Last week, we received a call from Rain Africa, an international company that makes amazing hand-crafted gifts made from indigenous ingredients in a small rural factory while abiding by a fair and reliable supply chain with a commitment to biodiversity conservation. Their US store is located near Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and as for many retailers after the holiday season, sales were strong until January. They wanted to know what they could do to boost store traffic and awareness quickly, yet they hadn’t created a 2012 marketing plan. They are leaning towards hosting an in-store event.
Yes, an in-store event is a great idea, we explained, but one event will not make a difference. Every day should be an event at your location. We explained the concept of creating a “retail experience” for every shopper that walks through your doors.
We also explained that it is not just one marketing activity that will grow sales, it is a combination of continuous activity that will keep your brand growing. All small businesses should be working from a plan that includes maximizing on their earned, owned and shared media coverage as well as creating exciting promotions and hosting retail events.
It’s not too late to strategize for 2012. While you are creating your plan for the rest of the year, here are immediate things you can do to help boost sales and traffic.
1. Gently increase your prices in smaller almost unnoticeable but meaningful increments.
2. Monetize your average sale by “up selling” those customers that are already making purchases.
3. Increase how often your customer purchases something from your company with twitter/text promotions that remind them to shop with you.
4. Give your loyal customers an incentive to help you build word of mouth campaigns by referring their friends and family.
5. Increase and strengthen your operational efficiencies with better customer service and customer relationship management.