Besides being fun, in-store events are essential for retail: for gaining (positive) publicity and attracting customers. If you do the same thing as your neighbour, there is no reason for people to visit you! Are you stuck for ideas? We have 9 ½ ideas to get you started…
Workshops are great for products that require a certain amount of expertise. They get customers into the store and using the products immediately, and are a good idea for quieter periods in your shop.
Reward your most loyal customers with a VIP Night. You will give them a sense of belonging to your store, with an invite only event. Theme your VIP Night in whatever on-trend way you wish. You will increase the value of sales, and the likelihood of already loyal customers buying from you.
Live Music Events
Appeal to customers’ sense of sound with a live music event. Depending on the size of your store, you could have a solo performer or a group. You will attract passers-by who come in out of curiosity. Then the music in store has the potential to boost moods, and reduce buying ‘pain’.
A sidewalk sale can be as large or as small an event as you like. It has the unique ability to interrupt pedestrian traffic, and hopefully lure them into your shop. The best reason for sidewalk sales is to clear out aged stock.
Public Holiday ‘Party’
Attract people on a day that there is no competition from other retailers – hold a special public holiday party. Please note: laws govern which shops must close on which days – ensure your store is not breaking the law by remaining open. But if you can, have a Queen’s birthday party or an Australia Day event, or the equivalent – publicize it and have fun!
Private New Season Previews
Like VIP Nights, a new season preview night is an exclusive event. Perfect for high-end boutiques, make this an invite only event where you take pre orders. These events are great way to move stock as soon as it hits the sales floor. Added bonus: there is no need for reduced prices!
If you sell clothing, a fashion parade is an event you really need to hold. Like a cross between a workshop and a VIP night, a fashion parade is a chance to bring life to your products, and encourage people to buy them. Get friends or family to model the clothes to save on expenses.
If you sell Homewares or similar, consider holding a product demonstration afternoon. It’s an opportunity to attract curious people inside your shop. Present your products so customers feel that owning the product will improve their life. A demonstration that clears up common problems faced by your customer will be popular and end up boosting your sales.
Investing in the community always pays off – not only do you support a good cause, but you bring positive publicity to your shop. People are freer to spend more money if they know some of it is going to charity. Consider donating a certain amount of profits to a good cause for a period of time.
We only call this half an idea because a pop-up shop is not really ‘in-store’. However, a short-term lease in a different area is a great way to test the waters with a different customer demographic. The best pop-up shops are more avant-garde than a standard retail store. They are also fantastic for publicity!
One last tip: Write a press release and send it to a local news company for coverage and free advertising!