Get the Word Out and the Customers In!
To have success in retail is to have a growing stream of customers walking through the front door and returning year after year. In-store events are a fun way for businesses to engage with customers, attract new customers and reward loyal patrons. Create an exciting retail experience and memorable events and customers will remain loyal, recommend the store to others, expanding the customer base and increasing sales.
Hosting an in-store event is a grand way to attract new customers, increase sales, gain exposure for your retail store and distinguish it from the competition. With a little creativity and careful planning, you can create in-store workshops, gatherings and celebrations that will benefit your store well beyond the date of the event.
“The goal of the event was to showcase Birthday Party themes. In addition to our own line of products – invitations, thank you notes, favor bags, stickers, water bottle labels & more – we partnered with local bakeries to showcase cakes that went along with our themes and displayed them with party favors, sample invitations and game ideas. We planned for a couple of months and the creative displays created a ‘party atmosphere’ so the customer could really envision their child’s party. The two-day event kicked off with an evening preview party that we called Cupcakes and Cocktails. The event was a huge success and our birthday party business was better than average, resulting in about a 20% increase over the slow summer months.”
Kim Williams, Owner, The Polka Dot Press, Tallahassee FL
“We have had so much fun hosting workshops at Sweet Grass. Customers have loved them. The items we make are inspired by things we see on Pinterest. Our most popular workshops have been wooden burlap boards with an initial stenciled onto the burlap. I’m not sure if this falls under favorite in store event but it has been our favorite at Sweet Grass. Our customers come in asking when and what the next one will be.”
Michelle Harris, Owner, Sweet Grass, Mooresville, NC
For a Rhyme and a Reason
“We hold open-mic poetry jams. These literary and poetry events increase awareness of our store as a cultural hub and it’s been working well. Our 2013 Valentine’s event was the most well-attended ever. Holding events like these around a holiday make them festive and fun. It’s also a great way to showcase seasonal merchandise.”
Lori Webster, Owner, Webster’s Fine Stationers, Altadena, CA
When Life Gives You Lemons…
“We “borrowed” the Lemons and Leftovers idea from another retail shop and last August, we had the biggest and best sale we’ve ever had in our 10 years in business. Abby and Anna, daughters of one of our eight shop owners, sold lemonade, lemon cookies and cake while we sold lots of merchandise at our 50% or more discount clearance sale. We are planning to hold the sale again; this time in September.”
Carol Bennett, The Galleries on Gordon, Chickamauga GA
“We held a pumpkin lettering workshop during our fall open house. We told our customers to bring in their own fake or real pumpkin and our in-house artist gave them a mini-lesson on lettering. The customers absolutely loved this event. We took this opportunity to showcase our new fall inventory.”
Denise Urban, Owner, Anna’s Paperworks, Greencastle PA