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Budget cuts – a phrase no one ever wants to hear. First the pandemic and now other economic factors continue to take a toll on all sectors of the economy including retail. Many brands and companies who rely on in-store sales have been affected by various elements including supply chain issues, labor shortages, inflation and more. Greg Cuccinello, Account Director of Retail Solutions and Experiential here at Bluewater explains:

“With the rapidly changing dynamics in the economy and also the geopolitical front, we have seen several companies alter their 2023 budget allocations, so squeezing more productivity out of the budget you do have becomes essential.”

Reduced retail marketing budgets have left many companies wondering how to stretch each dollar to its full potential without sacrificing results.  Here are a few great tactics and strategies you can utilize to help make the most out of your reduced retail marketing budget:

Sharpen the Axe

As the wise Abraham Lincoln once said:

“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.”

So what does that have to do with your retail marketing budget? The idea is that taking a step back and being thoughtful about your approach will pay off in the long run. Here are some ways you can “sharpen the axe” when it come to making the most of your reduced budget:

  • Spend time conducting store and field research
  • Study emerging trends to develop new ideas that are out of the box
  • Look back at previous programs and analyze which were most successful

Make an Impact

Suppose you had seven projects planned and a budget restriction only allows you to do three… in this scenario it is important to focus on doing what will be most impactful in the long run. Once you’ve narrowed down your projects, sharpen your focus and deliver a higher impact action plan to ensure those projects are successful.

Utilize Prototypes and Test Runs

Prototypes have always been a cornerstone in the developmental cycle in the retail marketing industry and they will continue to be. Previously, companies would follow the initial prototype with a test run of maybe 5 units before going straight to market. Now more and more companies are initiating multi-phase test runs to really help measure consumer engagement and ROI to before the official launch. Spending the extra time to conduct multi-phase test runs is the best way to ensure success.

DirecTV Stream Display

Reuse and Repurpose

Repurposing your existing displays is one of the best tactics you can execute if your budget is reduced or limited. Instead of spending a significant amount of money on developing a new material intensive fixture, consider repurposing existing fixtures with new or updated branding or messaging.

Corsicana Showroom

Think Outside the Box

Traditionally retailers have developed displays and store fixtures to enhance their in-store retail environments. When dealing with a reduced budget, it’s important to think outside the box… how can you utilize your displays in more than just an in-store environment? Many brands and companies have been developing mobile showrooms or portable displays that can be used in any environment. Pop-up shops and mobile showroom are certainly an emerging trend in the retail industry and a great way to get the most bang out of your budget. Another way to think outside of the box is to encourage ideas and feedback from others. Consider, organizing a focus group to gather ideas and data before moving forward with a new retail display system.

Miele Vacuum Portable Display

Make Use of Versatile Display Systems

Making use of multi-purpose display systems is another great way to make the most of your retail marketing budget. Consider designing displays as a series of separate components that can be easily disassembled and used in different ways. For example, the header of a floor stand display could be removed and mounted on slat wall or stand on a tabletop. Think of it as a “kit of parts” strategy (one display system that can be used in wide variety of ways depending on the retail environment it is being displayed in). The other benefit to this type of strategy is giving retailers the option to order only specific components that will work best in their space.

retail displays

Adidas Power Pad Display

Incorporate Creative Storytelling and Technology

We now live in an experience economy. The way consumers engage, and what they value, has fundamentally changed. Here at Bluewater, we pride ourselves on incorporating creative storytelling and technology into retail experiences. It’s all about re-imagining how you can best tell your brand’s story whether its through audio-visual integration, messaging or graphics. Incorporating creative storytelling and technology is a great way to create unforgettable retail experiences and make the biggest impact with the budget you do have.

Self-service kiosk

Nectar Mattress Sleep Kiosk

Connect with our Display Specialists

We work with our clients to build custom fixtures, displays, and environments that help them make a positive impression with customers. Whether you’re working with a smaller budget or need a more robust environment or activation, we help our customers create attractive spaces that resonates well with customers and drive them to action. Ready to attract new customers?