Incentives to Shop?

Set your business apart with “Extras!”

INTERVIEW-79

 

 

 

 

 

Click HERE for today’s Video:
Incentives to Shop? Set your Business Apart with “Extras!” from Vicki Adrian on Vimeo.

Small gestures can go a long way toward giving a customer a positive shopping experience that can turn into repeat business. In our retail store, we offer incentives year ’round to reward our shoppers for doing business with us. Many of these things can be done “on the fly” and with social media, you can quickly get your message out to your clients.

Here are a few examples…

Screenshot 2016-02-10 16.24.42Last Valentine’s Day, we had received a large order of stuffed white bears late in the game for Valentine’s Day, so had quite a few leftover. Over the past couple of days, we offered our customers one of these cute bears for $5 (original price $17.99) with any purchase of $25 or more. This was a win-win as we moved that older product out the door to clear up storage space, and it made our customers happy!

We also offer complimentary gift wrap on every purchase. I know a lot of our Periscope listeners have Hallmark stores, and that you sell a lot of gift wrap, so this might not be an area that you want to introduce… however, for us, we shop really hard to find inexpensive ways that we can wrap, so that we can offer this as a free service. We use both plain and printed cellophane bags that cost just pennies, along with colored tissue and curling ribbon. We have larger gift bags for items that need something larger, but we are happy to offer this to our clients.

On a day like today, (the day before Valentine’s Day), even if you don’t offer FREE gift wrap, offer to wrap the item using the bag that you just sold those men so they don’t have to do it! It truly takes just a minute to do this! You will make them look like Valentine Hero’s!

Our friend, Terri King from My Secret Garden in Bay City, Michigan uses a punch card that, when completely punched, get’s customers $20 in free merchandise. She also promotes a 5th Saturday event (usually there are 4 or 5 5th Saturday’s in a year) where her customer’s EARN a nice shopping bag when they redeem their punched card. They can then bring that bag back on a 5th Saturday and save 20% on their entire purchase. Several members of our Mastermind Group have adapted this for our own businesses.

Screenshot 2016-02-02 16.32.11Choose one category or line in your store to feature and discount each week. In our business, and in many of the businesses I work with, we have something on special each and every week. This past week, we have had all of our FASHION jewelry…necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. on a Buy One, Get One FREE special. Make it a good special with a definite beginning and end date.

We have also done things like 25% off all Tops or 30% off all home decor. You can also choose one of your main vendors to put on special for a week… We have done this with candle lines, clothing lines, categories like games etc. This gives you something to promote and talk about in your emails, on social media, etc. Take a calendar and pencil in a promotion each week for the next 6 weeks. This gives you a place to start…you can always change it!

 

A VIP Club is another way to add value and incentive to your customers to shop with YOU! We consider our VIP’s to be any customer who is in our Email List. We send out weekly emails, and many times pop in a “Reader Reward” at the bottom. This can be a Gift Certificate with no strings attached…(take a deep breath)…or a FREE Gift with purchase of $35 or $50 or whatever. We want to make it fun and EASY for our customers shop with us.

Now if you’ve been in business a long time like we have, you will remember back to the days that “Specialty Stores & Boutiques” never discount. Well, those days are over! If you’re not offering incentives to your customers, you can be sure that your competitor, whether they’re down the street or an online business, as handy as your customer’s phone… certainly is! Be a smart shopper and look for items that you can use as specials for your customers. Today’s retailer will only survive by being a very savvy buyer! The profit is made in how you BUY as much as in how you SELL.

Action Item for TODAY…

What item could you move out the door today as a $5 with purchase of $25 or more? You can take a photo of that item, post it to Facebook and be off to the races. If you run out of that item, take a photo of another one, and post that to Facebook! Maybe you have some scarves, or a jewelry item, or a candle in the back room that you need to move out…

TODAY IS THE DAY! You will have BUYERS, not just SHOPPERS coming in the door today! Make it a memorable shopping experience for them. Be absolutely SURE that you are capturing their contact information including email address, so that you can start to build a relationship with them.

Next week, send out Thank You cards on Monday to your shoppers to let them know that you APPRECIATE their business, followed by an email on Wednesday to let them know what incentives you have for them to stop back by next weekend!

~Vicki Adrian

Catch Vicki on the Remarkable Retailer Periscope LIVE most mornings about 8:15 central time for tips, tools and inspiration for retailers, and savvy entrepreneurs.  It is “boots on the ground” – “in the trenches” training! Vicki Adrian is a 33 year veteran retailer who is hands-on in her retail business, Adrians Boutique in Buhler, Kansas. If you’re NEW to the Periscope App, click HERE to quickly set up your account.

View Episode 133 Here:

Incentives to Shop? Set your Business Apart with “Extras!” from Vicki Adrian on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

10 Ways to Engage with your Clients TODAY!

Genuine Engagement!

One of the things that sets independently owned businesses apart from the cookie cutter chain stores is that we are more likely to converse and engage on a personal level with our clients.  At least that is the goal of most store owners and managers!  However, unless you have a PLAN that can be executed, and your team knows exactly what you are expecting from them in the area of customer interaction, this important technique for building a Rock Solid Client List may not be happening in your business.

Remarkable Retailer-2Have you strategically engaged with your clients today, this week, this month?  Today, we’re going to talk about 10 Ways you can Engage with Your Clients TODAY! 

We’ve been talking about Customer Service being the PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY of every member of your team from the CEO down to the people on the front line.  So today, we’re going to share some ideas for how each person on your team can contribute to improving your Client Engagement.

 

Our first 5 are ways we can engage with our clients BEHIND THE SCENES, and the second 5 are ways we can engage with our clients when they are INSIDE our business.

Countdown to 10 Top Ways you can Engage with Your Clients TODAY!

A Peek inside my Toolbox… Software: Part Two of Two

You can’t expect to meet the challenges of today with yesterday’s tools and expect to be in business tomorrow.
~Unknown


Software
There is new software on the market every single day that is promising to make your life easier, run your business smoother, and all you need to do is provide your credit card information.  I have personally purchased many software programs over the years that were above my ability to learn how to use them, or just were not a good fit for retailers. Today, I’m going to introduce you to a few programs that we use on a daily basis whether we’re working at home or traveling.

I want you to know that my qualifications to recommend these products come ONLY from using them.  I don’t hold a degree in computer technology, computer science or programming.  These are all software solutions to problems I have experienced as a retailer.

I know there are plenty of choices out there with both hardware and software, and this list is by no way, exclusive.

Tools that travel well are very important to our business! As the owner and buyer for our retail store, I spend plenty of time on the road at markets, seminars and other business meetings during the year, but we also take our store “on the road” and set up shop to sell at retail Women’s Shows, regional Art & Craft Fairs, and the Kansas State Fair.

Great tools allow me to continue to stay in touch with our clients and staff and do the marketing work that is important to our business no matter where we are in the country!

We’re going to jump right in and explore some of my favorites!

A Peek inside my Toolbox… Hardware: Part One of Two

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.

~George Huebert


We get a lot of questions from people asking what tools and pieces of technology we use everyday in our business. Today, we’re going to cover some of that as we share what we use both when we’re working at home and traveling.

First of all, let me explain that I am not a “techie” guru or anything even close!  These “tools” have been collected over time, and have proven to work well for me. I know there are plenty of choices out there with both hardware and software, and this list is by no way, exclusive.

Tools that travel well are very important to our business! As the owner and buyer for our retail store, I spend plenty of time on the road at markets, seminars and other business meetings during the year, but we also take our store “on the road” and set up shop to sell at retail Women’s Shows, regional Art & Craft Fairs, and the Kansas State Fair.  Great tools allow me to continue to stay in touch with our clients and staff and do the marketing work that is important to our business no matter where we are in the country!

We’re going to jump right in and explore some of my favorites!

Lessons Learned from a Taco Trailer

Welcome to El Parasol!


I’ve discovered throughout my life, every family is different. In fact, one of the life lessons we tried to teach our children was that “Every Family Is Weird” and especially OURS! This was to prepare them for life and eventually marriage to someone from another family that has its own idiosyncrasies, and also to save us from embarrassment when they were little.

Road Trips
One thing our weird family enjoys is Road Trips, and as small business owners, we have always done our best to support local restaurants, both at home and on a road trip, along with staying at local hotels, and shopping at local businesses. Our track record with choosing local is pretty good as most local businesses cannot survive if they are not doing things right…at least they don’t survive for very long!

Keeping it Local
We have found that the very best place to find out where the stellar local eateries are is to stop at a fruit stand.  As the owners of fruit stands are the same people who supply restaurants with FRESH produce, these people have an inside track to the very best locally owned restaurants, and they know “fresh & local” like no one else!  This is exactly how we arrived at El Parasol in Espanola, New Mexico many years (and many road trips) ago.

Introduction to El Parasol
Now, El Parasol is not somewhere you would choose from it’s elegant exterior.  It is an 8’ x 10’ Taco Trailer that has somehow that has been serving local and regional visitors for over 50 years now. The food is amazing, the service extraordinary and this tiny Taco Trailer is legendary.

Podcast 009: TJ Reid ~ The FASHION Advantage

“So glad you’re here!”

With her warm southern accent and lady-like charm shining through, this is the way today’s guest, TJ Reid, greets store owners as they arrive at one of her many seminars across the country. Today, I am excited to introduce you to a woman who is one of America’s most knowledgeable experts on the topics of fashion retail, small business, promotions, advertising, and customer service.

Fashion AdvantageT.J. Reid has commanded over 2,000 successful workshops, written many best-selling retail business books, and is now Editor/Publisher of FASHION ADVANTAGE, the only magazine for small specialty stores, in its 26th year of publication with thousands of readers throughout the U.S.A. and Canada. FASHION ADVANTAGE is considered “The voice of today’s small retailer.”

I have personally been a long time subscriber to Fashion Advantage and read each issue from cover to cover.  TJ’s knowledge and hands-on advice comes from her over 50 years of experience (she started very young!) in this industry as a small store owner, QVC on-air personality, buyer, accessory designer, sales trainer, special events planner,  and consultant. (Add wife & mother!)  Click the link above to listen to the interview.

Podcast 008: Terri King ~ Creativity Reigns!

Terri King
Chief Creative Officer & Owner 
My Secret Garden ~ Bay City, Michigan

Today’s podcast guest is one of the most creative, gifted, savvy, smart and yes, REMARKABLE retailers that I have ever met, and she is a great friend and retail accountability partner! Terri King is the owner of My Secret Garden in Bay City, Michigan. Today you’ll hear some words of wisdom from this exceptional entrepreneur!

Terri King, My Secret Garden

Pure Imagination!
Terri brings passion and incredible creativity to her beautiful store in Bay City, Michigan.  Her store encompasses over 7,000 square feet and the displays are absolutely delightful!

Terri scours markets in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, High Point and locally to bring the best selection of unique products to her customers. Constantly changing merchandise and displays keep My Secret Garden fresh and exciting!

She is highly respected within the Retail Community and has been featured in several publications including GiftBeat and the Off-Price Market Magazine, along with many articles in her local market area.  Her shop is a true destination shopping location for locals and those who travel to the Bay City, Michigan area. Her shop buzzes with creative displays and fun events for customers!
~Click “Continue Reading” for photos and details!