Create Your Own Event
Most retailers only celebrate the national holidays like July 4th or Christmas. But, people love to celebrate. They love excitement. So why wait for the big holidays? Create a holiday of your own. Consider fun things that your store does or sells and the customers who shop with you and then make a holiday around it.
Just when you may think it’s time to cut back the marketing dollars, you should probably be advertising more. It is wise to increase marketing efforts during slower sales periods because there is more competition and fewer consumer money. Consider newspaper ads, magazines, specialty publications and other forms of marketing. One great way to do this is to use remnant advertising. These are spaces in the paper that are “holes” for the local newspaper. You simply create a branding ad that the newspaper can drop in at its discretion.
Generate a Buzz
Whenever anything noteworthy happens within your business, send a press release to the media. The idea is to grab any free coverage possible. Get involved with community events. Consider hosting classes, meetings or other networking events in your retail store. Use a unique promotional event to generate a buzz about your business.
Examine Your Pricing Policy
When purchasing and pricing products, be sure you’ve considered the cost of goods and that your retail shop is able to make a profit at that price point. Your product price should be competitive, but still profitable. Ultimately, the right price is the price the customer is willing to pay for the product.
Design Store for Sales
Take advantage of cross-merchandising strategies and impulse sale opportunities. Use lighting techniques and creative displays to attract customers. Play videos for product education, customer entertainment and any other upsell or promotional tie-in. Involve all of the senses in your visual merchandising. Remember, an energetic store is a magnet.
Connect With the Customer
Excellent customer service is the key to increasing sales. Listen to your customer to understand their needs and wants. Then educate him/her about the products. Finally, let the customer know you appreciate their business. Offer value-added services and products. Create a mailing list by asking for contact information from each customer. Remember, the customer is looking for an experience and not just a product.
The easiest, most cost-effective thing you can do is social media. Make sure that you have a steady stream of activity online. Customers who see a flurry of activity from you and then periods of silence know you are only online because sales are down. Use social media to position yourself as the place to shop and buy.
It is a retail phenomenon that when stores look like something is going on, people will want to check it out. Enter the sidewalk sale. This old but good idea has been around as long as retailers have. Often times, if it was really slow, my stores would move merchandise outside. This created a look as if there was something going on at our store and people would get curious and come check us out. When you do this you get the “passers-by” who normally ignore your store – after all, it’s not on today’s to-do list.
For more information or to implement your own company, just contact us.