Online marketplaces and social media connect your retail business to the world wide web. But what about your local neighborhood? How can you bring members of your town, city, or metropolis to your store? Because you don’t want to be ignored, you might consider an interactive marketing approach like in-store events, which tend to be highly engaging, to excite local consumers about giving you business.
How to Choose In-Store Events
You (more than anyone else) know the nuances of your products. Share the intricacies of your expertise. You can choose topics that affect many people, yet aren’t often understood. Choose events that showcase your products. You’ll benefit from additional sales, while simultaneously building a community atmosphere. Through enjoyable in-store events — such as fundraising, network meetings, classes, and live music — your store becomes a haven for your customers.
Consider creating a series of events for repeat participation. Focus on separate (but related) topics that build on each other. Recurring events make your store a part of your customer’s personal schedule, not just an occasional pit-stop. Also, when customers routinely meet together, they become a group of acquaintances rather than strangers. Cultivating a group feeling is the essence of community building.
Whether you embark on a single event or series, your goal is the same: improve customer loyalty. Look to your repeat customers for insight on event ideas. These customers already express direct interest in your products and your store. Their input is invaluable. You’ll also gain traction in the community with your exemplary customer service. So, listen and make their recommendations a reality — right at your store.
Examples of In-Store Events
Feel free to get creative when you plan your events. For example, a clothing store can host classes on creating stylish (and budget-friendly) spring outfits. Invite customers to try on store products. You can give personalized advice, such as "asymmetrical cuts are so slimming on you!" The next time your customer has an idea in mind and wants to pick up the perfect product, they’ll know whose expertise to rely on: yours.
Your options for recurring events are endless. If you wish, you can teach in-store classes yourself or invite a well-known guest speaker. Weekly book clubs or jewelry-making classes are an excellent creative outlet for your customers. Similarly, once a month live music and yoga sessions are events your customers can actively look forward to — and invite their friends to join.
You can also partner with a nearby store that sells complementary products. A cooking store, for instance, and a wine store can co-host a live demonstration: Pairing Wine at Dinner Time, or Create Your Own Romantic Dinner. Connecting to fellow shop owners also encourages strong business relationships and enlarges your customer base.
With in-store classes, demonstrations, and other live events, you reach beyond the typical retail boundaries and declare your store as more. More of a friend, a club, an expert with their best interest in mind. You’re not just selling them a product, you’re becoming a part of their lives and their community.