can be worn with any style underneath. Pick a jacket in a basic color for more bang for your buck. And you can never go wrong with a great pair of black boots to the knee. Again, this “winterizes” your look but can still translate to spring.

SLBC: Can you give us any hints as to the upcoming 2013 fashion trends we’ll find in Elan Style?

Lisa: You’ll find that the big trends for spring will focus on femininity, which means cinched waists and the peplum. Mod looks will be feminized by slight ruffles and an emphasis on the female waist. Think vintage glamour with a bit of rebelliousness thrown in. As well, black is the surprise color of spring. It will be tied in with vintage appeal and the continuation of the peekaboo. Both in the leg and the arm area. Prints will be playful and very global, translating into a mixing of prints in a very constructed way within a piece.

Thank you to Lisa for sharing her retail marketing tips and fashion expertise with us!

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About Shannon Willoby

Shannon is the content marketing manager for Scott's Marketplace and has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. (Or crayon.) When she's not blogging, you can find her daydreaming that she's Khaleesi from Game of Thrones.

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