How to Stand Out with Creative Marketing Strategies

How to Stand Out with Creative Marketing Strategies

Written by Aqilah ZailanApril 15, 2020

How to Stand Out with Creative Marketing Strategies

The shift from brick and mortar stores to e-commerce has saturated the online space, leaving many businesses stumped when it comes to standing out among competitors.

Plummeting demand complicates matters further. The surge in heavy markdowns has brands and retailers questioning the merit of discounting in this crisis and its long-term implications.

Recently, Omnilytics hosted a webinar with the former Head of Merchandising at Asos, Sarah Johnson, that covered the best merchandising practices for crisis mitigation. One of the key strategies highlighted in the session is the importance of creativity in structuring promotions.

Discounts can be a double-edged sword in this pandemic. While it is necessary to maintain cash flow, it can be damaging in the long run as customers will stop purchasing items at full-price.

It is more practical for brands and retailers to explore creative promotional tactics and offer shallow discounts before employing heavy markdowns.

Businesses should try to come up with promotions intended to increase the average basket size value and transaction value. This can be done with incentives and by piggybacking slow-sellers with top-performing items. 

Furthermore, sales can be bolstered by optimising communication. As online traffic swells, brands and retailers should capitalise on it by increasing customer engagement through online channels. Nurturing relationships with customers at this time could foster brand loyalty that will continue beyond Covid-19.

These are the tactics to consider.

Further reading: Merchandising Through A Crisis: Key Lessons from Asos’s ex-Head of Merchandising, Sarah Johnson

Creative promotions

#1 Incentives for Online Shopping

More consumers are flooding the online space to shop while homebound. Incentives to shop online such as 15% discount vouchers or free shipping for first purchases can go a long way in generating online sales, especially in consumers who are just transitioning into e-commerce. The chart below shows the increase in brands and retailers offering free shipping on their websites in the months following the outbreak.

How to stand out with creative marketing strategies - websites offreing 'free shipping'
Overview of websites offering free shipping. Image source: Omnilytics’ Visual Merchandising tool.
Covid-19 Fashion Retail Dashboard

#2 Gift with purchase

Increase value for customers by offering a product for free in exchange for purchases. “Buy one, get one free” and similar deals can help speed up inventory movement and encourage sales.

#3 Bundles

Bundles are a great way to combat slow-moving stock by attaching certain items to collections that are performing well.

Carefully gauge how customers might react to bundle promotions and pair products that are often purchased together. For example, slow-moving t-shirts can be offered at 10% off with the purchase of best-selling jeans.

Forever 21 demonstrates multi-tier bundle promotions with increasing discounts as more items are purchased to increase the transaction value.

How to stand out with creative marketing strategies - Forever 21 bundle promotions
Forever 21’s multi-tier bundle promotions. Image source: Omnilytics’ Visual Merchandising tool.

#4 Partnerships

Look into partnerships with other brands and retailers to boost exposure. In the same vein as bundle promotions, find a brand with a gap in its assortment that your product can fill.

For an accessories business, this could mean working alongside clothing brands to tie your products into. This creates a comprehensive offering for customers while supplementing sales for both parties in the partnership.


#1 Cement Online Presence

Capitalise on increased online traffic by scaling content. Post consistently to engage consumers. Be creative, using social media extensively and explore new channels like TikTok for a targeted approach.

#2 Find the Right Tone of Voice

The right brand messaging is key to foster engagement. Carefully craft content by bearing in mind the sensitivity of the crisis. Tread carefully as consumers are more privy than ever to offensive content. Pay attention to emerging consumer shifts like sustainability. Amplify marketing messaging around these topics to prepare for post-Covid-19 consumerism.

#3 Create an online community

Start nurturing a sense of community within online channels. Interact with consumers through Instagram live or TikTok challenges to build relationships. Consumers are drawn to brand personas and will attach their loyalty to brands that they resonate with beyond the current crisis.

Inventive marketing messaging is of importance in creating resonance. For example, Farfetch launched the #SupportBoutiques campaign centered around the community spirit that benefits the boutiques listed on its website and its customers.

How to stand out with creative marketing strategies - Farfetch's #SupportBoutiques campaign
Farfetch’s #SupportBoutiques campaign. Image source: Omnilytics’ Visual Merchandising tool.

Use Omnilytics’s Covid-19 Fashion Retail Dashboard to uncover more insights!

Covid-19 Fashion Retail Dashboard

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