Archive for the ‘Marketing Tools’ Category

Supermarket Psychology – Think Like The Retail Giants

| January 23rd, 2011 | No Comments »

Shopping psychology has nothing on the big boys of the retail industry; the supermarkets. If you can copy their techniques to not only get customers off the streets and into their shops but also to spend high, then you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank! Large supermarkets employ what is known as a visual merchandise consultant. A professional whose job it is to tweak the lighting, displays, sounds and even smells of the supermarket to maximise profit. Smaller independent stores can’t compete with such professionals but we can let you in on a few of their trade secrets so that you can copy them for yourself! Smell-O-Vision: It is no secret that supermarkets often waft the smell of freshly baked bread through their air-conditioning unit to lure in hungry shoppers. In fact my local Waitrose used to pump this smell out into the car park even though they

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Making The Most Of Free Advertising

| January 22nd, 2011 | No Comments »

It seems that everyone is after your money for one thing or another and they do say that nothing is truly free in this life, everything has strings attached. Whilst that may be right, those strings may not necessarily be financial. It is possible, even today, to get your message out completely free of charge and just as effective – sometimes more – than if you had paid for it. So how is this possible? We’ll explore some of the ways you can exploit services and opportunities to advertise your shop business for free. Local Newspaper Coverage As mentioned in a previous article on What Makes A Successful Shop Promotion, newspapers won’t generally be interested in promoting your local business for you unless you either pay for advertising or have a newsworthy story. A few years ago I was doing the PR for a national parenting website whose unique idea

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Building A Successful Web Site For Your Shop

| January 21st, 2011 | No Comments »

When so much shopping is done on the internet, every business no matter how small needs a website. I was looking for a place to take the in-laws once for lunch, I knew there was a good restaurant in the neighbouring village but try as I might I couldn’t find them on the internet. What I was looking for was a telephone number, sample menu, prices and opening hours but the restaurant didn’t have a web site so I took the in-laws to one that did. These days people use the internet much as they used to use the Yellow Pages. If looking for say, a plumber or dentist, they’ll search for one on the internet and if you’re not listed then you miss out. Even if you just have a basic site with your address, phone number and opening hours you’ll be one step ahead of your competitors who

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Hanging Onto Your Unique Selling Points

| January 4th, 2011 | No Comments »

When thinking of starting your own shop you will have considered what would make your shop stand out from those of your competitors – what gives it its edge. And if this is something that you haven’t yet considered, then you should. Your USP will be a feature or a benefit that you alone offer. This could be lower prices, a wider range of products, a different version of products such as larger or smaller sizes or perhaps you want to give the customer a positive experience. So how do you define your USP? Well you need to offer something that your competitors do not. For small independent retailers it can be impossible to match the larger stores for price, so think of who your customer base are and why they would come to you over the cheaper department store on the outskirts. Perhaps you have free parking you could

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What Makes A Successful Shop Promotion?

| December 27th, 2010 | No Comments »

There are literally thousands of promotional ideas out there, but not all of them are suited to every individual retail outlet. When thinking of ideas for your promotions you have to bear in mind a few key points: It must be appealing to new and old customers alike. Base your promotion around a theme, for example if running a sweet shop your theme could be retro sweets. How will you advertise your promotion? How to Appeal to Old and New Customers The whole point of a promotion, you would think, is to attract new customers to your shop. But this isn’t the only point of a promotion. You don’t want to put off regular customers who may be dissuaded from entering your shop by the increased number of customers all queuing to be served. Make sure then, that you have enough resources available to ensure that customers are served quickly

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Researching Your Customer Base

| December 12th, 2010 | No Comments »

Many shops make the mistake of doing meticulous research in the early days of planning their shop and then nothing in the years that follow. Yet customer trends change not just yearly but monthly and even weekly and you cannot rely on the research you did two years ago to accurately reflect your customers’ trends now. Many outside factors will dictate and even change customer habits such as new competition or economic worries. Whilst it may take up precious time and perhaps even expense to research your customer base, it is recommended that you do so at least once a year so that you can adapt to any changes and stay ahead of the game. When doing your research there are three main customer focus areas that you should take into consideration: The customers you aim to attract into your shop. The customers who already shop with you. The customers

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Marketing and Promotion Ideas For Your Shop Business

| December 7th, 2010 | No Comments »

If your shop is very new then marketing is a means of telling the world that you have arrived – or at least your local town! It gives you the opportunity to meet your customers and for them to meet you. But marketing is not just for new shops for there is a tendency, once the newness has worn away and the first flow of customers are through the door, to think that your shop will grow organically. Unfortunately this is not the case and every shop, whether they have just have started or have been a permanent fixture of a town for the past 200 years, needs a new marketing strategy every now and then. It can be tempting to presume that you know exactly what your customers want and that your customers also know all about you and the services you offer, but towns and people change and

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How To Maximise The Potential Of Your Shop Entrance

| December 2nd, 2010 | No Comments »

The next time you walk into a shop just stop for a moment and do a little observation. How much of the shop entrance do you recall? Can you say what was immediately to the left and right of you as you walked into the shop? Chances are that you won’t recall anything for at least a metre or two from the entrance of the shop. This entrance space is what some retailers call ‘the landing strip’. Once the customer has made the decision to walk into your shop they do so with purpose, pausing only when they are fully over the threshold. Let’s put it another way, you must at some point have walked into a small grocery shop and then found yourself wondering where the baskets are before you finally locate them right at the side of the shop entrance? Baskets placed here will not be picked up by the customer,

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Using Facebook to Further Promote Your Shop Business

| November 24th, 2010 | No Comments »

So you’ve got yourself a Facebook page for your shop business and have updated it with comments, photos, links etc. So what do you do now? Just sit back and wait for the fans to come streaming in? Like all websites your Facebook page can be improved upon and successfully marketed with just a little more effort. Now that you know your way around Facebook a little more it’s time to change up a gear and make your Facebook page a successful marketing tool that brings in more business. Log onto your Facebook page now and take a good look at what you see. Ideally your page should feature all of these: Links to your blog (if you have one) Links to useful and relevant articles Photos Lively discussions Promotions If you have a blog page about new products coming in or just what it’s like to run a shop

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Shop Floor Sales Techniques – Greeting your Customers

| November 23rd, 2010 | No Comments »

Have you ever walked into a shop and been asked this question by the shop assistant: “Can I help you?” –  What is your first reaction to that question? For most people the reaction is a negative one and they respond with a “just looking thanks” or a straightforward “no”. The reason is that us Brits tend to be quite reserved and private. We don’t like to be ‘pounced’ upon as soon as we enter a shop and put under any sort of pressure to buy. However there is an opposite scenario to that one and that is the shop assistant who doesn’t even look up when you enter. If a customer has walked into your shop, then that’s a pretty good indication that they are interested in buying something; how you greet this potential customer could mean the difference between a sale or not. So how can you maximise

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