Boring Is “Out of Business”:

Six tips to build excitement in your store.

Driving foot traffic to your retail store may seem something of a lost art, but it’s more crucial to the health of your business than it has ever been.  You need to get your customers excited!  Normal is boring and boring means “out of business.”  Consumer buying behavior has changed drastically just in the past 5 years, so you can’t do what you’ve done in the past and expect to increase your sales in the future.

Here are six tips to build excitement and get your front door swinging:

1.  Make sure your Managers and Cashiers are full of excitement and smiles.  Make sure there are no negative attitudes.  We all know customers want to be treated right when they visit a retail store, but unfortunately this is not always the case.  Acknowledging and welcoming everyone who enters should be a top priority.  Your employees’ attitudes rub off on your existing & potential customers, your suppliers and all those that come into contact with your store.  So, make sure their attitude is a positive one and it will become infectious.  Your customers will rush to your store to do business with you.

2.  Change your merchandise or displays, so that customers look forward to something new everyday.  If there’s one thing that you should always keep in mind, it’s this: customers are fickle.  When a new or existing competitor adds an exciting new element to their store, your customers might be intrigued.  A great way to keep them coming back to your store is by continually updating and refreshing your displays.  You can even try moving around your existing displays and merchandise to make it appear as if you have new products.  When people return to your store, they will be greeted with new and interesting things.  In some ways, they will feel like they’ve stumbled upon an entirely new store and that feeling of discovery could translate into additional sales and referrals.

3.  Plan on holding a promotional event.  Just because your business has been up and running for a while doesn’t preclude celebrations that attract foot traffic. Any promotional event that draws attention can be effective and exciting.  Look into holding an in-store raffle or giveaway and advertise the event as widely as your budget will allow.  You could contact your good suppliers, as many should be willing to donate items, or at least discount them for you.  Connecting with a local celebrity — say, an author or sports figure — and having him or her on the premises can also bring in clientele. But, no matter what you do, make your promotions sufficiently fresh and appealing.  Promotional events have to be really exciting and different; otherwise, people just won’t come.

4.  Make your business newsworthy. Foot traffic on the day of an event is one thing; attracting business beyond that 24-hour window is something else again. That’s why it’s important to leverage media whenever possible. For instance, donating a portion of the day’s take to charity can win a flattering article in your local newspaper.  Investigate whether a radio station would be willing to broadcast live on the day of your promotional event. The key is to grab the attention of customers who can’t make it in at that particular time and that will drive foot traffic in the future.  Additionally, the more creative the event, the more likely that a newspaper will want to write about it.  

5.  Have a Sale.  Sound old fashioned?  Maybe.  Still, nothing beats the lure of something that’s less expensive for a limited amount of time. And while the idea of a sale may seem a bit blasé to some, technological advances have made sales events more potent than ever before. For example, if you maintain a database of customers, contact them via an e-mail newsletter to let them know of upcoming sales events and other promotions. To further boost foot traffic, urge them to pass along your e-mail to others. That’s not only effective but extremely cost efficient, as you’re not dropping money on mass mailings that only saturate the uninterested.

6.  Host a seminar or workshop. Boosting foot traffic doesn’t even have to involve a direct effort to sell a product or service. These days, education is every bit as important, as consumers want to know how to get the most out of what they buy. That makes in-house seminars and workshops powerful tools to build foot traffic. To illustrate: If you own a hardware store, offer free workshops on rennovation projects or what you should include in a good home tool kit. Sporting goods stores can consider a variety of events, from strength training clinics to nutrition seminars. But, no matter the actual event, publicize it to the hilt.  Promote the event via in-store signage, fliers, ads and press releases.  Home Depot does it and so does Williams-Sonoma and look at how successful they are!

The key to a successful business is to keep it fresh and new.  Customers don’t want to see the same old, same old day in and day out; if they do, they’ll find somewhere new to shop!  Keep your store from being boring and customers will come back to your store.  Don’t let your store or merchandise become boring and tedious, take a note from your competitors, keep it exciting and you’ll be well on the way to success.

If you like this information, you’ll really like this “Top 5 Strategies for Retail Store Growth in Difficult Economic Times”.

About the author; Elias Amash is the President of GRIPOnTools.net.  Located just south of Grand Rapids, Michigan, GRIP features a 200,000 sq. ft. state of the art warehouse facility including a 2,000 sq. ft. product showroom. GRIP carries a product line of over 1,500 specialty hand tools, household items, automotive, air tools, wood working, and general merchandise. With its proven track record of excellence in supplying retail hardware clients with innovative products, timely fulfillment, and world class customer support, the ideal solution to your tool needs in Grip-On-Tools.

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