Navigating Retail Marketing During a Pandemic

You dont have to have a marketing degree to know that the world of retail looked a little different last year. Companies scrambled to make changes to their businesses in order to stay afloat. Navigating retail marketing during a pandemic isn’t easy for everyone. Most cross over into territories they never planned for as part of their original retail structure, such as e-commerce and digital marketing.

If you’re in the retail industry, you’ve probably come to realize that a lot of these changes are here to stay as the pandemic starts to fade away. To help those who may still need guidance, we’ve provided a list of five tactics that any business can apply to its marketing strategy to keep the magic of retail alive.


You can use your social channels to announce a new product sale or offer a free gift for purchases over a specific threshold. If you like this option, make sure you announce the campaign in plenty of time so that your followers know to be monitoring your channels for the chance of an exclusive deal. You can also directly link your announcements to the specific deal on your webpage using the swipe-up or link in bio feature. That being said, make sure your website has mobile capabilities for a seamless transaction. Dont forget, its almost a guarantee that your audience will buy more if you throw in a free shipping special!


Call it the mantra of 2020, but social distancing should be part of your strategy. And no, Im not referencing the floor markers and all of the Plexiglas. If youre planning on promoting 5 headline deals on big-ticket items, then we recommend doing one big deal a day with smaller deals sprinkled in. This way, you space out the flow of your customer base without compromising your offer or the health of your employees and customers. Publish a schedule on your companys website, social channels, and any other place you regularly advertise in advance. You can even let the deals continue past their in-store date online for others who are not yet comfortable venturing out.


More so than in other years, a handwritten thank you card to some of your big spenders and/or most loyal customers will go a long way this season. Spice it up with a special preview or promo code for a steeper discount that can be while shopping. If your database doesnt provide you with enough information to track the needed information to do this, you can always include notes in all of your orders with a code for their next purchase. These notes are also great for real estate to add a sense of urgency to purchase again by including an expiration date for the promo code.


Theres no need to reinvent the wheel year after year. Gift guides during all shopping holidays are a great way to market your products – a bonus if you can create complete guides for multiple profiles. You should also keep an eye out for any influencers who might be tagging your business in the guides that they create and reach out to them for potential partnership opportunities. We encourage you to get creative in how you distribute and share your gift guides. Theres nothing like taking an old trick and adding a new spin – think creation time-lapse via TikTok for handiwork projects or social media try-ons for retail businesses.


If your website doesnt already have it, make sure to incorporate a wishlist feature. An ‘add to wishlist’ button is one of the quickest tools to incorporate into your retail marketing strategy (especially during a pandemic when many are trying to save money or find quick gifts to cheer up loved ones). Chances are your current customer base will love you for this and eagerly create their dream order to send to their friends and family for guaranteed wins as gifts. This simple transaction will drive new traffic directly to your store to complete the customer journey. If they have a positive encounter, theres a higher probability that the new customer will make future purchases either for themselves or for another person on their gift list. Either way, wishlists help both your client base and you.

Apply the adage work smarter, not harder, and pick two or three of the above tactics to place into your existing marketing toolbox.

What other retail marketing strategies have you started utilizing throughout the coronavirus pandemic? We’d want to know!